Beef Tagalog or Bistek with Onions (Filipino)


Just typing the title is making my mouth water…..

This recipe is up there in my top five favorite Filipino dishes my mom makes. This is also another one of Scott’s favorite Filipino dishes as well! No matter what I do my version of Filipino food is never going to be as good as my mom’s cooking. You can’t mess with the OG in the kitchen. That being said, this is my version and I’m sure my mom will read this and tell me how I can make it better. Love you MOM and I am always better as long as I have you to guide me!!!

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 pounds-ish of skirt steak, flank steak or if you can get your hands on flap steak GET FLAP STEAK!

1 large white onion, cut into rings then cut in half

6 large garlic cloves, smashed

1 1/2 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 cup soy sauce (preferably Lauriat or Silver Swan)

vegetable or canola oil, for frying

cooked white rice for serving

Cut steak against the grain into an inch and a half strips or if using flap steak, cut off about an inch and a half chunks at a time using a sharp knife (see photo).
Mix all ingredients except for the oil in a large bowl or storage bag. I find the storage bag works better to evenly distribute the marinade. You want everything submerged in the liquid. Marinate for 30 minutes to an hour no more than that because the lemon juice will start to “cook” the beef.

Once marinated, drain contents using a colander or strainer over a bowl and reserve the marinade. Separate the meat from the onions and garlic and set both aside. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet on medium high heat. In small batches, brown the meat on both sides. This will only take about a minute or two on each side and set aside. You’ll want to brown the meat in batches to avoid over crowding and when that happens, you just boil the meat and you won’t see any color. You may need to add more oil before each batch if necessary. If you find that there is an excess in liquid in the skillet, go ahead and drain it and start fresh. We aren’t looking to cook the meat all the way through because it will g back in the wok to simmer later with everyone else.

Once you have the meat browned and set aside, add another tablespoon of oil in the wok and start to sauté the onions and garlic until tender and translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add 1 cup of the marinade to wok. This is when the beef joins the pool party! Add the beef and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce it to a simmer allowing the sauce to reduce down a little. This could take up to 15 minutes. Turn off heat and serve over white rice with a little bit of the sauce.



Again my mouth is watering…..

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Larry says:

    Flap meat is skirt steak, right??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Similar. Skirt, flank, and flap are all similar. I notice the flap is really tender and has more “fat” running through it for a more flavorful piece of meat. If I were to rank them I would say 1. Flap 2. Skirt 3. Flank. That’s pretty much ranked based on the levels of tenderness, flavor, and fat. Be sure to cut against the grain. If you are using flank, cut in thinner slices and marinate in less time. Flank tends to be tougher. If you can get your hands on flap meat, DO IT! If not use skirt for sure! You’ll notice that if you use flank the finished product is drier and tougher. Not as tender.


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