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Bistek: Filipino Beef Steak

Posted By Connie Veneracion On April 28, 2003 @ 3:16 am In Food & Dining,Meat,Recipes | 124 Comments

Steak, of course, is as American as apple pie. I’m not a huge steak fan, although I enjoy an occasional filet mignon (no gravy, I always feel it detracts from the flavor of the steak) with mashed potatoes and buttered vegetables. My kids prefer ostrich meat and lamb chops to steak. It’s my husband who’s a real steak lover. The Filipino version of steak, called beef steak or “bistek”, is a compromise among our preferences. It uses a tender cut of beef (top or bottom round, sirloin or tenderloin), seasoned and has a light sauce so it does not dry up even when it starts to cool (my kids hate dry meat).


  1. 1/2 kilo of beef (round, sirloin or tenderloin), sliced 1/4-inch thick
    4 tbsp. of kalamansi (native lemon) juice
    1/4 c. of dark soy sauce
    freshly-ground pepper
    1 tsp. of minced garlic
    2 large onions, cut into rings
    2 tbsp. of cooking oil


  1. In a glass mixing bowl, mix kalamansi or lemon juice and soy sauce. Add beef, garlic and ground pepper. Mix well. Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

    Heat a heavy skillet. Add oil. Lightly fry the onion rings. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Keep warm.

    Reheat oil until smoking. Pan-fry the beef slices in batches, removing them as they brown. When all the beef has been cooked, pour the marinade into the skillet and boil for 1 minute. Arrange beef slices on a plate. Place the onion rings on top. Pour the sauce over the onions and beef. Serve at once.

Cooking time (duration): about 50 including marinating time

Number of servings (yield): 3 to 4

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