If you’re after gourmet food that won’t break the bank, the best meat choice by far is the prized flank steaks. Quite simply, you will never go wrong with flank steak and it fits perfectly well with pretty much any recipes you can think of. Just ask the butcher for that perfect cut and you’re good to go.
The best substitutes for flank steaks are beef skirt, beef hanger, and beef fajitas, chicken breast, vegan steaks, mushrooms, and tofu.
This is a pretty diverse selection of alternatives for when you want a substitute for flank steaks.
Flank Steaks Substitutes
Let’s see how to use these substitutes in recipes that commonly call for flank steaks.
1. Beef Skirt
If the flank steak cut is unavailable in your nearby butcher for any reason, the best substitute that most closely resembles it is beef skirt. This specific cut comes from the diaphragm area of the animal. Ask your butcher for this cut instead of flank steaks.
If you’re after the fat and juiciness of the meat, you might even prefer beef skirt. Unlike flank steaks which are 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 shorter period of time and goes well with any dishes you might think of experimenting with.
2. Beef Hanger
Another beef cut substitute for flank steaks is the beef hanger. The beef hanger is more similar to beef skirt, and less like flank steak. It’s also thinly cut with marbled fats. It’s one of the most sought-after beef cuts for many consumers as it offers a meaty, juicy texture when cooked.
However, this type of cut can be hard to find. It’s famously known as the Butcher’s Cut. The animal has only one hanger and butchers tend to keep it for themselves. But if you get lucky, make sure to buy this cut – you will really notice the difference in your dish.
3. Beef Fajitas
If you’re a fan of Mexican food, you should be familiar with this cut. You don’t really need to go to a butcher – you can easily find freshly packaged beef fajitas in your nearest grocery store.
You can also buy them frozen, and ready-marinated. Beef fajitas are also quite thin and have a good amount of fat, making them 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 – this cut can also be used in different recipes in place of flank steaks.
4. Chicken Breast
Whether you’re staying away from red meat or just don’t like beef at all, chicken breast is the best substitute for flank steaks. Chicken breast is healthy white meat, high in protein (which helps muscle growth and strength). You can make healthy dishes from chicken breast such as steaks, stir-fries, stews, steamed with vegetables, or even grilled.
If you have a craving for Mexican food, chicken is also perfect for chicken fajitas and taco fillings. Just make sure that you cook it correctly. Overcooking the chicken breast could result in tough, dry meat. Follow the cooking instructions carefully to ensure that you end up with juicy and tender chicken breast.
5. Vegan Steaks
Being vegan or vegetarian allows us to discover amazing substitutes for our favorite meats like flank steaks. Nowadays, there is a huge selection of vegan and vegetarian food in the grocery stores, and there are even whole aisles dedicated to vegan food. If you want to avoid flank steak, try substituting it instead with vegan steaks.
Vegan steaks are ready-made and packed just like processed meat. However, they are healthier and obviously don’t contain any animal products – perfect for those who are trying to stick to a healthier lifestyle. You can pick from various options including chickpeas, tofu, and mushrooms.
Another healthy alternative for flank steaks is mushrooms. Mushrooms have always been a favorite side dish and are now considered an excellent meat substitute. Most of them offer that umami meaty taste and a savory flavor, especially when seasoned and cooked right.
The best mushrooms to use if you’re aiming to get that meaty taste are portobello mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, or regular brown button mushrooms.
You can mix them with your favorite stir-fried dishes, or maybe grill them and enjoy them with your favorite sides. You can also take advantage of what’s seasonally available, and enjoy fresh mushrooms at home.
And lastly, another protein-packed substitute is tofu. Tofu comes from soybeans which are processed into soymilk, which then curdles to transform into square, cake-like tofu. Some may shy away from tofu if they aren’t accustomed to eating it. But all it really needs is a decent marinade and balanced seasoning.
Tofu is excellent in absorbing flavor, making it easy to love even for meat addicts. If you can’t have your favorite flank steaks, try another protein substitute like tofu to help you meet your daily protein needs.
What’s another name for flank steaks in grocery stores?
You might have missed this, but there is a beef cut called London broil. Flank steaks are also called London broil in many grocery stores. But before picking this cut, make sure you ask the butcher first to clarify if it’s really a flank steak. Sometimes the top round cut is also called London broil.
Is flank steak expensive?
Despite 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 cooks trying to enjoy some occasional red meat on a budget.
Is flat iron steak the same as flank steaks?
No, they are totally different. The flat iron steak comes from beef 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 – you don’t want to pick the wrong thing!
Do you need to tenderize flank steak?
Although flank steak is fairly thin, it’s still nice to have it tenderized so that its texture is soft. This will also lessen the cooking time, helping you to retain the meat’s juicy flavors.
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 for flank steak in your favorite recipes. Whether you’re a vegan or not, we hope that you will find a suitable alternative on this list.