Bistek Tagalog is a personal favorite. I can eat a well-made version at least once a week, and I like the combination of beefy goodness with the salty/tart sauce with lots and lots of onions. But I have found that the “Tagalog” sauce works well on pork chops, bangus, leftover roast beef, and several years ago in 2009, in this post, even on slices of seared tuna. This iteration incorporates just a few more tips to make the dish taste even better. If you are looking for more “meatless” alternatives to favorite pinoy meals, this is a good place to start.
I only ever make this dish when I have a chunk of tuna that didn’t get used for its original purpose, in this case, sashimi or tuna tartare over the holidays. This piece had been in the deep freeze for over a month, and I was worried it wouldn’t be very good… but when we thawed the piece, it actually still looked pretty darned good. I sliced the tuna into roughly 1/3 inch or thinner steaks and seasoned them with salt and pepper just before cooking.
In another pan, I added some vegetable oil, three onions sliced into rings and let that sauté for a couple of minutes until translucent. I then added a mixture of water, a small amount of cornstarch, kikkoman soy sauce and lots of lemon or kalamansi juice and freshly grated black pepper and cooked just long enough to get a “shortcut” gravy or sauce.
Heat up another pan, add a bit of vegetable oil, and sear the tuna for perhaps 30 seconds or slightly more, just long enough to color the surface of the tuna, but intentionally leaving a line of pink or red through the center part of the steak. Flip it over and cook just seconds more. If you overcook it, it will toughen significantly. I am not sure if it’s because the original piece of tuna was already quite prime in quality, but these seared tuna steaks turned out BEAUTIFULLY. Very tender, somewhat flavorful and the perfect vehicle to serve up on of my favorite sauces. Delicious with some hot rice and some stir-fried broccoli on the side. This platter of fish, with roughly 500 grams of tuna, cost roughly PHP250 or PHP125 per person for a serving of three medium size slices of tuna each (this could have been stretched to feed 3 people instead). No tuna? Do this with boneless bangus belly, just as good if not better, and it costs less to make. :)