Milanesa steak is a delicious popular dish in Latin American cuisine. It consists of a thin and tender slice of beef, packed with flavor, with a crispy breaded exterior. It's the perfect mouthwatering combination!
Milanesa steak, also known as beef Milanesa, Milanesa de res, or beef Milanese is an easy recipe you can make any time. It involves simple ingredients and straightforward steps. The meat is usually very thin (so it can be done quickly), coated in breadcrumbs, and then fried until crispy and golden brown. It can get a little messy, I'll warn you😂, but it's so worth it!! The beef is tender and flavorful, and that crunchy crust is the perfect touch! You're gonna love it!
By the way, if you're looking for something to pair with this Milanesa steak, my super fast and delicious collard greens stir-fry is the perfect match.
Ingredients and Substitutions
The ingredients to make Milanesa Steak are very simple. You probably already have them in your pantry. Here is the list of ingredients and possible substitutions.
For the marinade
- Meat: Thin-cut Milanesa or Beef top round extra thin. You could also use another cut of meat, as long as it's sliced very thin (usually 0.3-0.5cm / ⅛ – ¼-inch).
- Steak seasoning: Use your favorite beef seasoning here, powder or paste.
- Minced garlic: I prefer fresh, but you can also use pre-minced garlic in water or garlic powder.
- Extra virgin olive oil: This one brings even more flavor to the beef, but you can use regular olive oil or vegetable oil if you don't have any evoo on hand.
- Vinegar: Distilled white vinegar, white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar are great options.
- Salt and pepper.
For the breading
- Whole eggs or egg whites: Both work.
- Water: To mix with the eggs.
- Flour: All-purpose flour.
- Breadcrumbs: Plain or seasoned. I like to use plain and season it myself. To make it extra crunchy, you can also use Panko.
- Grated parmesan cheese: You could omit it, but I think it gives the breading a great taste.
- Vegetable oil: Enough to deep-fry.
*See the recipe card for quantities.
What cut of beef is used for Milanesa?
The meat used for Milanesa steak is usually Beef Top Round, thinly sliced. I usually buy it at Walmart with the name "Milanesa" on the package, but you can find it basically at any grocery store.
How to make Milanesa
I'll break this "how to" into 2 parts: the marinade and the breading/frying.
How to marinate Milanesa steak
The marinade is very simple, and since the steaks are thin, they don't need a long time to marinate.
Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a glass bowl.
Pour marinade over the steaks and rub it on them with your hands on both sides. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.
*Ingredients for the marinade are in the recipe card.
Breading and frying
In a container that can fit your steaks, mix together the breadcrumbs, salt, and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
In another dish, add the flour and place one steak at a time, pressing firmly on both sides. Shake off any excess flour.
In a separate dish, mix eggs and water. Dip the floured steak into the egg wash. Let any excess drip off.
Place steak in breadcrumbs and cover both sides with it, pressing firmly with your hands. Shake off any excess crumbs.
Add enough oil to a skillet to fry the steak by immersion. Wait until oil is hot, and fry steaks until golden brown.
Remove steak from the pan and lay it on double paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Eat it while still hot and crunchy.
*All quantities are included in the recipe card.
Store any leftovers in a closed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When it's time to reheat, place it on a rack or baking sheet and place it in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until heated through. You could also use an air fryer to reheat it if you have one.
- If you like extra crunchy crust, use Panko breading.
- Set up your breading station while your steaks are marinating. This will help the workflow.
- With your hands, press both sides of the steak really well in the flour and breadcrumbs to make sure that the breading will stick to the meat.
- Heat the oil before placing the steaks, but make sure it's not overheated; otherwise, you may burn your precious crust. The steak is good when it's a nice golden brown.
- Make sure the thickness of your steak is even so it can evenly cook. If you have one side that's much thicker than the other, you can pound it down with a meat mallet.
- Since the steak will fry for just about a minute, make sure to use extra thin beef top round or a thin tender cut of steak.
A good temperature to deep fry is between 325 and 375ºF (163 and 190ºC). If you don't have a thermometer, you can touch a toothpick in the oil; if it creates tiny bubbles around it, the oil is ready.
Never forget to pay close attention to the pan, controlling the heat as necessary. If the oil gets too hot, it may burn the crust; if it becomes too cool it'll retain too much moisture and become soggy.
Although that wouldn't be a traditional Milanesa steak, you can make it without the breading. All you need to do is marinade the steaks, skip the breading part, and go straight to frying it. You won't need all that oil, though; just a little bit on a skillet will be enough to get it cooked and with a nice brown exterior.
The meat that's typically used for Milanesa is beef top round, which is not super tender meat, but since it's sliced very thinly, it's perfectly tender when you eat it. The fact that the meat is thin makes it great for the quick marinade as well.
In Brazil, we eat it with rice, beans, salad, and french fries. Other vegetables are also great on the side. I love squeezing some lime juice over the Milanese, it's so good!!
You can eat beef Milanesa breaded and fried as a main dish, paired with your favorite sides, or inside a sandwich.
You can also skip the breading and use it in stir-fry, fajitas, tacos, and Philly stakes.
Here are some great dishes to serve with Milanesa steak:
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📖 Recipe / Receita
- 1 lb Beef top round, sliced extra thinly (500g)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon beef seasoning (5g)
- salt and pepper ½ teaspoon of salt works great for me
- 3 whole eggs or just egg whites
- ½ cup water
- 5 oz all-purpose flour (150g)
- 7 oz Plain breadcrumbs (200g) Panko can also be used
- 2 oz Shredded parmesan cheese (55g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil enough to cover the steaks
- Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a glass bowl, and pour over the steaks. Rub it on the steaks with your hands on both sides. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- Now prepare your workstation for the breading, always using dishes that are rimmed and can fit your steaks. Add the flour to a dish; set aside. In another dish, mix the water and eggs; set aside. Then, in a third dish, combine the breadcrumbs, salt, and parmesan cheese; set aside. Now put all 3 dishes next to each other, starting with the flour, then the egg wash, then the breadcrumbs mixture, and lastly, an empty dish to place your breaded steaks.
- Place one steak at a time on the flour, pressing firmly with your hands on both sides; shake off any excess flour. Dip the floured steak into the egg wash; let it drip any excess. Then place it in the breadcrumbs and cover both sides with it, pressing firmly with your hands; shake off the excess. Place the steak in the empty dish. Repeat this process with each steak.
- Over medium-high heat, heat enough oil in a large skillet to cover one steak. The temperature should be around 350ºF when you start. If you don't have a thermometer, you can touch a toothpick in the oil; if it creates tiny bubbles around it, the oil is ready.
- Carefully place one steak in the oil and fry it until golden brown. If your skillet is not very big, I recommend frying one at a time so the temperature won't drop too much.
- Once done, remove the steak from the pan and place it on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any extra oil. Repeat the process with the remaining steaks.
- Serve them hot with a squirt of lime juice, hot sauce, and your favorite sides.
All nutritional information above is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Nutritional content may vary according to brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, substitutions, optional ingredients, etc. Simple Living Recipes is not responsible for any miscalculation or misinformation in the nutrition label.
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