South Dakota Chislic Recipe

Call me a skeptic, but I’ve lived my entire life in Oklahoma and Texas.  By default of location and the fact I grew up on a farm that produced cattle, it’s safe to say, I know good quality beef.  I’m also very familiar with many of the ways beef dishes are prepared.  So when I asked for the name of a favorite regional dish, I was surprised  I’d never heard of chislic.

The real skeptic in me came out when it was explained you can marinate small cubes of beef and fry them to perfection.  I’m sorry, but I wasn’t drinking the juice as some people say.  But, a stop at the DeSmet Country Club changed my mind when my hand reached over to the plate of the person sitting next to me.  Forking a morsel of beef with a toothpick, I discovered something I had to have more of right that very minute.

After returning to Texas, I decided to make my own chislic.  This recipe from Lee Kruger on is the best I’ve found.  Keep in mind this dish varies in different regions of South Dakota.  Some batter it before dropping it into the fryer while some just saute it in butter and top it with garlic salt.  I prefer the Sioux Falls method of pan frying it, serving it with saltine crackers and dropping on a dash of Tabasco for good measure.

Eat up beef lovers, this one is a winner!  Skeptic no more, I am in love with this dish.


South Dakota Chislic

  • 3 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt-free seasoning blend
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying


  1. Place the beef cubes into a large mixing bowl. Season with brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, ancho powder, chipotle powder, salt-free seasoning, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  3. Cook the beef in batches in the hot oil until browned on all sides and cooked to your desired degree of doneness, about 3 minutes for medium. Drain the beef cubes briefly on a paper towel-lined plate before serving. Allow the oil to become hot again before cooking the next batch of beef.

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4 Responses to South Dakota Chislic Recipe

  1. Hank Jonston says:

    I grew up near Scotland, SD. The orginal way to make Chislic was to butcher a lamb and cut up the meat into 3/4 inch pieces and put on a 9 inch wooden skewer. The best oil was from the lamp and deep fry for about 4 to 5 minutes, take out and lightley salt and serve with crackers. Back in those days the only meat used lamb or venison.

    • Cory Cart says:

      Hank that sounds great as well. I have yet to come across anyone serving lamb or venison. I’ll have to look for that the next time I head up north!

  2. Jeff Waters says:

    It may be a traditional South Dakota dish, but it can be prepared in so many different ways. I’m sure like you state, its taste cannot leave anyone unsatisfied. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’m going to try it soon and come back with feedback.

    • Cory Cart says:

      You are welcome Jeff. Let me know what you think of it after making some; I’m sure you’ll love it.

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