We deliver in Miami. Check our coverage.
Vaca frita: recipe from Cuba

Vaca Frita (Recipe): Homestyle Cuban Crispy Shredded Beef

Share This Post

The vaca frita recipe is a basic of Cuban cuisine that is prepared in a simple way, using few ingredients, but at the same time it is very flavorful. It has a crunchy texture that is reached by frying the shredded meat and is served with rice, beans and plantain slices.

If you are a Latin foodie, this is a dish you can’t pass up. In this article we will show you how to prepare the vaca frita cubana and tell you a little about those well-kept secrets of Latin American gastronomy.

What meat should we use to prepare the vaca frita recipe?

Meat for the vaca frita recipe

Before indicating the recipe for fried beef, let’s start by knowing the type of meat to use for this dish. It is important to buy flank steak or short ribs / Plate, low-fat cuts of meat that require considerable cooking time for trimming and preparation.

Flank or plate are quite economical cuts and very easy to find in any butcher’s shop.

Although they are quite similar, they differ because plate has more nerves or ligaments that make it a little more gelatinous than flank steak.

Vaca Frita recipe

Now let’s move on to the Cuban Vaca Frita recipe. Here are the ingredients and the step by step you will need to prepare it.


  • 800 gr of beef brisket
  • 3 onions
  • 2 small green peppers
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 pinch of black pepper, cumin and oregano.
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 2 lemons

Preparation step by step:

  • In a pot place the beef brisket, cover completely with water and add two cloves of garlic, bay leaf, pepper, cumin, oregano and lemon juice.
  • Bring to heat and cook until tender.
  • Drain and let it cool down to proceed with the discarding, removing the ligaments and fat that we can get.
  • Once the meat is in strands. Take a frying pan and place it over low heat with the olive oil.
  • When it is hot, fry the remaining 4 cloves of garlic with the onions and the peppers previously cut into julienne strips.
  • To this frying add the meat in strips and let it fry for a few more minutes until it acquires a crunchy consistency. Finally add the parsley and that’s it! Enjoy Cuban fried cow.

An ingredient you cannot overlook

In the vaca frita cubana recipe it is important to incorporate lemon. The lemon will serve to enhance the flavor of the meat, so you should add some when tenderizing the brisket or flank. Then, when you have already served your dish, squeeze some directly on the fried cow. The flavor is unique!

What is the difference between Cuban vaca frita recipe and ropa vieja?

Vaca frita, cuban dish

Both recipes use the same type of meat cuts and almost the same ingredients. The difference lies in the fact that the vaca frita cubana does not have any type of sauce and is fried so that the meat is dry and crispy, while the ropa vieja recipe includes tomato sauce and spicy sauce to achieve a juicy consistency.

Are you ready to prepare vaca frita cubana at home?

As you may have noticed, this recipe is quite simple to prepare and the ingredients are always on hand.

You can accompany your fried cow with rice and beans, just as they do in Cuba. But you can also try incorporating it as a filling in bread or on top of tostones. Who knows, you may end up turning this recipe into your favorite food.

Gastronomy is one of the most beautiful, delicious and economical ways to travel. A powerful flavor has the ability to bring you closer to any country and its culture, and to learn from it.

Such is the case of this Cuban dish, with its incredible flavor and texture. And it’s the same with many other gastronomic secrets, which once discovered become an obsession.

Chifa food: A gastronomic secret not to lose sight of

Chinese Latino food: lomo saltado

Latin countries have a lot to offer not only in local gastronomy, but also in fusion cuisine. The combination of techniques and ingredients allows for new flavors to enhance each dish.

Recordemos que América Latina es un continente mestizo por excelencia, y así como su gente es el resultado de un mestizaje de culturas, también lo es su gastronomía. Un claro ejemplo es la comida chifa , una fusión de la cocina chino-peruana que hasta ahora es poco conocida fuera de sus fronteras.

Chifa has allowed the creation of succulent dishes such as chaufa rice, lomo saltado, tipakay chicken, wanton soup, chijaukay chicken, sautéed noodles, among many others, which include soy sauce and the oriental wok cooking technique, as well as the authentic Peruvian flavors contributed by ingredients such as aji panca, peppers and pisco.

Chifa food is part of the identity of Peru, a country that is internationally recognized as one of the best gastronomic destinations in the world. If you have not visited it, we assure you that by tasting chifa food you will go on a direct trip to the most authentic of our beloved country.

Chifa Du Kang: The best Chinese-Peruvian food experience

Chinese Latino food: complete meal

For us, bringing you the best chifa dishes is a matter of honor. Our menu includes a variety of dishes that will give your palate a unique explosion of flavors and textures.

For Peruvians, eating chifa is an appointment they can’t miss at least three times a week. If you still don’t know why, come and discover it at Chifa Du kang. We offer the authentic taste of Chinese-Peruvian fusion cuisine.

We are located on Kendall Dr and Bird Road, we have a table ready waiting for you!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Select your location
Bird Road
*Closed on Tuesdays
Kendall Drive

Delivery zones

Free delivery - China Du Kang