This Bistec Empanizado is a healthier twist on a classic Cuban dish. Cuban Breaded Steak much like traditional chicken fried steak is fried in oil. For this healthier classic, we use the air fryer method!
Healthier “fried” food with the air fryer method!
Something really exciting happened not too long ago at home. I got a knock on my door and opened it to my newest Amazon purchase! Sometimes I make my online order and don’t actually remember what I ordered until I get the package (that’s how inconsequential the item is), but this one I had been waiting forever since I hit the “buy it now” button. It was my beloved air fryer!
You may be one of those who wonder if yet another kitchen appliance is necessary. While I generally tend to stay away from packing my kitchen with stuff, I am here to tell you that I’d definitely recommend the air fryer. I now use this gadget more than any other! I like making all kinds of food in it, but today we’re focusing on a favorite classic Cuban dish of mine: Bistec Empanizado, or Cuban Breaded Steak.
Being Cuban, and living in Tampa, I know this cuisine. I’ve been eating this cuisine since I was born. Without fail, I order the Bistec Empanizado every single time we go out to eat at a local Cuban restaurant. As delicious as this dish is, it’s always deep-fried or pan-fried with copious amounts of oil. Given my love of all that is the air fryer, I wanted to bring a healthier aspect to a favorite meal of mine.
How to make Bistec Empanizado:
You’ll need an air fryer, of course. Trust me, you’ll use it often. Second, visit a latin market in your area (or sometimes even the big-box stores carry them) and stock up on cracker meal (called galleta molida in Spanish). This is what you’ll use for your breading. Everything else you need is usually found in any home.
Use traditional Cuban seasoning flavor combinations of citrus, cumin, garlic, and oregano. Then, you’ll dip the marinated sirloin in egg whites, followed by the cracker meal. A light spraying of olive oil is all you need to get the crispy coating on this steak with the air fryer method.
Top with onions and a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice and you’ve got yourself a dish you can see yourself ordering from any Latin restaurant. Serve alongside these Cuban Black Beans.
The best part? Each steak only takes 15 minutes in the air fryer! I have a smaller air fryer so I only cook one steak at a time.
I hope you enjoy this little taste of Cuba!
- 1 lb sirloin steak
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Large pinch of black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup cracker meal
- Using a meat tenderizer/mallet, pound the steak(s) until they are about 1/4 inch thick.
- In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Sprinkle evenly on both sides of the steak(s).
- In a shallow bowl that you can use for marinating the steak, whisk together the lemon juice, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Place the seasoned steak in this mixture, then cover and marinate for 20 minutes.
- When there are just a couple of minutes left to marinate, set your air fryer to 350ºF for 18 minutes. Three of these minutes will be for pre-heating.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the egg whites. In a separate shallow bowl, pour in the cracker meal.
- One at a time, dip the steaks in the egg white mixture, then the cracker meal, shaking off the excess after each dip. Lightly spray with olive oil spray or avocado oil spray, then place in the pre-heated air fryer for a total cook time of 15 minutes per steak.
Home Chef Tip: Make sure that the steak(s) are in an even layer in the air fryer. It's likely that you'll have to cook the steaks in batches. Also, there is no need to flip the steak! Serve with raw or grilled onions on top and with a healthy squirt of fresh lime juice.
We hope you enjoy this Bistec Empanizado recipe from SoFabFood Home Chef, Jennifer from The Foodie Patootie. If you love this healthier classic, you can find more like it by visiting our Air Fryer Section. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!