Steak encebollado (with onions)


Today’s recipe is one that my mind has idealized after so many years out of Panama. Its flavor reminds me of the small inns or fondas in Panama… always served with corn fritters, patacones or white rice. yummy!

This traditional Panamanian dish, is also popular in other countries in the region. Each country adds or removes ingredients to give this recipe a personal touch; however only two are essential: the meat (which should be very tender) and onions.

In some countries, green pepper, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes or fresh garlic are added… I like, for its simplicity, this version that only requires 3 or 4 ingredients. The result is delicious, especially if it is accompanied, as in this case, with fried plantains.


  • 500 grams of steak, cut into strips
  • 1 onion, cut into rings
  • Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste



Season the meat with garlic powder and pepper (leave the salt for later so the meat will stay juicy). Heat about 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, add the meat and stir fry over high heat. Add salt and stir a little bit longer.
Remove the meat from the pan and add onion and a touch of salt, stir and scrape to absorb the meat juices.
When the onion is caramelized, reincorporate the meat to the pan and stir some more.
Serve immediately with white rice, fried plantains, hojaldas or corn tortillas.

8 Replies to “Steak encebollado (with onions)”

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