9 Skirt Steak Substitutes For Tender, Mellow and Tasty Dishes

One of the most delicious cuts of beef is skirt steak. It’s a long, flat cut of cow’s meat mostly loved for its flavor rather than tenderness. 

Although skirt steak is suitable for any type of dish it is usually served grilled or roasted. It’s considered as an easy and quick dinner idea that you can serve with a number of side dishes. 

The most popular dishes made with skirt steak are fajita, carne asada, bulgogi and stir fries. Let’s see what other cuts of beef you can use to make your favorite dishes calling for this special cut.  We’ll also discuss vegan alternatives. 

The best skirt steak substitutes are flap steak, flank steak, hanger steak, flat iron steak, ribeye steak, strip loin steak, beef tenderloin, tofu and seitan

Best Substitutes for Skirt Steak (Vegan Options Included)

1. Flap Steak

There are a number of other cuts that look like skirt steak and taste similar in roast and grill dishes. So, the first is flap steak. It’s thin enough, less expensive than skirt steak and quite flavorful. This cut is used in stir-fries, tacos, salads, carne asada and similar dishes. 

Flap steak is not as tender as skirt steak, but if you soak, marinade and season it with proper seasonings you’ll get what you need. 

2. Flank Steak

As for flank steak, many think that it’s not as tasty as skirt steak, but it can work instead if you use proper seasonings. 

It is thicker than skirt steak but if you use it in stir fries and salads you can cut it the way you cut skirt steak and use it the same way. While skirt steak is cooked on medium or low heat, flank steak is usually cooked on higher heat. 

3. Hanger Steak

Hanger steak is sometimes confused with flap steak. Hanger steak is similar to skirt steak but this  cut of beef is derived from the diaphragm of the animal. Its texture is tougher and requires marinating making it perfect for fajita. 

You should cook it over medium or low heat to make sure it won’t get too tough or chewy. However, marinating will help to get a tender result. 

4. Flat Iron Steak

Flat iron steak is cut from the shoulder of the cow. It comes with almost the same size and leanness as skirt steak only with a more tender and beefier-like texture. It is a thick cut but you can slice it into thinner pieces and use in tacos, salads and other dishes. 

First sear it on high heat then reduce the heat on medium-low and let it cook properly. This will lead  you to a tastier and more tender result. 

Flat iron steak is high in iron, zinc and protein. It’s a healthy piece of meat that improves the immune system, hemoglobin and many more. 

5. Ribeye Steak

Ribeye is one of the best parts of beef to use as a steak. It’s thick, marbled, flavorful and is tender in texture when cooked. It’s the cut of the top rib and has a high demand in markets and stores. 

So, you will never go wrong with ribeye steak if you choose it instead of skirt steak. Due to its fat content it becomes very subtle, flavorful and tasty. 

Choose the boneless piece of ribeye steak and grill or pan-sear it over medium-low heat. You can serve it with salads, noodles and side dishes and sauces just the way you do with skirt steak. 

6. Strip Loin Steak

Beef derived from cow’s short loin is called strip loin steak and it’s widely used in stir-fries, salads, with noodles and spaghetti. This cut is quite tender and requires a few minutes for cooking. 

Compared to skirt steak, that’s thin though, strip loin steak is thicker yet more tender. You can grill it, broil, pan-fry or saute and serve with the same sauces, salads and side dishes as skirt steak. 

7. Beef Tenderloin 

Beef tenderloin is taken from the short loin of the animal. Compared to skirt steak it’s more delicate and mouthwatering. Due to this, there is no need to marinate it beforehand. Just rub it with spices and cook on medium heat. 

It stands out with a buttery and rich flavor that allows you to make your dish tasty and tender. You can slice it into thin pieces and grill. The only downside of beef tenderloin is that it usually comes with a higher price. 

8. Tofu for Vegans

Tofu comes for help when you want to replace skirt steak with a vegan-friendly substitute. So, tofu has a chewy texture and absorbs accompanying flavors, which means you can get a similar texture and flavor with it. 

Tofu is motley used in stir-fries when it comes to steak substitutes. It’s better to use firmer tofu to maintain its texture and get a closer result. 

9. Seitan for Vegans

Made of wheat gluten, seitan is the next vegan-friendly substitute for skirt steak to use in stir fries, roasted or grilled dishes. It can be your final choice as it contains gluten and may not be the best option. 

However, you can still use it for its texture and ability to absorb other flavors. Season it with the condiments you usually use with steaks and stir fry it with accompanying ingredients. You can serve it with the same sauces and side dishes as skirt steak. 

Compared to tofu, seitan is firmer and tends to keep its shape when cooked. So, it’s better to consider it for fajitas. 

Besides being a vegetarian option, seitan is also budget-friendly. It’s also high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

FAQs on Skirt Steak

How to cut skirt steak? 

The best way to cut skirt steak is against the grain. When you do the vice versa you get long strands of muscle, which, as a result, requires more effort to chew.

What part of skirt steak is best?

Between two parts of skirt steak known as inside and outside, the outside skirt is more tender. The meat inside the skirt part is tougher because of the transverse abdominal muscles. 

Do I need to soak and marinate skirt steak?

You need to soak it to eliminate some saltiness and make the meat tender but there is no need to marinate it. It is delicious just the way it is and only salt and pepper is enough to bring out its flavor. However, you can add other seasonings and herbs according to your taste. 


Despite the fact that all of these skirt steak substitutes are going to provide you with tasty dishes, it’s important to pay attention to the texture every cut comes with. At the end you’ll notice that not every part works in all recipes and you should choose the right substitute for your dish.

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