Cuban Pan Fried Steak (Bistec De Palomilla) Recipe

Do you want to transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Havana? Look no further than this Cuban Pan Fried Steak, or Bistec De Palomilla. This dish is a classic in Cuban cuisine, and with its juicy, tender cuts of meat and zesty citrus marinade, it’s easy to see why.

Not only is this recipe incredibly flavorful, but it’s also simple and quick to make. In under 30 minutes, you can have a delicious meal on the table that will take you on a culinary journey to Cuba without even leaving your home.

Whether you’re cooking for your family or impressing guests at your next dinner party, this dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. So get ready to don your chef’s hat and let’s dive into this mouthwatering recipe for Cuban Pan Fried Steak.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cuban Pan Fried Steak (Bistec De Palomilla)
Cuban Pan Fried Steak (Bistec De Palomilla)

Are you tired of the same old boring steak recipes? Then step right up and try this delicious Cuban Pan Fried Steak, also known as Bistec De Palomilla. It’s a dish that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

One reason you’ll love this recipe is that it is packed with flavor. The combination of tangy limes, fragrant garlic cloves, and fresh parsley creates an explosion of flavor in every bite. The meat itself is tenderized and seasoned to perfection, creating a juicy and succulent texture that is sure to impress even the most discerning palate.

Not only is this recipe flavorful, but it is also incredibly easy and quick to prepare. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create an authentic Cuban dish in no time. All you need are top round steaks, garlic cloves, limes, olive oil, butter, fresh parsley, salt and pepper.

Another reason to love this recipe is its versatility. You can serve it on its own or pair it with your favorite sides like rice, beans or plantains. It also makes for a great sandwich filler with some breaded steak sandwich or cuban bread.

This recipe is perfect for any occasion – whether you’re entertaining guests at a dinner party or having a cozy family meal at home. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, why not try making the more elaborate bistec encebollado or Cuban-style cube steak?

In summary, the bistec de palomilla recipe is not just any other fried steak recipe – it’s an explosion of flavors from the exotic flavors of Cuba. You are guaranteed to love its juicy texture, simplicity in preparation and its versatility in pairing with your favorite side dishes. So go ahead and give it a try- your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

 The perfect balance of tender, juicy, and crispy all in one steak!
The perfect balance of tender, juicy, and crispy all in one steak!

Get ready to cook with these staples!

Here are the ingredients that will transform into a palatable dish – Cuban Pan Fried Steak, an epitome of Cuban cuisine which boasts wholesome flavors. In this recipe, we will use top round steaks, sirloin steak, olive oil, butter, limes, garlic cloves and fresh parsley. Gaining access to authentic Cuban flavors is not difficult when the element essentials are readily available. With just two limes, two cloves of garlic and some fresh parsley, palomilla steak can become full of flavors!

The Recipe How-To

Now that we’ve talked about the ingredients let’s move on to the actual cooking process. This Cuban Pan Fried Steak recipe is pretty straightforward and easy to follow, but it does require some specific techniques to make sure you get the perfect crust and tender meat.

Prepping the Steaks

To start, take your two top round steaks or sirloin steaks and place them in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin and pound them until they’re about 1/4 inch thick. You can also ask your butcher for “de Palomilla” cuts, which have already been butterflied to make them thinner.

Next, season both sides of each steak with salt 1 teaspoon of salt, freshly ground black pepper, and garlic powder (2 teaspoons). If you want your steak to have an extra punch of garlic flavor, finely chop 2 cloves of garlic and rub it onto each steak along with a drizzle of olive oil.

Cooking the Steaks

Now it’s time to cook the steaks! In a large frying pan or skillet, heat up some olive oil over high heat until it starts to smoke slightly. Drop in the steaks one by one and cook them for around 2-3 minutes on each side or until they develop a golden-brown crust.

For a more traditional Cuban Palomilla Steak recipe, add some sliced onions into the pan when you flip over the steaks. The onions will add extra flavor and help tenderize the meat. Once both sides are cooked, top off each steak with a squeeze of fresh lime juice (the juice from 2 limes should be enough).

Resting and Serving

Once your steaks are finished cooking, remove them from the heat and let them rest for around 5 minutes on a cutting board so that all those juices can redistribute throughout the meat for maximum flavor.

After resting, slice up your steak into thin strips against the grain so that it stays tender. Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley or additional lime wedges if desired. Serve these fried steaks hot with whatever sides you like – rice and beans are a great choice to complete this classic Cuban dish.

Enjoy this delicious Bistec De Palomilla recipe!

Substitutions and Variations

This Cuban Pan Fried Steak recipe is quite adaptable, which means that you can make substitutions and variations to tailor it to your preference. Here are some great ways to add your own unique spin to this classic dish:

– Meat Choice: Although this recipe calls for top round steaks, you can also use sirloin steak. If you prefer a thinner cut of meat, try using cube steak or thinly sliced sandwich steak.

– Marinade: For an even juicier and flavorful steak, try marinating the beef with garlic and lime juice before cooking. You can also use Cuban-style marinade for an authentic flavor.

– Breading: If you prefer a crispy texture, consider breading the steak with seasoned bread crumbs or cornmeal before frying. This variation is called Bistec Empanizado or cuban breaded steak.

– Adding Onion: The classic Cuban dish, Bistec encebollado or cuban style sirloin steak cooked with onions, this can be easily achieved by adding finely chopped onions into the pan during the last few minutes of cooking.

– Herbs: Fresh parsley is a great addition to this dish. Finely chop and sprinkle over the finished dish for added flavor.

With the above adjustments, you will enjoy different versions of flavorful palomilla de bistec cubano. Take advantage of these substitutions and variations to create your own signature Cuban Pan Fried Steak (Bistec De Palomilla) Recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 The delicious aroma of the pan-fried steak will transport you to the vibrant streets of Havana.
The delicious aroma of the pan-fried steak will transport you to the vibrant streets of Havana.

When it comes to serving and pairing this Cuban pan fried steak or Bistec De Palomilla, there are so many ways to enjoy the dish. Personally, I love to serve the steak with a side of black beans and rice, often called “Moros y Cristianos” in Cuba. This combination is not only traditional, but it also makes for a satisfying and balanced meal.

The flavors of the Bistec De Palomilla pairs perfectly with sweet plantains, yuca fries, or even a refreshing avocado salad. You can also turn the steak into a sandwich by layering it on Cuban bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

If you want to take it up a notch, you can pair this dish with a classic Mojito cocktail which is also originally from Cuba. The freshness of the lime and mint in the cocktail complements the citrusy taste of the steak.

Overall, this Cuban pan fried steak or Bistec De Palomilla is versatile enough to be served with different sides and pairs well with various beverages. It’s perfect for any weeknight dinner or as part of a Cuban-themed feast.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

One of the great things about this Cuban Pan Fried Steak recipe is that it can easily be made ahead of time and stored for later use. If you want to make these steaks in advance, simply follow the recipe as instructed and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

When you are ready to reheat the steaks, there are a few different options depending on what you prefer. One option is to simply reheat them in a hot frying pan over medium heat until they are hot all the way through. Another option is to heat them in the oven at 375°F for about 10-12 minutes until they are hot throughout.

If you want to change things up a bit, one creative variation to try is making a delicious steak sandwich with these fried steaks. To do this, slice the steak thinly and place it on a freshly toasted Cuban bread roll with some sautéd onions and green peppers. Add some fresh parsley and lime juice for extra flavor and you have a mouth-watering Cuban breaded steak sandwich that will blow your taste buds away!

No matter how you choose to enjoy these steaks, make sure to store any leftovers properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Simply reheat them as desired and enjoy your delicious leftovers!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This dish packs a punch of flavor that will have your taste buds dancing the salsa.
This dish packs a punch of flavor that will have your taste buds dancing the salsa.

If you’re looking to cook up a delicious Cuban pan-fried steak (bistec de palomilla), there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure your steak is cooked to perfection. Here are some tips for achieving the best results:

1. Tenderize the Meat: Before getting started, consider tenderizing the meat by pounding it with a meat mallet or scoring it with a sharp knife. This will make the meat more tender and easier to eat.

2. Choose the Right Cut: For this recipe, it’s best to use top round steaks or sirloin steaks, as they are already fairly tender cuts of meat.

3. Marinate with Garlic and Lime Juice: To add flavor and tenderness to your steak, marinate it with garlic cloves, lime juice and salt for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

4. Season Generously: Don’t be afraid to add plenty of salt, pepper and other seasonings to your steak before cooking. This will give it plenty of flavor.

5. Heat Your Pan: Make sure to heat up your frying pan on high heat before adding the olive oil. This will ensure a nice sear on your steak.

6. Use Butter: In addition to using olive oil, adding butter to your pan can give your steak an extra richness and flavor.

7. Let the Steak Rest: Once your steak is cooked to desired doneness, let it rest on a plate for 10-15 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute in the meat and make each bite juicier.

By following these tips, you can achieve a perfectly cooked bistec de palomilla that is full of flavor and tenderness.


Before we wrap up this recipe article, let’s address some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that may come to your mind while trying out this Cuban Pan Fried Steak (Bistec De Palomilla) Recipe. From substitutions to cooking times, I’ve got you covered with all the answers you need to ensure the perfect outcome of this dish every time. Read on to confidently maneuver through any hiccups during the cooking process.

What cut of meat is bistec palomilla?

If you’re on the lookout for an authentic Cuban dish, then Bistec de Palomilla should be on your list. This meal comprises of top sirloin steak, which is traditionally cut thinly, seasoned generously, and fried on a pan until it’s cooked to perfection. It’s a dish that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds!

What is bistec de palomilla in english?

One popular dish from Cuba is called Bistec de Palomilla, which is made by marinating beef round or cubed steak in a mixture of garlic, lime juice, salt, and pepper before being pan-fried to perfection.

Is Palomilla steak tough?

Palomilla steak is a popular Cuban cuisine made by dividing a beef piece into two thinner steaks of equal size. These steaks are then beaten using a meat mallet, allowing the meat to tenderize. Despite being thin, Palomilla steak has the ability to become tender, even if the initial cut of meat is coarse.

What is another name for palomilla steak?

If you’re looking to try out a traditional Cuban dish, then you can’t go wrong with bistec de palomilla. It’s a thin sirloin steak that’s marinated in citrus and then pan-fried on a skillet until it’s crispy and cooked to perfection. In fact, “bistec” is just a shortening of the words “beef steak” that has been adopted by Spanish speakers over time.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you are a lover of bold and flavorful dishes, then the Cuban Pan Fried Steak (Bistec De Palomilla) is the perfect recipe for you to try. With its combination of fresh parsley, onion, olive oil, butter, limes, garlic cloves, and top round steaks, this dish is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

By following the simple steps in this recipe article, you can easily whip up a juicy and tender fried steak bistec de palomilla that is packing with flavors. You’ll love its unique blend of Cuban spices and tangy lime juice that will have your taste buds dancing with joy.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with substitutions and variations to make this dish your own. Serve it up with some rice and beans or pair it with a refreshing mojito for the ultimate Cuban dining experience. And if you happen to have any leftovers, make sure to follow our storing and reheating tips for perfect results.

In short, the Bistec de Palomilla is a traditional Cuban dish that has been enjoyed by generations for its delicious flavor and easy preparation. So don’t wait any longer – head to your local grocery store, grab a few ingredients, and get ready to impress your family and friends with this authentic Cuban pan fried steak recipe!

Cuban Pan Fried Steak (Bistec De Palomilla)

Cuban Pan Fried Steak (Bistec De Palomilla) Recipe

An easy to prepare marinated steak.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Servings 6 steaks
Calories 281.5 kcal


  • 24 ounces top round steaks, pounded to 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped


  • Cut steaks into six equal portions. Season steaks with garlic, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Allow to marinate at least 1 hour, refrigerated.
  • Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat dry; reserve marinade. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until very hot, and brown each steak for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer the steaks to a serving platter and keep warm. Add the reserved marinade and onion to the pan and cook until the onion is slightly wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Garnish the steaks with the onion and parsley and serve immediately.



Serving: 163gCalories: 281.5kcalCarbohydrates: 4.7gProtein: 24.8gFat: 18.1gSaturated Fat: 5.3gCholesterol: 69.2mgSodium: 59.1mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1.2g
Keyword < 30 Mins, High In…, High Protein, Meat, Steak, Very Low Carbs
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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.