Beef Milanesa Steak is a breaded, thin steak that is first tenderized before being dipped in breadcrumbs and egg mixture. You can then fry it in hot oil until the steak is golden brown on both sides and serve it with a salad, rice, french fries etc and top it with egg or marinated tomatoes.
I first tried beef milanesa steak when visiting my husband’s family (over 20 something years ago) for Sunday get togethers. My husband is from Bolivia so initially I thought this was a Bolivian dish. However, we live in Miami and there’s such a large variety of ethnic foods from around the world here, especially from Latin America.
I noticed that there were Beef or Chicken Milanesas in Argentinian restaurants, Mexican restaurants, Cuban restaurants etc. So this seems to be a favorite dish around Latin America with some variations in each country that I hope we can explore in this article, besides the recipe:).
What is Milanesa Steak (Milanesa de Res)?
Milanesa with beef is a thinly sliced steak that is tenderized, then coated with flour, eggs, breadcrumbs and seasonings. The steak is then fried until it becomes crispy golden brown.
In many menus around Miami it’s usually called Milanesa de Res or Milanesa de Carne which from Spanish translates Beef Milanesa or Meat Milanesa.
My favorite twists on this recipe are the many different types of Milanesa sandwiches, they’re just too amazing to resist!! Especially after a night out dancing and having some drinks if my memory serves me right. It’s been quite a while since those days:).
I use top round thin sirloin steaks to make these milanesa steaks. My local grocery stores usually sells them already cut thin. If your store doesn’t sell pre-packaged thin steaks in the meat department, they’ll often cut them for you for free so it’s worth asking.
Other ingredients besides the thin top sirloin steaks are as follows:
- Salt/pepper to season steaks
- Breadcrumbs – you can make them yourself or buy them
- Crushed garlic or garlic powder (optional)
- Vegetable oil – most commonly used is cannola oil or sunflower oil. I like to use peanut oil or grapeseed oil. Try to use an oil that has a high smoke point and it is neutral in flavor.
Let’s Make Milanesa!
If you’ve never made breaded steak before, I’ll tell you that it’s not difficult but it is a recipe that takes some trial and error to get it right. Practice makes perfect! The steps below are very simple to visualize the process.
- Tenderize the steak with a meat tenderizer mallet.
- Season the steak on all sides.
- Dip in breadcrumbs, egg mix then breadcrumbs again. Shake off the excess. Some people use flour for the first dip then breadcrumbs for the second.
- Fry in hot oil until golden brown on both sides. (about 2 minutes each side)
How to Serve Milanesa Steak?
Well, this depends a little bit on your preference and if you’re looking for a specific taste from different countries.
The most common side dishes I have seen milanesa steaks served with are rice or french fries. Usually the steak is served over greens. Limes or lemons can be added as garnishes.
I have seen variations with a fried egg served over the breaded steak. I personally prefer to add a little bit of Argentinian Salsa Criolla over the steak and then mix it with the rice.
My husband’s family adds a marinated mix of tomatoes/onions over the steak which in Bolivia is called zarza. Usually tomatoes and onions are cut in julienne strips, they’re topped with olive oil and red wine vinegar. You can add chopped parsley as optional.
Sonila’s Tips and Notes
Milanesa is very easy to make, however it still took me 2-3 tries to get it done right. So I suppose it’s not just the recipe but also some practice. Keep trying until you get it right:)).
- Don’t forget to tenderize the steaks, no matter how thin they are.
- Don’t forget to season the steaks. It’s very important to season them, even if you later season the eggs and the breadcrumbs it’s not the same flavor wise.
- Use a deep skillet and a neutral and high smoke point & neutral oil.
- Don’t overcrowd the deep skillet, it’ll affect the shape of the milanesa into twist and turns and it won’t look pretty.
- Drain the steaks when removing them from the skillet.
- Use paper towel when you get Milanesa steaks out of the skillet. This is done in order to absorb the excess oil.
Beef Milanesa Steak (Milanesa de Res)
- 4 thin top sirloin steaks about 1.5 to 2 lbs
- 3 cups very fine breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp salt approximately, add salt to taste
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper approximately, add to taste
- 0.5 tsp garlic powder
- 0.5 tsp dry oregano
- 1 cup oil
- Tenderize thin steaks using a meat mallet. Season liberally with salt and black pepper.
- Whisk eggs with a pinch of salt, oregano and garlic powder and place them in a wide container.
- Add breadcrumbs to a baking sheet or wide container as well.
- Dip steaks into breadcrumbs, egg mix then back into breadcrumbs. Press the breadcrumbs with your hands into the steaks so they're really coated.
- Add oil to a deep skillet, fry the steaks for about 2-3 minutes on each side. You can fry more than one steak at a time as long as they're not overlapping.
- Drain the steaks over the skillet as you're removing them, then place them in a platter covered with paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
- Serve with your favorite side dishes like rice, salads, French fries, fried eggs etc with a salad and favorite toppings and salsas. Enjoy / Buen Provecho:).
- Note that not all breadcrumbs and oil are consumed so the nutrition values shown in the card might be higher than what actual value is.
- Some people use flour for the first dip, then eggs then breadcrumbs. It’s up to you if you want to use breadcrumbs both times or flour/breadcrumbs combo.
- Seasoned breadcrumbs can very the taste of the milanesa but they’re fine to experiment with. Lately I tried an Italian seasoned breadcrumbs brand that I really liked, so feel free to experiment with flavors:).
Here are some names of recipes from around the world that are similar to a milanesa.
– Cotoletta alla Milanesa (Italy) – it’s usually made with veal.
– Wiener Schnitzel (Austria) and Shnitzel (Germany)
– Kiev Cutlet (Ukraina) – breaded chicken cutlet
– Milanesa a la Napoletana – The Argentinian version of Milanesa with added ham and cheese on top.
Yes you can make beef milanesa steak in the oven or air fried with few simple tweaks. I’ll add them to recipe card too.
– Tenderize and bread steaks as usual.
– For baking option – grease a baking sheet really well with oil. Place the breaded milanesas and bake in a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees F. Make sure the steaks are single row, no overlapping. Usually it takes them about 7 minutes on each side to become golden brown.
– For air frying – place steaks in the air fryer basket without overlapping. Coat with a thin layer of oil. Cook at 400 degrees F for about 8-10 minutes (this varies on different air fryers so check for doneness with a meat thermometer).
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save any of the post images to your boards in Pinterest so you can easily access the recipe later on.
Please let me know in comments if you made the recipe, your feedback, or if you make it differently. I love to understand different culinary trends by country:). I really appreciate you reading my blog.
Other Beef Recipes
Here are some more recipes from my blog you might be interested in.