Bistec apanado, or breaded steak, was a staple in my household growing up. My dad, my grandma, my grandpa, whoever was lead in the kitchen that day would toss this together as a quick and easy meal for the whole lot of us to eat. Sometimes we’d eat it alongside my grandma’s illustrious mashed potatoes and sometimes we’d eat it alongside plain white rice but always, always we’d eat it with a fried egg roosted on top.
This is humble, heart-pleasing food that feeds the soul and satisfies the tongue.
Bistec apanado // Pan-fried breaded steak (and fried egg!)
The classic version of this uses traditional bread crumbs salvaged from stale, day-old bread. I didn’t happen to have any bread around (gasp!) so I elected to use some of the Japanese Panko bread crumbs I had stored in the pantry closet. I shook them around a bit in the food processor to produce a finer shard to echo the texture of regular bread crumbs. The premise of this type of meal is that it’s quick, easy, and economical so buying affordable cuts of meat is encouraged. You can use round, flank, cubed steak, whatever looks good. I found thin cuts of chuck eye steak and they cooked up just fine.
2 beef shoulder chuck eye steaks, both cut in half to make 4
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs, blitzed in food processor until finely ground
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Side of white rice, if desired
Set up your flour dredging station. On one plate, mix together the flour with a generous showering of both salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, whisk 1 egg to make an egg wash. On the third plate, mix together the finely ground Panko breadcrumbs with another helping of salt and pepper.
Place the steaks in between sheets of plastic wrap and whack them with something heavy, to tenderize slightly, or if you’re feeling lenient, simply pierce all over with a fork. Then, take each one and first, lay it onto the flour mixture, patting it heavily and covering both sides and then shaking off any excess. Next, dunk in egg wash on both sides. Let extra slide off. Last, lay onto Panko breadcrumbs, patting it down firmly on both sides to adhere.
Grab a large fry pan and pour in a couple tablespoons of canola oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and wait until the oil shimmers before laying in the steaks, probably 2 at a time to not overcrowd. Cook them until both sides are golden crunchy, about 3 minutes per side. Drain them onto a paper towel-lined platter. Continue with the rest of them.
When the frying pan is free, drop in the 2 tablespoons of butter and let foam and melt. Crack the eggs right in and baste them to cook, using a small spoon, with the butter and oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately over the steak, one fried egg per eater, with or without a side of steamed white rice.