beef Bistek Tagalog Filipino recipes

Bistek Tagalog

UPDATE 11/29/08:
I made a grilled version for Thanksgiving. Check it out!

UPDATE 11/2/08:
While this recipe is still good, I have a different version that I like a lot better. I’ll leave this recipe up for archival purposes, but for better results (IMO), see the newer post.

Bistek Tagalog (Filipino Beefsteak) is one of my favorite dishes, and it’s so easy to make that I’m actually disappointed in myself for not making it before. Traditionally, it’s a simple marinade of soy sauce, kalamansi juice and garlic, and you can use almost any cut of steak. Kalamansi is a musk lime that’s native to the Philippines, but I only had lemons on hand, so I used those. Next time I make this, I’ll see if I can get my hands on some kalamansi. Otherwise I’ll use the regular supermarket limes or maybe mix lime and lemon juice.

Bistek Tagalog

Many recipes I saw called for chuck, flank, skirt or sirloin steaks, but I used some thinly sliced New York steaks that I found at Safeway. I also saw some recipes that used red onions, but I’m used to either yellow or white onions in this dish. Use whatever you prefer. You can also plate this however you like. I like to mix the onions and sauce up with the rice, so that’s why they’re separate on the plate.

1 pound of thinly cut steaks
1 onion, thinly sliced into rings

¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced


  1. Combine marinade ingredients and marinate steaks for no longer than 30 minutes.
  2. In a skillet, cook the steaks over medium high heat. If you’re using thinner steaks, this should only take a few minutes. After the steaks are cooked, remove from skillet and place on a plate. Keep warm.
  3. Add the onion slices to the pan and cook until softened. Top the steaks with the onions
  4. Add the remaining marinade to the skillet and reduce for about a minute to make a sauce. If the sauce is too strong, add a little water to dilute it a bit. When the sauce is ready, pour over the steak and onions.
  5. Serve with steamed rice.

12 replies on “Bistek Tagalog”

I’d rather eat this beef steak tagalog than what I made tonight, the chef needed his puke bucket beside him when he was tasting my food.

you can also mix the meat with pork liver.. just a suggestion, its really good… but in manila we make our bistek tagalog with bay leaves ( laurel leaves ), and some hot peppers for those who likes spices.. try it guys, you’ll like it…

hey arnie…i have always used your bistek recipe to make bistek. i brought it on a potluck once and it was well received. recently i tried using beef that they use for bulgogi. very thin, thus very tasty too.

Comments are closed.