Beef salpicao Beef salpicao

Despite the foreign sounding name, it appears that beef salpicao is a Filipino dish. Is it related to the Portuguese sausage called salpicão? Well, the Filipino beef salpicao is definitely not a sausage but, rather, a garlicky stir fried dish.

It was a challenge finding the history of this dish, I still don’t know where in the Philippines it first appeared but I did discover two things which may help explain the “salpicao” part of its name. First, salpicado is a Spanish word which means “spattered with” (thank you, Clair). Considering that the Philippines was a Spanish colony for over four centuries, “salpicao” just might be a derivative of salpicado. Second, farther search led me to references to salpicao as a Brazilian word. I found a Brazilian-English translator which says that salpicao means “dotty” in English.

I figure that “spattered with” and “dotty” might just refer to the gazillion bits of garlic in beef salpicao. Maybe. Perhaps. Arguable. Debatable. What isn’t in doubt is how delicious beef salpicao is. Tender and juicy beef cubes that are salty and subtly sweet and boldly smelling and tasting of garlic. The way the meat tastes and smells, you’d think it has been flavored by a hundred spices. But beef salpicao has very few ingredients! The simplicity in the preparation and the startling deep flavors… it’s just the perfect main dish for a party. You can even serve it as a cocktail food! Place in a platter, hand out small forks and voila!


  • 700 to 800 g. of beef tenderloin, cut into one-inch cubes
    3 tbsps. of finely minced garlic
    1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper
    3 tbsps. of olive oil
    4 to 5 tbsps. of Worcestershire sauce
    4 to 5 tbsps. of liquid seasoning (I used Knorr — I do not recommend substituting soy sauce)
    about 1/4 c. of flour
    3 tbsps. of butter combined with about 6 tbsps. of olive oil
    about 1-1/2 c. of sliced mushrooms

    To garnish:

    2 to 3 tbsps. of toasted garlic bits
    2 to 3 tbsps. of finely sliced onion leaves


  1. Place the beef cubes in a bowl. Add the minced garlic, pepper and 3 tbsps. of olive oil. Mix well. Cover and keep in the fridge for a couple of hours.

    Heat the butter and olive oil in a wide shallow pan — wide enough to contain the beef cubes in a single layer. The heat should be very high.

    Place the beef in a plastic freezer bag. Add the flour. Shake to coat each piece of meat with flour. It is the flour that will thicken the sauce later and make it stick well to the beef.

    When the olive oil and butter are hot, add the floured beef, spreading the pieces so that every piece touches the oil. Do not stir for a minute or so to allow the underside to brown. Keep the heat very high. Stir and cook for a few minutes, with occasional stirring, until the beef changes color and a light crust forms.

    Pour in the Worcestershire sauce and liquid seasoning. Stir briskly; the sauce should thicken quite fast. Add the mushrooms, cook just until heated, stirring occasionally.

    The actual cooking should take no more than five minutes. If you overcook the beef, the meat will turn tough and dry.

    Transfer the beef salpicao to a serving platter, sprinkle with toasted garlic bits and finely sliced onion leaves. Serve hot with rice.

Cooking time (duration): 10 minutes, excluding marinating time

Number of servings (yield): 5 to 6

Meal type: lunch / supper


  1. Christina says

    I’m looking forward to making this tomorrow! For the mushrooms, did you use fresh or the kinds in a jar/can? Really excited about the recipe, it sounds wonderful – we love garlic!

  2. peterb says

    I have yet to get this right. It always turns our too tough for me. It’s either i cook it too long or the cuts i bought weren’t good. That’s why I always use chicken. Will definitely try again though. :)

  3. Jannette says

    Naku Ms. Connie, i’ve been looking for this recipe. I will definetly try this one. I’m your avid fan kahit na ng nandiyan pa ako sa pinas. Thanks!

  4. zel says

    hi Ms.Connie! am thinking to do this with pork kasim, in a big batch of around 4 kilos. is there anything i should be careful about in cooking this using pork and in such big quantity. thanks very much!

  5. zel says

    thanks for the reply:-) just needed the confirmation that the same speed with beef tenderloin cooking can be applied to the kasim:-)
    wish me luck:D thank you very much!

  6. Renee says

    Hi Connie, thanks for the recipe..I have so wanted to get a recipe ever since I first tasted it in a resto…but I want it a little bit spicy–is this recipe spicy or do i need to add chilies? i guess ur wondering why i want it spicy, am a bikolana and used to having almost every viand spicy, lol. will try this out this weekend..also, is it okay if i share it in my blog and a link to ur site?
    thanks again…

  7. Raisinette says

    Used beef sirloin since that’s what I had on hand. I think I used too much flour though coz the worcestershire & seasoning combined weren’t enough to give the sauce that nice consistency you had in your pic so I added water till I had the consistency I wanted. Turned out fine. The flavor was great. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  8. Belle says

    Hi miss connie. Another question, hope you dont mind. I’ve seen recipes that omit worcestershire and use oyster sauce instead. What do you think of that substitution? Thank you!

  9. Bing says

    Can I make this without the cornstarch? For some reason, I don’t like the taste of ‘coated’ beef. I remember this as my favorite item at the Manila Polo Club while I was living in the Philippines in the late 70’s and early 80’s and I remember this dish as a little bit ‘runny’ with the beef juice seasoned with garlic, worcestershire sauce and Maggi…I’ve been looking for a recipe for salpicao and I think this is it (but minus the cornstarch?) – thanks so much, your blog is wonderful (I spent 2 hours just ‘looking’ through…!

  10. Ma Norma V Zamora says

    Hi Ms Connie … Your recipes are a great find for me … Thousands upon thousands available … Yours are simple and has bonus, I enjoy your “a little bit of history” immensely. I guess I’ll be a regular follower : ) salamat po !

  11. Irene says

    Hi Connie, I love this recipe, but my mother is trying to avoid too much salt in her diet. How do I make it less salty, do I add water? I didn’t want to reduce the worcestershire and knorr as the dish might be too dry. What should I do?

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