Filipino Bistek Recipe

This is the Filipino version of steak. It uses a tender cut of beef (top or bottom round, sirloin or tenderloin) seasoned with a light sauce to keep the meat juicy. Here’s we’ll use kalamansi juice, a native citrus found in Southeast Asia, for flavor. Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 large onions, cut into rings
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
  • freshly-ground pepper
  • 1 lb beef round steak or beef sirloin or beef tenderloin, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 8 tablespoons kalamansi juice (native lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced

Cooking Directions

  1. Cut the beef into ¼” strips and pound with a meat tenderizer. In a large bowl combine soy sauce, garlic, kalamansi juice and stir. Season the strips of beef with ground pepper and add meat to the marinade for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat an aluminum or copper skillet over medium heat and add enough oil for cooking. Add onions and stir-fry until the edges are a bit brown. You’ll want to keep the onions crunchy so this shouldn’t take long. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, heat the remainder of the cooking oil and pan-fry the beef in batches, browning on both sides. Once you’ve browned each strip, combine all the beef and marinade into the skillet and bring to a slow boil. You may want to add more soy sauce, juice or water to taste. Simmer for a few minutes until cooked through.
  4. Serve the beef on a large serving plate, arranging the onion rings on top of the meat. Pour remainder of cooked marinade on top. Serve with rice.