What is chislic, you ask? Ask any South Dakotan, and they’ll answer with pride.

Chislic is seasoned and deep fried meat that’s cut into bite-sized pieces.

While chislic can be made with lamb or venison, in my experience trying chislic at many restaurants across the state of South Dakota, beef is the most common meat used.

South Dakota chislic recipe: Find out more about this South Dakotan dish that's easy to make at home.

Chislic has a long history in South Dakota, dating back to before South Dakota officially became a state in 1889. The dish has German-Russian roots. The small town of Freeman claims to be the dish’s capital, where back in the 1930s, several vendors had chislic stands set up on weekends in town.

Today, chislic is on the appetizer menus of many South Dakota bars, grills, and restaurants.

Every place seems to have its own spin on this dish – beef, lamb, venison, cubed, skewered, seasoned, deep fried, grilled – but I’ve never met a chislic I didn’t love.

And I’ve had it all over the state: Brookings, Bruce, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Wall, Rapid City, and beyond.

Chislic: Bite-sized, deep-fried beef. South Dakota made it famous. Now you can try it at home.

If you’re looking to make homemade chislic at home, you’re in the right place. Today I’m sharing a recipe for standard chislic made with beef with simple seasonings. I’ve include some serving suggestions, as well.

How To Make Chislic

Making chislic at home is super easy. Here’s the process, in a nutshell:

  • Cut up (or cube) meat into bite-sized pieces
  • Marinate for at least an hour – but preferably several hours
  • Deep fry meat
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Serve with dipping sauce and saltine crackers

While there are many ways to season chislic, I like to keep it simple with a few pantry-staple seasonings like garlic powder, seasoned salt, and Worcestershire sauce. 

On the side, saltine crackers are always a good option along with a good dipping sauce. But you can serve chislic with a side of garlic bread, Texas toast or garlic mashed potatoes. 

Chislic recipe: Deep fried, seasoned beef. A South Dakota bar favorite!

What Kind Of Beef To Use

While technically, any kind of steak will do, the better the cut, the better the final dish. 

I used sirloin tip. You could also use sirlion, ribeye, tri-tip, tenderloin or another favorite cut.

Chislic, from South Dakota! Click through to learn how to make it at home.

Cooking The Steak

You can cook the steak to your liking – just like you’d cook any other steak.

I always order chislic medium-rare – and I try to prepare it at home that way, too.

Learn how to make authentic South Dakota chislic - or deep fried steak bites - at home!

Keto And Paleo Diets

A few simple substitutions make this recipe paleo and keto-friendly:

  • Serve without saltine crackers on the side
  • Omit sugar from the dipping sauce
  • Consider pan frying in coconut oil instead of deep frying in canola oil

Chislic: The South Dakota-famous recipe, featuring fried, seasoned steak bites.

More South Dakota Recipes!

Although I technically grew up in Minnesota, South Dakota probably had a bigger influence on me. I grew up one mile from the South Dakota border and attended church there. We did most of our errand-running in Brookings and Sioux Falls.

I love South Dakota, including these much-loved, South-Dakota approved recipes:

In addition to the famous South Dakota cubed fried steak and these recipes, am I missing any? Let me know in the comments!

Chislic at a fair in South Dakota - learn how to make this dish at home.

Chislic: Bite-sized, deep-fried beef. South Dakota made it famous. Now you can try it at home.

Chislic Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

If time allows, marinate the meat for several hours or overnight.

Paleo and keto diets: Serve without saltine crackers on the side, and omit sugar from dipping sauce. You can also pan fry the beef in coconut oil.


  • 1 lb. top sirloin or other steak (see recommendations above)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • Canola oil, for deep frying
  • Dried Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Green onion, chopped (optional)
  • Saltine crackers, for serving

Dipping sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  1. Cut steak into bite-sized pieces or cubes.
  2. Place in a bowl and add Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and seasoned salt. Mix to ensure meat pieces are evenly coated. Allow to marinate for several hours, or overnight.
  3. Pour in about an inch of cooking oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Turn on heat to high and allow the oil to heat up for about 3 minutes (to 375F). To test the temperature, take one piece of beef and dip it in the hot oil. If it sizzles right away, the oil is hot enough.
  4. Fry 4 pieces of beef at a time for about one minute, until medium-rare.
  5. Remove beef from oil with a slotted spoon, and place on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.
  6. Continue frying all of the meat.
  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and sliced green onion (optional).
  8. Serve with dipping sauce (mix all sauce ingredients together) and saltine crackers on the side.

Did you like this recipe?

Please give it a 5-star review on the recipe card above!