Cuban hamburger or frit: the quintessential street food of Havana
The fried It is one of the most popular dishes in Havana. Although it is more similar to our Russian fillet, it is served on hamburger bread, with ketchup, fried potatoes (which in Cuba are placed inside the sandwich) and onion.
As Madelaine Vázquez Gálvez and Imogene Tondre explain in the book Cuba gastronomy (Phaidon), from which we have extracted the recipe, the fried It was the brainchild of Sebastián Carro, a Spaniard who sold coal until, in the 1940s, he opened a food stall at the intersection of Zapata and A streets in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana.
His bite became tremendously popular and spread throughout the country, becoming the quintessential street dish on the entire island.
When preparing this dish, keep in mind that it is a fake hamburger: its consistency is much softer (due to milk) and, therefore, more difficult to handle. The frits are too small for the usual hamburger buns in Spain. There are several alternatives: put two pieces for bread, use mini burger bread or eat them like a normal Russian steak, without bread. I tried this option after taking the photos and I would say that it is a winner, because the meat itself is very tasty (you also save carbohydrates).
IngredientsFor 4 people
- Bread crumbs 80 g
- Whole milk 120 ml
- Chopped beef 460 g
- Fresh chorizo 60 g
- Onion 1.5
- Egg 1
- Teaspoon hot paprika 0.5
- Olive oil
How to make Cuban hamburger or fritDifficulty: medium
- Total time 50 m
- Elaboration 20 m
- Cooking 30 m
Mix the breadcrumbs with the milk in a bowl. If you have a food processor or a large grinder, grind meat, chorizo, soaked breadcrumbs and onion into thick pieces. If not, use minced meat directly and mince the chorizo and onion by hand.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the beaten egg, the paprika and the salt and stir everything with a spoon (or your hand) until there is a homogeneous mixture.
Form balls of between 50 and 55 grams and crush them until you get hamburgers about 6 cm in size.
Heat a little oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties about four minutes on each side until golden brown.
Place the burgers on the bread and add the ketchup and the remaining half onion, chopped or sliced. Serve them with french fries –in Cuba they are straw-type- over or aside.