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Grapefruit steak – an unconventional Cuban recipe

If you are looking for a healthy and exotic meat substitute, this unique and delicious grapefruit piths steak will definitely awake your curiosity and senses

The story behind this interesting Cuban traditional dish is rather a sad one. Due to Cuban food shortages in 1990, local poor people back-then used to replace beef meat with red grapefruits, in order to obtain a dish that was similar in aspect and taste.

Despite originally the “Bistec de Toronja” was nothing but a compromise due to the political and social situation in Cuba, this recipe has lately become very popular among vegetarian communities. If properly cooked, this exotic dish can be pretty tasteful.

If still skeptical, follow the next recipe steps and try it out for yourselves.


Grapefruit piths (the white, spongy parts of the fruit, between the pulp and the peel) are the main meat-less steak ingredient. Properly cooked and seasoned, this grapefruit steak can surprise even the most experienced of meat eaters.

For step 1, you will need:

  • 2-3 red or pink grapefruits
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • salt
  • black grounded pepper
  • fresh parsley
  • bread crumbs

Step 2:

Peel the grapefruit and cut it in half. Separate the pulp from the piths (the piths will be used to cook the steak). Try to keep the piths in one piece when cutting them off the fruit.

Meanwhile, you can use the pulp to prepare a delicious fresh juice.

Cut the piths in halves with the size of a normal schnitzel.

Chop the garlic cloves and grease the piths with the resulting slices to boost the steak’s aroma.

Mix the eggs as if you were preparing an omelet and add the salt, the black pepper and the chopped fresh parsley.

Cover the piths in the egg and spices mix. Roll them in bread crumbs on both sides. Fry the resulting piths in hot oil until they are roasted (1-2 minutes on each side). Serve immediately with a side-dish of your choice (grilled vegetables, mashed potatoes, mushroom saute or other).

Enjoy! The unique combination of ingredients will definitely surprise your taste buds!

* Chef’s tip: vinegar can reduce the bitter taste of the grapefruit. To obtain a tasteful steak and to prevent the sourness, dip the grapefruit piths into vinegar before preparation.

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