While there are other beef cuts to pick from, skirt steak is unquestionably the greatest option for the majority of applications. If you're looking for a non-beef alternative, portobello mushrooms may surprise you with how well they mimic the flavor and texture of beef.
Slices of flank steak can also be used in slow-cooking meals since they melt on your tongue while giving unique flavors. Broiling also works since it adds crispiness to the meat's edges.
Although flank steak is a cheap cut of beef, it may not be available at your local butcher. If you're looking for a flank steak substitute that can be used in a variety of cuisines, there are some fantastic options to consider.
You can replace any of the following 13 options for flank steak. Each substitution provides something unique, so look through them all to see what they can bring to your meal.
1. Ready-Made beef fajitas
If you're already late for dinner and craving beef fajitas, you may pick up a ready-made mix at the supermarket. Because the meat has already been sliced and marinated, you can begin creating a fantastic supper right away.
Beef fajitas from the grocery store are fashioned with flank and skirt steak cuts. This mixture can also be used to make beef tacos or sprinkled on top of a salad.
2. Hanger Steak
Hanger steak, sometimes known as butcher's steak, is difficult to come by, but it makes an excellent substitute for flank steak. This rich and intensely flavored flesh hangs from the diaphragm along the lower belly. Because this muscle does minimal labor, it is extremely delicate and highly valued.
This meat is thinly chopped and fat-marbled to provide a great meaty taste to a variety of recipes. It even has a liver-like flavor that complements a variety of cuisines.
To appreciate the flavor of hanger steak, grill or pan-sear it. If you grill this steak for more than 2 minutes on each side, it will turn tough. If you're making fajitas, it's a terrific flank steak substitute.
3. Top Round Steak
Unlike a flank steak, top round steak is derived from the well-exercise muscles of the cow's leg. This beef cut contains no or very little fat, but it's full of flavor.
Because this meat is a little tougher than flank steak, it is frequently slow-cooked or split into thin slices for use in stew and casserole preparations. It's also an excellent choice for beef tacos or stir-fries.
You may use this steak to make a hearty beef soup or tasty sandwiches. Because it is low in fat, it stays moist and juicy in sauce meals.
If you're seeking grilling cuts similar to flank steak, the top-round steak will work if marinated well. More marination time is frequently required to help tenderize the meat. Grilling to medium-well takes about 7 to 8 minutes.
4. Tri-Tip Steak
Another suitable and cheap alternative to flank steak is tri-tip steak. The triangular, boneless cut of beef originates from the sirloin's bottom (called the tip). According to eHow, tri-tip steak has the advantage of a readily trimmable fatty edge — but, for the best flavor, do the cutting after cooking.
Tri-tip, best known in California Wine Country as the key ingredient in Santa Maria-style barbecue (essentially, sirloin grilled over a redwood fire), dates back to the mid-twentieth century, when a local grocer, Bob Schutz, chose to highlight the cut as steak. Previously, it was common ground or used in stew meat.
5. Portobello Mushrooms
While mushrooms do not provide the same amount of protein or fat as meat, they have a surprisingly similar flavor, which is why they are frequently eaten together. Portobello mushrooms are the way to go if you want a close visual match. Because of their bigger size, you can cut enormous steaks that you may bake, barbecue, or pan fry.
You may also use your favorite flank steak marinade to marinate portobello mushrooms. Most steak or chicken marinades will be a good fit because their flavors are comparable.
Keep in mind that most mushrooms contain a lot of water. That implies they must be properly cooked to achieve that toothsome, meaty bite. They will shrivel and darken once the water has been drained, giving you the desired texture.
6. Flat Iron Steak
Flat iron steak, also known as butler's steak, is another meat cut from the animal's shoulder. It isn't as lean as flank steak since it has a membrane that makes it harder. Flat iron steak is more difficult to find and slightly more expensive than flank steak.
When marinated, flat iron steak has a great meaty flavor that works nicely with a variety of things. This beef cut is versatile enough to be prepared in a variety of ways. It goes well with steak fajitas, stir-fries, sandwiches, and even salads.
When thinly sliced, flat iron steak slow-cooks for tenderness and flavor. When you grill or broil this meat, the marbling gives a great flavor. However, if you cook it past medium-rare or medium, it will become tough.
7. Ground Beef
Although ground beef cannot be grilled, it may be used to make burgers, fill tacos, and make wonderful beef chili. Because ground beef is prepared from leftover trimmings from various roasts and steaks, it is a versatile option that can be used in a variety of dishes.
Because ground beef is inexpensive and widely available, many people prefer it to flank steak. It absorbs spices and ingredients, so it tastes fantastic in a stew or slow-cooker meal.
If you want to use ground beef instead of flank steak, make sure it has some fat. Otherwise, the meat will be overcooked.
8. Skirt Steak
Many people confuse flank steak with skirt steak. They appear similar because the two cuts of beef are long and lean, but they are not the same.
Outside slices of skirt steak typically have a thin membrane surrounding the meat. It's thicker and more consistent in shape, as opposed to inner skirt steak, which shrinks when cooked.
Skirt steak is a large, thick-cut from the diaphragm of an animal. This is why it has a more marbled appearance than flank steak.
It has a stronger flavor than flank steak and will work well if you're searing the meat. Unlike a flank steak, skirt steak does not taste good when slow-cooked, but it can be grilled to medium-rare or medium to avoid becoming rubbery.
Skirt steak can be used in fajitas, stir-fry recipes, and marinated to help tenderize the meat. The meat must be sliced into very thin slices, no thicker than flank steak slices.
9. Chicken Breast
If you don't like the flavor of beef or don't have access to any form of steak that serves as a substitute for flank steak, you may always try using chicken breast flesh instead.
Chicken breast is a nutritious alternative to flank steak that may be used in stir fry recipes, stews, fajita skillets, and veggie dishes.
Chicken slices, cut into modest slices and marinated, can be utilized to make a great taco filler. It's also good in sandwiches and salads. You can also grill or pan-sear it instead of chopping it. To achieve the greatest results, avoid overcooking the chicken, which causes it to become tough and rubbery.
10. Vegan Steak
You may use vegan steak for flank steak in a casserole for a vegetarian or vegan-friendly version.
There are vegan steaks produced from tofu, soy protein, wheat protein, potato protein, mushrooms, or chickpeas. Because they're well-seasoned, you might be surprised at how much these selections taste like real flank.
Vegan steak substitutes can be prepared in a variety of ways to replace flank steak. Because it tastes like flank steak, you can grill it or cut it into slices for vegetarian tacos or fajitas.
11. Sirloin Tip Side Steak
Despite the name, sirloin tip side steak is not the same as tri-tip steak, though it can be used in place of flank steak. Both beef cuts are sirloin, but the sirloin tip comes from the top half of the sirloin, and the other cut comes from the top bottom.
It's a lean meat cut that can be processed into ground beef. It can be sliced into cubes and added to a stew, marinated for a stir-fry, or even grilled. Sirloin tip-side steak can be used to make kabobs because it keeps its shape.
This cut has a mild flavor than flank steak. If you find the flavor of flank steak and other replacements too strong, sirloin tip side steak may be a good option for you.
Tofu is a healthful and vegetarian-friendly alternative to flank steak. Because this adaptable soy-based meat substitute absorbs a lot of other flavors and scents, you may use it to replace flank steak in recipes that call for ground beef or thin pieces for fajitas.
If you cannot eat meat or dislike its flavor, you can use tofu to enhance the flavor of other ingredients in your stir-fry. Even if you enjoy meat, this protein-based substitute will bring new flavors to your meals.
13. Tuna Fillet
While many people think of fish as being at the opposite end of the protein spectrum as red meat, the right variety and preparation can yield similar flavors and textures. Cook a thick tuna filet in a pan, scorching it on all sides until it has a crisp exterior. If you leave the center pink, you'll be able to cut small slices similar to flank steak.
Of course, fish has a more delicate feel than red meat, so don't anticipate a perfect match. Overall, this is a fantastic flank steak substitute for tacos or any cuisine where flavor is the star.
How to choose a flank steak
Despite its low price, flank steak is a fantastic meat cut, but if you can't get it, there are other options you may use instead.
Skirt steak is the most commonly used flank steak alternative since it has nearly the same taste and flavor. Because it is delicate, hanger steak can be cooked briefly or cut to make fajitas.
A top-round steak may do as an alternative to a flank steak for adding texture to your beef chili recipe. In stews, slow-cook recipes, and stir-fries, tri-tip and sirloin tip side steak can be substituted for flank steak.
Flat iron steak is a tasty alternative to flank steak in stir-fries, fajitas, and sandwiches. Ground beef will offer the necessary texture in a stew or slow-cook meal. You can buy store-bought fajitas that have already been chopped and marinated.
If you don't consume red meat, chicken breasts can be used in place of flank steak in fajitas, stir-fries, and taco fillings.
You can use a variety of vegetarian and vegan-friendly flank steak substitutes with your slow-cooked vegetables and casseroles. Vegan steaks are flavorful and taste like steak because of the seasonings used.
Mushrooms and tofu can also be used in place of flank steak in stir-fries and fajita mixtures to make a vegetarian alternative.