Bistek Tagalog FinalBistek Tagalog Recipe or simply “Bistek” is not really a rip-off of the popular Western dish beef steak. It is prepared and cooked differently. In fact, it does not necessarily use beef as its main ingredient. Pork sirloin aside from beef is also a popular choice among Filipinos in making this dish.

Bistek Tagalog Recipe Main Ingredients

It uses Four simple ingredients— pork or beef, onion rings, calamansi juice and soy sauce. The sourness of the calamansi juice and the saltiness of the soy sauce just make the perfect blend of flavors for bistek.  The slices of meat are pounded using a pork mallet or the back of a knife. The pounding helps in tenderizing the pork or beef slices and also aids in the absorption of flavour and helps in cooking the meat faster. One of the key elements of this dish is the onion ring slices. Large white onions are used and not the red shallots. The white onions slices are milder as compared to the red shallots which have a pungent and spicier taste. The onions in bistek add a distinct aroma and a sweeter flavour to this dish.

Bistek Tagalog Preparation

The beef or pork should be cooked in smaller batches in a smoking hot pan to avoid the meat juices from running out from the meat. Some would marinate the meat slices for at least an hour into the soy sauce and calamansi juice mixture. There are other bistek versions wherein they add fried chopped garlic on top of the cooked bistek. Undercooked onion rings are also used as a garnish to bistek, and the crunchy texture adds depth of flavour. To thicken the sauce of the bistek, just let the sauce reduced in the pan uncovered. Bistek is also best eaten with hot steamed rice and can last up to 2 to 3 days inside the chiller.

Follow Our Bistek Tagalog Recipe Below

Bistek Tagalog IngredientsBistek Tagalog Marinate Beef or Pork in soy sauce lemon Step 1Bistek Tagalog In the same pan where the onions were fried fry the marinated Beef Step 4Bistek Tagalog Put in the fried beef and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until meat is tender Step 7
Bistek Tagalog Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5
  • 1 lb. Beef or Pork sirloin, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 piece lemon or 3 pieces calamansi
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • salt to taste
  1. Marinate Beef or Pork in soy sauce, lemon (or calamansi), and ground black pepper for at least 1 hour
  2. Heat the cooking oil in a pan then stir-fry the onion rings until the texture becomes soft.
  3. Set aside
  4. In the same pan where the onions were fried, fry the marinated Beef or Pork (without the marinade) until color turns brown. Set aside
  5. Put-in the garlic then saute for a few minutes
  6. Pour the marinade and bring to a boil.
  7. Put in the fried beef and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until meat is tender.
  8. Add water as needed.
  9. Add the stir-fried onions and some salt to taste.


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