Bistek Tagalog | Filipino BEEF Steak Recipe

Bistek Tagalog | Filipino BEEF Steak Recipe

What is Bistek?

Bistek Tagalog is a Filipino recipe also known as Beef Steak or Karne Frita in Ilonggo dialect. It is made of your choice of beef that is sliced thin and marinated in soy-sauce citrus mixture before frying.

Bistek Tagalog is a popular Filipino dish that requires simple ingredients and easy to make. See video below on how to make a delicious Bistek Tagalog and the step by step instructions below. Don’t forget to top it with fried onions and your set. Oh yeah, lots of steam rice too.

This Bistek Tagalog recipe is kids friendly and even our little peaky eater loves it and she calls it dark sauce meat. It has that tangy-sweet savory flavor that you will be craving for more!

Tips on How to Make Bistek

  • I usually use top round or sirloin for the cut of beef but if you prefer a bit of fat marbling, chuck roast is a good option.
  • I remember our cook at home used to pound the sliced beef with a mallet to help tenderize the meat. Please don’t waste your time; there’s no need. Braising low and slow will give you a tender enough chew. Just have your butcher cut the beef across the grain so it won’t be tough and stringy.
  • Do not skip pan-frying the beef as this step adds incredible flavor. Make sure to squeeze the marinade well from the meat and pat dry if necessary to ensure a good sear. Brown on high heat and don’t overcrowd the pan to ensure a nice outside crust.
  • The beef will release a bit of juice when pan-fried. Add it along with the marinade during braising.
  • Use the same pan to braise the dish; those browned bits in the pan mean maximum flavor!
  • One question I often get for this recipe is what to with the onions and garlic in the citrus marinade. Squeeze off the marinade and use the aromatics pull the dish together. Use a fresh piece of onion as the garnish.
  • I usually wait to season with salt until the sauce is reduced as the depth of flavor (saltiness etc) concentrates as the liquid evaporates.
  • The recipe calls for lemon juice because I don’t always have access to calamansi. If you do, you might need to adjust amounts to as lemon has a stronger acid taste.

Don’t forget to check my other recipes below. Just click on the pictures to see the complete and easy to follow delicious recipes.

Bistek Tagalog Recipe

Bistek made of beef slices braised in a mixture of citrus, soy sauce, onions, and garlic. This Filipino beef steak is hearty, tasty and perfect with steamed rice.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
MARINATE 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Filipino
Servings 4


  • 1/3 cup Calamansi juice or Lemon juice
  • 1/2 cub Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Light brown sugar  optional but worth a try
  • 1 tsp Ground pepper
  • 8 cloves Garlic  minced
  • 2 lbs Sirloin or top round sliced thin and pounded using a mallet
  • 1/4 cup Canola oil
  • 1 or 2 large Onion  sliced into rings


  • In a wide bowl, combine lemon juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, pepper and garlic. Whisk to combine and to dissolve the sugar. Add beef to the marinade and mix or toss to coat every piece of the beef. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. (overnight if you are not in a hurry) Drain the beef and set aside remaining marinade for later use.
  • Heat a wide pan over medium-high heat and add cooking oil. Add onion rings and cook for about 30 seconds or cook according to preference. Remove onions from oil and set aside.
  • Using the same pan with oil, fry beef by batches for about 3-5 minutes total. Cook until lightly browned then transfer beef in a plate and set aside.
  • Pour-in remaining marinade to the same pan. Simmer over low heat for about 3 minutes stirring once. Return fried beef to the pan and gently stir to combine. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.
  • Top with fried onions and cook for another minute. Transfer Bistek Tagalog in a serving dish and serve warm with steamed rice. Enjoy!
Keyword Beef, Bistek Tagalog

More Beef recipe here > Beef Recipes

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