Bistek Tagalog Recipe Filipino Beef Steak

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 28, 2020

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Bistek Tagalog Recipe or simply “Bistek” is not really a rip-off of the popular Western dish beef steak. It is prepared and cooked differently.

In fact, it does not necessarily use beef as its main ingredient. Pork Sirloin aside from beef is also a popular choice among Filipinos in making this dish.
Bistek Tagalog Recipe

Bistek Tagalog Recipe Main Ingredients

It uses Four simple ingredients— pork or beef, onion rings, calamansi juice, and soy sauce.

The sourness of the calamansi juice and the saltiness of the soy sauce just make the perfect blend of flavors for bistek.  

The slices of meat are pounded using a pork mallet or the back of a knife.

The pounding helps in tenderizing the pork or beef slices and also aids in the absorption of flavor and helps in cooking the meat faster.

One of the key elements of this dish is the onion ring slices. Large white onions are used and not the red shallots.

The white onions slices are milder as compared to the red shallots which have a pungent and spicier taste. The onions in bistek add a distinct aroma and a sweeter flavor to this dish.

Bistek Tagalog Recipe & Preparation

The beef or pork should be cooked in smaller batches in a smoking hot pan to avoid the meat juices from running out from the meat.

Some would marinate the meat slices for at least an hour into the soy sauce and calamansi juice mixture.

Follow Our Bistek Tagalog Recipe Below

Bistek Tagalog Ingredients
Marinated Beef in soy sauce lemon
Marinated beef cooked in a wok
Marinated beef simmering with garlic

Bistek tagalog recipe (Filipino Beef Steak)

Bistek Tagalog Recipe or simply “Bistek” is not really a rip-off of the popular Western dish beef steak. It is prepared and cooked differently.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Beef, Bistek
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5 people
Calories 228kcal
Cost $10


  • 1 lb Beef or Pork sirloin thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 lemon or 3 pieces calamansi
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 large onion sliced into rings
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • salt to taste


  • Marinate Beef or Pork in soy sauce, lemon (or calamansi), and ground black pepper for at least 1 hour
  • Heat the cooking oil in a pan then stir-fry the onion rings until the texture becomes soft.
  • Set aside
  • In the same pan where the onions were fried, fry the marinated Beef or Pork (without the marinade) until color turns brown. Set aside
  • Put-in the garlic then saute for a few minutes
  • Pour the marinade and bring to a boil.
  • Put in the fried beef and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until meat is tender.
  • Add water as needed.
  • Add the stir-fried onions and some salt to taste.

Beef for stir-frying is perfect:

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There are other bistek versions wherein they add fried chopped garlic on top of the cooked Bistek.

Undercooked onion rings are also used as a garnish to bistek, and the crunchy texture adds depth of flavor.

To thicken the sauce of the bistek, just let the sauce reduced in the pan uncovered.

Bistek Tagalog Recipe is also best eaten with hot steamed rice or Sinangag and can last up to 2 to 3 days inside the chiller.


Also try out this stir-fry Filipino Lo Mein Beef Broccoli Recipe

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.