How to Make Bistek Tagalog (Filipino Beefsteak)

Updated on January 31, 2020
kerlynb profile image

Kerlyn loves to share her passion for Filipino food with others so that they too can delight in delicious Southeast Asian cuisine.

Bistek tagalog is a beloved staple of Filipino cuisine made up of tender strips of beef marinated in soy sauce and calamansi juice. This guide will show you how to make this classic dish from the Philippines.
Bistek tagalog is a beloved staple of Filipino cuisine made up of tender strips of beef marinated in soy sauce and calamansi juice. This guide will show you how to make this classic dish from the Philippines. | Source

Bistek, or bistek tagalog, is a popular Filipino dish composed of succulent strips of sirloin beef made tender in salty soy sauce and tangy calamansi juice. The taste of this flavorsome dish, which got its name from the English dish “beefsteak," is further accented by the mild sweetness of sautéed onions. Sometimes, Filipinos throw in fried and quartered potatoes and cooked mung bean sprouts to jazz up the classic Filipino bistek. Perfect!

In addition to its scrumptious taste, bistek is also popular among Filipinos around the world because it is so easy to prepare and cook. It can be ready to serve and eat in about an hour, give or take a few minutes; the marinating process takes about 15 minutes, while the actual cooking can be done in about 40 minutes.

Unlike many foods that are often eaten with steamed white rice, bistek does not need to be hot when served. In fact, many Filipinos carry it for lunch when going to school or work or even for out-of-town trips.

The real goodness of bistek lies in its tender beef, which packs lots of savory flavor and aroma. It's also served with a little sauce, a mix of soy sauce and calamansi juice.

Bistek is traditionally served with rings of cooked onions atop a bed of steamed white rice.
Bistek is traditionally served with rings of cooked onions atop a bed of steamed white rice. | Source

How to Make Bistek Tagalog


  • 1/2 kilogram sirloin beef, sliced into thin cuts
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large onions, cut into rings
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 5 tablespoons calamansi juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Pour the calamansi juice and soy sauce into a plastic mixing bowl. Add the beef, garlic, and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare cooking oil in a pan set over medium heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add the onion rings and fry them until they're transparent. Drain and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, fry the potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside.
  6. Pour the marinade into the pan. Allow it to boil for two minutes.
  7. Add the beef to the pan. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until the beef becomes tender.
  8. Once the beef is tender, transfer it to a plate. Top with onion rings and potatoes. Serve with hot, steamed white rice.
  9. Enjoy your homemade bistek tagalog!

© 2012 kerlynb


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    • profile image


      9 months ago

      Hi when are you supposed to add the water?

    • NornsMercy profile image


      7 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Mmmmm...this looks so good! I can't wait to try it.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 

      7 years ago from The Midwest

      The only problem with bistek is it's addictive qualities. It's soooooo good that once you have it on the plate you'll want it at least once a week for the rest of your life.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      7 years ago from California, United States of America

      This was one of my favorite dishes when I used to stay with family, my Filipino side. I've been wanting to find a recipe for it and also the name of it. All I know is I used to eat it up at my Dad's and they just called it Filipino steak. Also I want to learn how to make Filipino Menudo, another one of my favorites. Sweet and savory, love the mixture. Anyway, thanks for this, I've been looking for it.

    • thebeast02 profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana

      Sounds tasty...looking forward to trying it out!

    • nemanjaboskov profile image

      Nemanja Boškov 

      8 years ago from Serbia

      I enjoy food very much - both cooking and eating it. and this hub has made me want to make a biftek (Serbian word for bistek)...

      I find it very interesting that our national cuisine is similar to yours, even though we live far, far away from each other :)

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Sounds delicious! My wife makes a similar steak and I love it! Great Hub and recipe! Voted up! (Now I'm drooling...)



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