Are you a food lover who enjoys exploring different cuisines and dishes? Then you might have come across the terms “flank steak” and “fajita” while reading about Mexican cuisine.
But are these two terms interchangeable? Is flank steak the same as fajita? Let’s dive into this topic and find out.
What is Flank Steak?
Flank steak is a cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It is a long and flat cut that is known for its flavorful meat but can be tough if not cooked correctly. Flank steak is commonly used in dishes like stir-fries, fajitas, tacos, and sandwiches.
What are Fajitas?
Fajitas, on the other hand, are a popular Mexican dish that consists of grilled meat (usually beef or chicken), onions, bell peppers, and seasonings served on a tortilla. Fajitas are believed to have originated in Texas in the 1930s when Mexican ranch workers would grill beef skirt steaks over an open fire.
Is Flank Steak Same as Fajita?
The answer to this question is both yes and no. Confused? Let us explain.
Flank steak can be used to make fajitas, but it’s not the only cut of meat used for this dish. In fact, traditional fajitas use skirt steak or arrachera in Spanish which comes from the diaphragm muscles located near the belly of the cow. Skirt steak has a similar texture and flavor profile to flank steak but is thinner and wider.
However, due to its popularity and availability in Supermarkets across America, flank steak has become an acceptable substitute for skirt steak in fajita recipes. The key difference between flank steak vs skirt steak is that flank steak has more connective tissue making it tougher than skirt steak, which has more fat and is more tender.
How to Cook Flank Steak for Fajitas?
If you want to use flank steak for your fajitas, it’s essential to cook it correctly to avoid it becoming too tough. Here’s a simple recipe for cooking flank steak for your fajitas:
- Marinate the flank steak in lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt for at least two hours.
- Heat a grill or skillet over high heat.
- Cook the steak for about four minutes on each side or until browned and cooked to medium-rare or medium doneness.
- Let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing against the grain into thin strips.
- Serve with sautéed onions and peppers on tortillas with your favorite toppings like cheese, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
In summary, while flank steak is not the traditional cut of meat used in fajitas (that would be skirt steak), it can be used as a substitute. However, regardless of which cut of meat you choose to use in your fajitas recipes – whether it’s flank steak or skirt steak – make sure to cook it correctly to ensure tender and flavorful results. Happy cooking!