Carne Frita Dominicana is one of those dishes that immediately brings me back to 108th St and 37th Ave in Corona Queens, NY because it’s where my favorite Chimi Truck used to be. Carne Frita is a classic Dominican Street Food that I would devour on late nights after the club. There was an unbreakable ritual of going out-driving home-stopping by the truck-eating- going home. It was a ritual that my mom passed down because the Chimi Truck was important cultural Dominican hub. It was a piece if our island right here in the States where we got to indulge in crispy fried food.
Now imagine my horror when just over a year ago, the 108 Chimi Truck closed. **gasp** The owners had made their fortunes and understandably decided to pack their bags and retire. I. WAS. PANICKED! Never before, other than when my grandmother died had I felt a frenzy and anxiety about losing out on food. See, food is culture and it’s what ties us back to our heritage. As a first generation American, having cultural ties are hugely important. I worry that my kids will be too-American since I myself already straddle two cultures. (Well 3 technically since I’m half Cuban).
I want my future kids to speak Spanish and to know the joy of biting into a crispy Carne Frita and dipping it into ketchup. I want them to perk up knowing that a Chimi is on its way soon after the Carne Frita. Carne Frita is a Dominican Street Food staple that my grandmother only made a few times a year– and usually on a Saturday. Saturdays were our “fritura” (fried food) days. It wasn’t a classic dish that we had in a heavy rotation like Habichuelas Guisadas or Pollo Guisado. When the truck finally closed its doors, I did what I always do in a food frenzy– I dedicated myself to learning how to make this dish!
I can confidently say, that my Carne Frita recipe is the real deal! Now it may not taste just like your favorite food truck because let’s face it– the truck itself is the secret ingredient to all of that yummy food– but I got it really REALLY close. The trick is to keep the seasoning simple and boil the meat BEFORE frying it. Don’t scoff– you read that correctly. We’re going to boil the meat before frying it. Boiling it will tenderize and soften the beef which will result is perfect juicy goodness once you fry it.
Before we get into this yummy recipe, here are a few tips about this dish:
Tip #1: Use a cut of beef with some fat and marbling throughout. This will ensure that your dish is juicy and out of this world. If you use a cut of beef that’s too lean, it will be dry and ultimately crumble when you fry it. I recommend using beef shoulder
Tip #2: Slice the beef into medium-thick slices. You don’t want to slice the meat too thin because then you risk the beef being too crispy once you fry it. No bueno
Tip #3: Unless you’re serving this with a side of White Rice or Moro, be sure to cook A LOT of this meat. It’s fried finger food, which means that people tend to eat a lot more of it. You’d be surprised just how quickly this thing goes.
Tip #4: When you’re boiling the meat, feel free to do it covered or uncovered. Keep an eye on it and add water if the meat hasn’t softened to your liking.
Tip #5: If you’re making this for guests or your family, boil/soften the meat before hand and let it rest until you’re ready to eat. Then fry just before eating so that the meat is tender, hot, and juicy!
If you’d like to see a step-by-step tutorial on How to Make Carne Frita Dominicana – Dominican Fried Beef then feel free to visit my YouTube Channel: Chef Zee Cooks
Make to Pin this yumminess to your boards!
- 2 ½ lbs Beef Sliced
- 1 tbs Dominican Oregano
- 1 tbs Sopita- Chicken Bouillon Cube - or to taste
- 8 Garlic Cloves Mashed
- 1 ½ Limes
- Black Pepper to Taste
- 2 Cups Water
- Slice beef into medium- thick slices and add into large mixing bowl. Set aside
- In a mortar and pestle, mash garlic with a pinch of salt until a paste forms. Set aside
- Add mashed garlic, sopita/chicken bouillon/adobo, Dominican orégano, black pepper, and fresh limes to beef. Mix until well combined
- Marinate for at least 20 minutes or for a few hours. The longer the beef marinades the better it will ultimately taste
- In a deep-sided skillet over medium-high heat, all olive oil
- Add beef and stir occasionally. Meat will release its own juices and begin to cook
- After 5-10 minutes, add 2 cups of water or enough water so that the meat is fully submerged
- Boil/Simmer meat for 20-30 minutes until water has dried up
- Check for tender. If meat is tender, remove from heat. If meat is still tough, add ¼ cup more of water and continue to simmer for another 5-10 mins
- In a separate deep sided skillet or deep fryer, warm up oil until it gets really hot. About 350 degrees
- Carefully add beef and fry for about 10 seconds until beef is crispy and has a nice brown color
- Remove from oil and drain excess oil onto a paper towel
- Enjoy with freshly squeezed limes, Tostones, and Ketchup
This dish is great with Tostones, Batata Frita, Cabbage Salad, Moro, White Rice and more!