Bistek Tagalog Easy Recipe

WHAT IS BISTEK B istek is a Philippine version of a dish originated from Spain which they call it Bistec Encebollado. It is made of beef si...

Bistek is a Philippine version of a dish originated from Spain which they call it Bistec Encebollado. It is made of beef sirloin, cut into strips, flattened, salted and peppered. You can find this recipe in all former Spanish colonies like the Philippines, Mexico and Cuba.

It became popular in the Philippines specifically in the Tagalog region. Now, it is usually referred to as bistek or bistek Tagalog.


Important Tips in Making Bistek Tagalog Recipe: 
BEEF - The beef sirloin is often used in this recipe.

CUTTING THE BEEF - It is best to cut your beef thinly and cut it across the grain. Cutting across the grain means we are cutting through the fibres and shorten them for us to easily chew it.

POUNDING - In the early years, this step is very important if you will make this recipe. This helps to easily tenderize the beef. There was no pressure cooker back then. Now, it’s not really recommended.

MARINATING - This is one of the most important steps in making bistek Tagalog recipe. It is when the beef absorbs the flavour that we want into our recipe. A combination of soy sauce, calamansi and ground pepper is recommended overnight. If you’re not currently living in the Philippines, and you can hardly find calamansi, lemon is an alternative. Actually, recently, I just found out that some asian grocery stores are now selling calamansi powder which maybe you can use as alternative. If you don’t have time marinating your beef overnight, you should at least marinate it for an hour and keep in the fridge. 

PAN-FRYING - I personally recommend this step and ask you not to skip this step although you can actually skip it if you prefer to but I believe the recipe is more flavourful with the sear that you can get from pan-frying. I recommend you to put on medium to high heat when doing this step.

BRAISING - Slowly braising the beef can make your bistek Tagalog tastier. It will infuse the flavour more especially if you didn’t get time to marinate your beef overnight.

ONION - You can either put your onions when it’s almost done or you can also garnish it raw if you want it crunchy and sweet. It’s your preference. The smell will just be stronger if it’s raw.

COOKING - Don’t overcook the beef otherwise it will be hard and chewy. 

Try this also: Filipino Chicken Adobo

  • 2.2 lbs. beef sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 7 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 5 pcs calamansi or 1 piece lemon
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper 
  • 5 cloves garlic minced 
  • 3 pcs yellow onion, sliced into rings
  • 4 tbsp. cooking oil 
  • 1 cup water, add as needed
  • Pinch of salt

  1. Whisk soy sauce, calamansi juice or lemon and ground black pepper. Marinate your thinly sliced beef in it for at least an hour. Overnight is recommended for the best results.
  2. Heat a pan and pour the cooking oil. Pan-fry half of your sliced onions and keep it aside.
  3. Remove the beef from the marinade. Drain it. Don’t throw the marinade. We need it later.
  4. Pan-fry your beef for at least a minute or two on each side in the same pan where you sauteed your onion. Then set your beef aside after having a good sear.
  5. Sauté garlic and half of your onions in the same pan. 
  6. Pour your marinade in the pan. Add some water. Let it boil.
  7. Bring back the pan-fried beef back to the pan and let it simmer until it will become tender. If you feel the beef is still not tender, you can add water as needed.
  8. Add ground pepper and salt according to your taste buds.
  9. Garnish the top with your pan-fried onion that you set aside. You can also add raw onion rings if you prefer to.
  10. Serve it hot with your steamed rice! Enjoy!



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Filipino Cuisines: Bistek Tagalog Easy Recipe
Bistek Tagalog Easy Recipe
Filipino Cuisines
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