If you’re after gourmet food without breaking the bank all the time, the best meat choice by far is the prized flank steaks. It’s the type of cut that you can never go wrong with and it fits perfectly well with any types of recipes you can think of. Just ask the butcher for that perfect cut and you’re good to go.
But wait, flank steaks are not the only beef cuts that you can enjoy. If it’s unavailable, you can simply substitute it with the following beef cuts: beef skirt, beef hanger, and beef fajitas. Other substitutes that you can also use are chicken breast, vegan steaks, mushrooms, and tofu.
A pretty diverse selection that you can pick when you are struggling with what to substitute.
Flank Steaks Substitutes
Let’s see how these substitutes can make a difference with your common recipes for flank steaks.
1. Beef Skirt
Just in case the flank steak cut is unavailable in your nearby butcher, the best substitute that resembles just that is the beef skirt. This specific cut comes from the diaphragm area of the animal. Ask your butcher for this cut instead of flank steaks.
You will like the beef skirt better if you’re after the fat and juiciness of the meat. Unlike flank steaks which and mostly lean, the beef skirt is thin meat with marbled fats on the surface. Since it’s thinner than flank, it cooks perfectly well in a short period of time with any dishes you might think of experimenting with.
2. Beef Hanger
Another beef cut substitute that you can take advantage of over flank steaks is the beef hanger. The beef hanger is more similar to a beef skirt than the flank one. It’s also perfectly thin cut with marbled fats around the meat area. It’s one of the sought after beef cuts by most consumers as it offers meaty and juicy texture when cooked.
However, this type of cut could be rare at times. It’s famous for its term the “Butcher’s Cut”, the animal has only one hanger and butchers tend to keep it for themselves. No wonder, it’s hard to find anywhere. But if you get lucky, make sure to get this cut the next time and see the difference in your dish.
3. Beef Fajitas
If you’re a fan of Mexican food, you should be familiar with this cut which is the beef fajitas. Getting this cut doesn’t really require going to a butcher. You can easily find fresh packaged ones in your nearest grocery stores.
Even frozen ones are being sold with easy marination all prepared for you. Beef fajitas are thinner as well and have a good amount of fat, that’s why it’s perfect for a quick stir-fry.
You can make delicious recipes from this beef cut like Carne Asada, Beef Tacos, and Beef Fajitas. Beef fajitas are not limited to Mexican dishes, it can also be used in different recipes where you usually use the flank steaks.
4. Chicken Breast
Whether you’re staying away from red meat or just don’t like beef at all, the best meat substitute that you can try is the chicken breast. Chicken breast is healthy white meat, a great protein diet that provides muscle growth and strength. You can make healthy dishes from chicken breast such as steaks, stir-fry, stews, steamed with vegetables, or even grilled.
If you can’t miss your Mexican food cravings, it’s also perfect for chicken fajitas and taco fillings. Just make sure that you cook the meat right. Overcooking the chicken breast could result in tough and dry meat. Follow the cooking process, temperature, and technique, to ensure that you’ll only get the best juicy and tender chicken breast.
5. Vegan Steaks
Being vegan or vegetarian allows us to discover amazing substitutes for our favorite meats back then, just like flank steaks. Nowadays, you see an array of selections in grocery stores and even has a dedicated “Vegan Isle”. If you can’t miss a good old flank steak dish, try substituting it instead with vegan steaks.
These vegan steaks are ready-made and packed just like processed meat. However, it’s healthier and doesn’t contain any animal products. Perfect for those who are trying to stick to a healthier lifestyle. You can pick variants from chickpeas, tofu, and mushrooms.
Another healthy alternative for flank steaks is mushrooms. Mushrooms have always been a favorite side dish and now a meat substitute. Most of them offer that umami meaty taste and a savory flavor, especially when seasoned and cooked right.
The best mushroom to use if you’re aiming to get that meaty taste are portobello mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and regular brown button mushrooms.
You can mix this with your favorite stir-fried dishes, or maybe grill it and enjoy it with your favorite sides. You can also take advantage of what’s available for the season’s harvest and enjoy fresh mushrooms at home.
And lastly, another protein pack substitute is tofu. Tofu comes from soybeans then processed into soymilk, which then curdles to transform into those square cake tofus. Some may shy away from tofu if you’re not accustomed to eating it. But, all it takes is to create the best marinade or seasoning when cooking it.
Tofu is excellent in absorbing flavor, making it easier to love even for meat addicts. If you can’t have your favorite flank steaks as of the moment, try another protein substitute like tofu to help you supply your daily protein needs.
What’s the other name of flank steaks in grocery stores?
You might have missed this one but you will notice a beef cut called London Broil. Flank steaks are also called London Broil in so many grocery stores as its alternative name. But before picking this cut, make sure you ask the butcher first to clarify if it’s really a flank steak. At times, stores call top round cuts as London broil as well.
Is flank steak expensive?
Amid the demand for this beef cut and how good it is, it’s still one of the cheapest cuts you can get from the beef section. Unlike other cuts such as sirloin, ribeye, and T-bone, flank steaks are fairly cheap and perfect for budget cooks trying to enjoy some red meat from time to time.
Is flat iron steak the same as flank steaks?
No, they are totally different. The flat iron steak comes from the beef’s chuck roast and cuts into thin slices. While flank steaks are cut from the lower back of the animal. Make sure to not get confused between these two cuts to avoid mistakes when picking in the grocery stores.
Do you need to tenderize flank steak?
Although flank steak is fairly thin, it’s still nice to have it tenderize so you can enjoy a soft texture. This will also lessen the cooking time helping you achieve juicy meat for your favorite dishes.
How do you tenderize flank steak?
You can either cut it up or pound the meat with a meat mallet. Make sure to tenderize the meat first before adding your favorite marinades.
There you have it! There are so many substitutes that help you enjoy your favorite flank steak recipes. Whether you’re a vegan or not, there’s something for you from this list.