You are in for a treat today! I'm sharing my take on the iconic Idaho Steak Fingers.
They are crispy and crunchy beef strips that marinate in seasoned buttermilk. Then they are battered and fried to perfection and served with a delicious dipping sauce.
This post is sponsored by the New York Beef Council, but the opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Everyday Eileen going!
❤️ Why you'll love it
- These steak fingers are simple to prepare and pure comfort food.
- There are so many variations in the spices and dipping sauces for the steak.
- How doesn't love pure comfort food?
- Cube Steak - We use cube steak that has been tenderized by our butcher and we slice it thin for the finger steaks.
- Rice Flour - To make the steak with an Asian flair, we use rice flour blended with all-purpose flour. The rice flour doesn't absorb a lot of the oil when fried. This makes the batter light and crunchy.
- Chinese 5 Spice - is a favorite of mine and it gives a great flavor to the beef.
- Garlic Powder, Onion Powder - I'm a big seasoning person and love to add garlic and onion powder to the flour for added flavor.
- Salt and Black Pepper - add another level of flavor to the recipe.
- Buttermilk - is a great tenderizer. Marinate the sliced cube steak in the buttermilk for more tender results.
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- Cutting Board
- Measuring Cup
- Measuring Spoon
- Dutch Oven/Deep Pan
- Deep Fry Thermometer
This is an overview of the recipe. The full instructions are below in the recipe card.
- Cut meat into strips, about ½ inch by 3 inches.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, Chinese 5-spice, and pepper. Place the sliced beef strips into the marinade. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose and rice flour with the remaining Chinese 5-spice, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Remove the marinated cube pieces from the buttermilk marinade, shake off excess liquid, and coat the pieces with the flour mixture. If you love a crunchy exterior, double coat the steak fingers by redipping the meat back into the buttermilk mixture and again into the flour mixture.
- Heat the oil in a deep pan or cast-iron skillet to 375°F.
- Work in batches and add the prepared steak fingers to the hot oil until they are golden brown, flip have way, about 2 minutes per side.
- Remove from the oil, and set on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
- Repeat until all pieces have been fried.
- Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
For best results serve immediately after frying.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight covered container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Reheat in oven-safe bakeware at a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes, or until the beef is reheated.
The sauce can be made ahead of time 1-2 days and should be stored in the fridge in an airtight covered container until ready to serve
Eileen's Tip: Be sure to marinate the beef. The buttermilk is a great tenderizer and adds a fabulous level of flavor to the whole recipe.
- We don't add salt to the buttermilk marinade because we enjoy the overnight method of marinating for a nice tangy flavor addition to the beef.
- Salt can pull out the moisture from an overnight marinade therefore, I prefer adding it to the flour mixture for dredging the beef.
- We love a crispy crunchy exterior so a double dredge is our preferred method. You can do a single dredge of the flour mixture with delicious results.
- Be sure to let your oil heat up to at least 350° to 375°F to ensure crispy steak. If you do not have a deep-fry thermometer, when you think the oil is warm enough, sprinkle in a bit of the flour. It should immediately begin to crackle in the oil when warm enough.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cube steak is a very popular cut. Boneless sirloin or prime rib can also be used to make them.
I refer to the NYBeef, Beef cuts guide is a fantastic resource to use when questioning what types of beef to use for various recipes.
Use a meat thermometer for accuracy.
Rare: 120°F to 125°F
Medium Rare: 130°F to 135°F
Medium: 140°F to 145°F
Medium Well: 150°F to 155° F
Well Done: over 160°F
Idaho Steak fingers are a bit like chicken fried steak. The beef can be just about any type but I love using cube steak. It's both affordable and the end results are tender and juicy beef.
The meat can have any type of coating from crackers such as crushed Ritz or saltine crackers to Panko or bread crumbs. Then it is deep-fried and served with a dipping sauce.
My version of finger steaks takes a bit of an Asian twist on the recipe. I use rice flour which gives a bit of a tempura crust to the cube steak.
I created two dipping sauces, one is creamy and the other is spicier. Let me tell you, both are fabulous. My kids love dipping into both options.
- Garlic Herb Roasted Potatoes would be a great pairing with the crunchy style steak fingers.
- Air Fryer Baked Potatoes is an easy recipe that would be delicious paired with this recipe.
- Roasted Green Beans are a hit with any recipe.
- Lemon Asparagus is another easy side dish to prepare with any beef recipe.
- French fries are always an option that is a classic.
- Fry Sauce is a classic dipping sauce that many love to serve with the steak fingers.
- Bacon Ranch Potato Salad would be a classic side dish for these tasty finger steaks.
Some other beef recipes you will enjoy are:
- Roast beef Roll-ups an easy to make and a hit with everyone. Great for parties and prepping ahead too.
- Slow Cooker Coffee Rubbed Brisket, the rub is loaded with flavor and the beef is tender and juicy. Great for pot-lucks and Game-Day food.
- Beef Jerky Dip is another favorite that is so easy to make and a huge hit with the family.
- Juicy Lucy Burgers, yummo, is all I have to say! Such a great burger.
- Copycat Chick Fil A Nuggets is another recipe that is easy and tasty.
If you want to change the serving size, click on the servings in the recipe card to adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need.
If you love this recipe, we would love for you to give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Steak Fingers Recipe
Finger Steak Marinade
- 1 pound cube steak Note 1
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 Tablespoon Chinese 5 spice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
How to make finger steaks
Asian Dipping Sauce
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 green onion, chopped optional
Creamy Asian Dipping Sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons chili sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- ½ - 1 teaspoon honey depends on your preference of sweetness
- 1 teaspoon sriracha, optional if you prefer a bit of spice
How to make finger steak marinade
- Cut the cube steak into ½" by 3" strips, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, Chinese 5 spice, garlic and onion powder, and black pepper.
- Add the sliced cube steak to the buttermilk marinade. Stir to combine.
- Cover the large mixing bowl with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
How to make Steak Fingers
- In a 5 quart Dutch oven or deep fry pan, add the oil to heat over medium heat. Use a deep fry thermometer to ensure the temperature comes to 375°F. See Note 2
- While the oil is heating, make the seasoned flour mixture.
- In a large bowl, mix together the rice flour, all-purpose flour, Chinese 5 spice, onion and garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the cube steak strips from the marinade. let excess marinade drain off back in to the buttermilk marinade.
- If doing a double batter, Place the seasoned steak strips on a wire wrack over a baking sheet. While you coat the remaining steak strips.
- Repeat the process until all the steak strips have been coated once.
- Then, repeat the dredging process so all the steak strips have been double coated in the seasoned flour.
- If you are only doing one coating of flour just do one dredging of seasoned flour.
- To the hot oil, carefully place the seasoned steak strips and let fry about 1-2 minutes per side, until the exterior gets golden brown. For best results, use a deep fry thermometer to accurately measure the oil to be between 350°F and 375°F.
- When first side is golden brown, use tongs to flip the strips in the hot oil. The steak strips will cook a total of about 3-4 minutes total, with the exterior will be crispy and golden brown.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove cooked finger steaks from the hot oil.
- Set on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Continue until all strip steaks are cooked.
- Serve with dipping sauces, recipe below
Asian Dipping Sauce
- In a medium size bowl, combine to mix well the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili sauce, sesame oil, honey, minced garlic, ginger paste, and if adding green onion.
- Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Creamy Asian Dipping Sauce
- In a medium bowl, combine until well mixed, mayonnaise, chili sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, and if adding, sriracha.
- Check out my store. I am sharing great finds for not just cooking, I hope you check it out here, Everyday Eileen
When my friends at the New York Beef Council asked me to participate in this east coast meets west coast event to celebrate this tasty beef recipe, I jumped in.