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Bistek Tagalog (Filipino Beef Steak) in a white bowl with onions.

Bistek Tagalog (Filipino Beef Steak)

A recipe for Bistek Tagalog (Filipino Beef Steak)! Thin slices of beef are marinated in a soy sauce calamansi mixture, pan-fried, and topped with onions.
Course Main
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword beef, bistek, Filipino, meat, onion, Philippines
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time: 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 35 minutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) fresh calamansi juice
  • 1 large onion half thinly sliced, half cut into thick rings
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound (450 grams) beef sirloin cut into thin, 3 inch (7.5 centimeter) wide pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, calamansi juice, thinly sliced onion pieces, garlic, and pepper.
  • Pound the sliced beef sirloin on each side and add to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  • In a large pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the onion rings and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Remove the beef from marinade and add to pan in a single layer, in batches if needed. Cook until browned, about 1 minute, and flip to cook the other side for another minute until just golden. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining beef, adding more oil if needed.
  • Remove the sliced onions from the marinade and cook in the pan, stirring often, until softened.
  • Pour the marinade into the pan, add the water, and bring to a simmer. Add the beef and cook until tender and the sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve immediately topped with the softened onion rings.