A long time ago, longer than I like to admit, we took a trip to California. On the way we had a really tasty meal in a tiny diner somewhere out west. I can’t even remember which state we were making out way through at the time but I remember that meal! Battered Steak Bites is my take on that dinner.
I didn’t think to ask for the recipe when we were at the little diner so I experimented and came up with something that very closely matches the taste I recall. The recipe does take a little time but it’s mostly time I’m just waiting for the steak to marinate.
First I cut a sirloin steak into bite size pieces. I’m using a very small piece of sirloin since it’s plenty for the two of us. You can use the same amount of batter for a steak that’s about 1 1/2 pounds.
Then I mix an egg, 2 cups of buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of my spice mix, and 1/2 cup of flour in a large bowl.
The steak pieces go into the batter and I make sure they’re covered by the batter as much as possible. Then the bowl gets covered with plastic wrap and goes into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 8.
When it’s time to start cooking the steak bites I pour vegetable oil (you can use canola) in my cast iron skillet and heat it. I want the oil at about 360°F.
While the oil is heating up I sift 2 1/2 cups of flour with some pepper into a separate dish.
Next I remove the steak pieces from the batter, one at a time, allow the excess batter to drip off. The pieces are dredged in the peppered flour.
It’s time for the steak bites to be placed in the hot oil and deep fried for 4 – 5 minutes. I’m careful not to overcrowd the steak bites in the skillet.
As the steak bites fry I move them around a bit. They always seem to want to huddle together.
When the bites are browned and the coating crispy I remove them from the skillet and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate. The USDA recommends beef be cooked to a minimum temperature of 145°F but, to be honest, I only cook mine to about 135°F so they’re still medium rare.
These crispy, spicy steak bites go great with fried potatoes and a vegetable!
Bam’s Battered Steak Bites
- 1 egg
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons Bam’s spice mix (recipe follows)
- 3 cups flour, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin steak
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Oil for frying
- Cut sirloin steak into bite size pieces.
- Beat together the egg, buttermilk, spice mix, and 1/2 cup of flour in a large bowl until smooth.
- Add the beef and stir until beef is well coated.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
- Sift 2 1/2 cups flour with the pepper into a large bowl.
- Heat the oil to 370°F in a deep fryer or cast iron skillet.
- Remove steak strips from batter allowing excess to drip off.
- Dredge each piece in the seasoned flour.
- Place the steak bites, a few at a time, into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on the outside (4 – 5 minutes). Don’t overcrowd the steak in the oil.
- Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate.