14 Apr2005

There are lots of recipes for beefsteak tagalog out there. bistek1Though the basic ingredient list is short, the proportions, type of ingredients, substitutions and type of meat matter a great deal. First there is the meat… you can use the strangely named filipino steak from the grocery which is probably from a tough part of the cow, then take it home and beat it with that spiked wooden mallet in your kitchen (pha-taly bet it, translate as “fatally beat it” according to a security guard who was called to our house when snakes were discovered in our yard and his solution was to pha-taly bet it!). Or you can spring for the good stuff and get some sirloin steaks sliced very thinly. Next you have the soy sauce – some insist on a darker marca pina type soy sauce while others like the clean taste of say an imported Kikkoman. Next the souring agent – either little or lots of kalamansi or some like lemon (especially if you are abroad and have no kalamansi). Finally, the last key ingredient are onions, and I tested three different ones with my last Bistek to give you my opinion which was the best…

To perform this experiment, I obtained three different types of onions – white, spanish (golden skinned) and red onions. bistek2I chopped up a relatively even amount of onions and set them aside. To make the beefsteak, marinate the beef for a few minutes in the soy sauce and kalamansi or lemon. Heat up a pan (non-reactive as you will be using acid), add some oil until hot, and cook the beef. I like to remove the beef (so it doesn’t overcook) then stir fry the onions until cooked, add any leftover marinade, season with ground pepper, then stir until just done. My challenge was keeping three types of onions separate. I managed, and the conclusion? The white onions seem to be the best choice. They soften nicely and seem to absorb the sauce brilliantly. Second choice were the spanish onions and third the red onions as their sharp flavor actually can interfere with the rest of the dish. All of the onions turned sweetish sour due to the natural sugars in the onions and the kalamansi in the marinade. Yum. In the first photo above, the onions from left to right are white, red and spanish.



  1. rita go says:

    Learned about your website from Phil Inquirer. I think I will be going to your website more often. I have yet to explore deeply but so far so good. It beats going to other websites from elsewhere. more power to you.

    Apr 14, 2005 | 10:20 am


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  3. wysgal says:

    Read about you in the Inquirer as well. Fantastic site! I love food/cooking blogs! Especially Filipino ones!

    Apr 14, 2005 | 11:38 am

  4. Ana C. Estabillo says:

    Got this site from the Inquirer. I’ve just added it in my Favorites Folder! This is my first ever Filipino food/cooking blog!

    Apr 14, 2005 | 11:59 am

  5. millet a. ty says:

    hi! read about your site and tried it out. love everything about it…hope you’ll feature food and other stuff from outside luzon. we in davao, and the rest of mindanao, have plenty to offer. padayon, ‘dong!

    Apr 14, 2005 | 12:40 pm

  6. Dinah Libunao says:

    Same here- from PDI! Great site!! Its now in my Favorites :) Will be sharing this site In one of my groups.
    More power!

    Apr 14, 2005 | 12:59 pm

  7. marie lim says:

    I sense a connection… great website! and i will be forwarding this to my US-based friends and relatives, who will surely appreciate this the most. Congratulations!

    Apr 14, 2005 | 1:29 pm

  8. beth says:

    Expect to have more of these comments in the future Marketman! You deserved it!

    Apr 14, 2005 | 3:52 pm

  9. hermie b.m. says:

    hi! nice site. got this from pdi, it’s really informative, an instant favorite

    Apr 14, 2005 | 3:54 pm

  10. Cecile J says:

    Excellent!! This is going to “pha-taly bet” the competition!!!

    Apr 14, 2005 | 4:19 pm

  11. gigi cenizal says:

    after reading about this site in the inquirer, i rush in
    our computer dept. to check the site coz im really excited
    and upon browsing i found it so interesting. I will be visiting this site everyday. Good job MARKETMAN.

    Apr 14, 2005 | 5:12 pm

  12. Risa Imperial says:

    Hello. Just reading my PDI this morning and I saw the adds about this site. Nice site and Its one off my Favorite now…

    Apr 14, 2005 | 6:44 pm

  13. Karen says:

    Oh what did I say… what did I say about readers catching up? :-D

    Congratulations Marketman! Here’s to more press features!

    Apr 15, 2005 | 3:46 am

  14. Christer says:

    Great site! Very helpful & informative for us who live
    abroad. I hope one day you can feature you’re own version
    of Chix or Pork Adobo. They’re my fave!
    Keep up the good work! More power!

    Apr 15, 2005 | 6:19 am

  15. Marketman says:

    Thank you, thank you everyone. I just got back exhausted from a grueling trip to the Bohol hinterlands and had no access to email for two days after the article came out in the papers. I had left my Thursday and Friday posts for release by my wife. Had no idea over 10,000 page views would occur in two days! Thanks and I am glad you are enjoying the site. Please pass on to friends of like minds.

    Apr 16, 2005 | 6:59 am

  16. rose anne gonzalez says:

    This site is really good. It is such a treat.

    Apr 17, 2005 | 2:04 pm

  17. erik says:

    well, whattdya know..? FINALLY! A great site for us Pinoys…! Great job, MMan. Simply love your site. Especially that article about Cebu mangoes. Brings me into a nostalgic mood….

    Apr 19, 2005 | 12:54 pm

  18. grace says:

    good day!

    do you have a recipe for bangus belly bistek and the regular bistek tagalog?

    Apr 3, 2008 | 2:26 pm

  19. daphne op says:

    Market man,

    I’ve been lurking forever. Just wanted to let you know that you always save the day for me. I have very limited cooking skills but because of your easy recipes – I get by. Especially like today, i’m did beefsteak for the first time in my life.

    We don’t have a cook. She found out she’s pregnant and she has morning sickness.

    While I’m at it, anyone know a cook/maid looking for a job? :)


    May 16, 2008 | 10:43 am

  20. Marketman says:

    daphne, glad to hear the beefsteak tagalog recipe worked for you. Finding a good cook is pretty tough these days. In the meantime, try tocino, beef tapa, pork or chicken adobod for great ease and freezability so you can make several meals in one go. Also, some of the vegetable dishes I have in the archives are pretty basic. When in a pinch, hit an S&R and buy their roasted chicken and serve with an easy salad or baked potatoes or rice. Pasta dishes of all sorts are really easy as well.

    May 16, 2008 | 11:01 am

  21. presentacion says:

    i do my bistek tagalog similar to yours MM, with plenty of caramelized onions. sometimes i add some fried potatoes on the
    side. using sirloin is a good idea, it cuts cooking time and the fat adds flavor. more power to you, you are good.

    May 31, 2008 | 7:01 pm

  22. deirdregurl says:

    tried this @home and was a hit with hubby and daughter. easy to prep and cook. super yummy.thanks!

    Nov 22, 2008 | 3:45 pm


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