Bistek Tagalog

Bistek Tagalog basically are pan fried thinly sliced beef cuts served on a soy sauce calamansi gravy with cooked and/or raw onion rings.

Bistek Tagalog

A while back I posted Bistek Tagalog but this sparked an outrage with some mad trollers as I used pork instead of beef, in my defense I grew up with that type of bistek and I also knew some of my friends family who prepares it similarly so for me bistek can vary from pork to beef. Anyways apologies internet if I was wrong in your eyes. Having said that I now posted this Bistek Tagalog that uses beef and separated a pork version for that old post.

Bistek Tagalog basically are pan fried thinly sliced beef cuts served on a soy sauce calamansi gravy with cooked and/or raw onion rings. It is a Filipino dish that originated from the Mexican dish called Bistec Encebollado, both have similar flavour profiles and differ only with few ingredients. The main differences are instead of the Mexican Adobo Sauce the Filipino version uses soy sauce instead, for lemon or vinegar the Filipino version uses calamansi, also the Filipino version dropped the oregano. The flavours are quite strong meaning its saltier and more sour as this dish is meant to be consumed with rice like most Filipino dishes, sometimes it is accompanied by thinly sliced potatoes that are either stewed with the sauce or separately fried.

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Bistek Tagalog 1

Bistek Tagalog

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 5-6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Bistek Tagalog basically are pan fried thinly sliced beef cuts served on a soy sauce calamansi gravy with cooked and/or raw onion rings.


  • 1 kg chuck steak, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Philippine soy sauce
  • 3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 large onions, sliced into rings
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • oil


  1. Tenderize beef with a meat mallet or a back of a cleaver, place beef in sealable containers then marinate in juice of 2 lemons, pepper and salt. Marinate for at least 24 hr.
  2. Drain beef in a colander and set aside, before frying make sure it’s in room temperature and thoroughly drained.
  3. In a pan, heat oil and pan fry marinated beef in very high heat for 2 minutes on each side, do not overcook otherwise it will be hard.
  4. Remove beef from pan then set aside, now using the same pan sauté onions do not overcook.
  5. Mix together cornstarch, water, beef stock and soy sauce. Once free of lumps pour mixture in the pan bring to a boil. Add water if you find it salty.
  6. Once the sauce boils add remaining lemon juice (adjust to the sourness you want) and pan fried beef simmer covered for 2 minutes, season with salt and freshly ground pepper then turn off the heat. Place in serving platters then serve.


Bistek Tagalog Wide


7 Responses

  1. leah says:

    In the 60’s and 70’s when I was growing up in Tarlac, beef is hard to come by. Bistek or Bistig in kapampangan is made with carabao meat. So, if I were you, I will not listen to all those critics.

  2. Juliana says:

    This beef dish sound delicious Raymund, I like the addition of lemon…I will have to give this a try.
    Have a great week 🙂

  3. Boo on mad trollers, pork or beef this looks great (and the other recipe). I like sour dishes like this.

  4. suituapui says:

    I guess bistek comes from the English term beef steak so they expected beef, not pork. It’s a matter of personal preference like when we cook curry, we may use chicken, beef, lamb, pork and sometimes even venison or wild boar if we can get hold of the meat…or we may even switch to seafood – fish, prawns or squids.

  5. I can see how this dish would be delicious using pork or beef and if you made it for me I know I would love both. Do you remember the World Wide House in Central? Is this where you used to buy all of your special products from home when you lived in HK?

    • Raymund says:

      Yes thats the place! actually we call is Ali Mall (its a mall in the Philippines popular during the 80’s) because its filled with Filipinos every weekends, you can even get a haircut for HK$10 🙂

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