We’ve Reinvented a Beloved Classic with our Angus Bistek Tagalog

February 18, 2019

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that zing (from calamansi). At least that’s what our grandparents used to say about Bistek Tagalog. There has to be balance between the zing of the calamansi, the nutty strength of the black pepper, the soy, and the beefy flavor.

Bistek Tagalog2

Some households use caramelized onions, others use glazed, some people use white onions, others prefer red, and carinderias just top the beef with raw rings of onion. Whatever your preference is, this version should have your balikbayan visitors showering you with compliments this Holiday season. Or Benjamins.


Not to be confused with the Mexican “Bistek” used in tacos,  the Filipino Bistek can be dry, saucy, thin, fatty, or something else entirely. It’s up to you. There are as many versions as there are home cooks. And that’s the beauty of it. Different renditions, new evolutions, come to be all the time, but still retaining and respecting the base flavours and ingredients. Saying that classics shouldn’t be re-invented would be the  equivalent of saying the Blues stop at acoustic delta, and we’d have no jazz, no electric, no rock.

Bis-Steak Tagalog

Total Time: 40 minutes | Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients for the Sauce

  • 2 pcs or 80g Red Onions, quartered, skin-on
  • 4 tsps or 20ml Cooking Oil
  • 8 pcs or 1g Black Peppercorns
  • 3pcs of 60g Beef Bones
  • ¼ cup or 60ml Soy Sauce (not Kikkoman, it doesn’t work)
  • 6 pcs of Calamansi, juiced, strained
  • Water, as needed

Ingredients for the Crispy Onion Rings

  • 1 small or 40g Red Onion, sliced into rings
  • ¼ cup or 60ml Light Tempura Batter (see previous recipe on this)
  • Salt and Pepper

Ingredients for the Shallots

  • 6 pieces Shallots, peeled whole
  • ¼ tsp or 1g White Sugar
  • S & P
  • ¼ cup or 60ml Water

Ingredients for the Bistek

  • 3 x 150g US Certified Angus Beef Chuck Bistro Fillets
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsps or 30ml Cooking Oil

Other Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp or 3g Chives, trimmed


  1. For the Sauce, char the onion quarters (with skin-on) in a pan with the oil over medium-high heat until they’re almost black. Add the beef bones. Add Water, then the remaining ingredients and reduce to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and adjust taste with salt and pepper if necessary.
  2. Make the same batter you used for the Maruya. Coat the onion rings and deep fry, strain and season while hot. Set aside.
  3. In a pan over medium high heat, toss in the shallots and its accompanying ingredients. Cook until the shallots are cooked and glistening in the seasoned syrup. This is called “glazing.”
  4. In a heavy skillet over very high heat, sear the sides of the steaks until browned, for 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Season, then set aside to rest, as the liquid inside are still boiling like mad.
  5. In the same pan, throw in the chives to sear. Arrange as shown, served with Bugas Mais from Cebu.
1 comments in this post SHOW

One response to “We’ve Reinvented a Beloved Classic with our Angus Bistek Tagalog”

  1. Norchel Corcia Gomez says:

    WOW at the plating! O_________O

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