Bistek Tagalog with Veggies



This is another beef dish that’s pretty common in the Philippines.  We call it Bistek, a play on the Western “beef steak”.  The Philippine version uses thin sirloin cuts of beef if your monthly budget permits but you can use the cheaper cuts, pounded to make it more tender.  The marinating will tenderize the meat considerably.  The marinade is a simple  calamansi juice, soy sauce and black pepper.  You can also use this marinade for pork chops and butterfly-cut milkfish.

Bistek is always served at my parent’s house with fried potatoes and browned onion rings.  I like to serve my Bistek with the onions and some veggies like bell peppers or in this case, peppers and zucchini.  Of course, you will need a serving of rice…it just goes so well with the soy-calamansi combination.This is a  simple dish to prepare and cook.  Filipinos like their marinade strongly flavored with a good balance of the salty to the sour that piques  the tongue just the right way. We call that “kagat” and if you got it just right, it’s then “kagat na kagat”.

After marinating overnight in the refrigerator, heat up a heavy skillet and add a tablespoon of oil.  Brown your onion slices and set aside. If including potatoes, slice them thin and fry till golden. 

In the same skillet, remove most of the oil and add your meat pieces and quickly stir fry a few pieces at a time.  If the juices run out before the next batch, remove it to your serving plate.   If you want to include veggies, stir-fry your veggies in the same skillet after the meat, this way, they will pick up a lot of flavors from the meat.   

When all the meat and veggies are  done, pour in your remaining marinade and give it a quick boil.  Pour this over the meat, onions and potatoes/veggies and serve with hot rice. 

11 Replies to “Bistek Tagalog with Veggies”

  1. Did you really have to mention the milk fish? *laughs* You know, i miss it terribly! I ordered some from my local oriental store. I told her i can guarantee she’ll sell the whole box in no time. She said she’ll try. Sigh.

    I like your term ‘kagat na kagat’. I’m learning quite a lot from you [i left Phils when i just turned a teen – so you’ll have to bear some patience. lol]. Kagat is bite, isn’t it?

    Just as well i don’t live next door to you – or you’ll have me coming for dinner often! Sarap x

  2. Mae, what a lovely thing to say. Thank you. Hope you get your milkfish soon.

    Yes, kagat is bite. Our bite is more like a gentle sting on your tongue from the calamansi…or so I’ve always thought.

  3. yup! bistek tagalog is soul food. hindi nawawala sa hapag-kainan. here’s my bistek post using cheaper beef cuts pounded to make it tender… exactly the way you mentioned above 🙂

  4. Such a mouthwatering picture you have here! I can almost smell the aroma wafting in the air.

    Bistek could also come directly from the Spanish ‘bistec’ which means steak.

  5. Hi Karen…thanks for dropping in. Yes I do believe it is, and bistec is based on the English beef steak. Interesting how many different versions of bistec there are in Latin America…have to try them out in the future. I wonder if bistec is from Latin America more than from Spain?

  6. iska, oh you’re so right…it is one of our soul foods! never thought about it that way. i liked it best with the gristle and fat that tasted like butter…mmmm…

  7. Ritha, I didn’t know Indonesia had a similar dish….why didn’t I ever encounter it when I was there?? Probably because I was so crazy about other Indonesian dishes that were all so new to me!

  8. Hey, I want to make this but I am in Spain and can’t find calamansi. Would lemon juice be a good alternative?

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