Bistek, or more commonly known in the Philippines as “Bistek Tagalog”, is a cherished dish that’s deeply rooted in the country’s history, having been influenced by its Spanish colonizers. This Filipino Beef Steak is often likened to the Western version of beef steak but with a distinctly Filipino twist, primarily due to its marinated sauce. Bistec, which originates from Spain, has been Filipinized over the years, taking on flavors and ingredients unique to the region. The simplicity of the dish belies the depth of flavors that one experiences with every bite.

In the Philippines, many families have their own special recipe or version of the Bistek. What sets each personal Bistek recipe apart is the choice of meat cuts, marinade proportions, and additional toppings that give it its unique taste and appearance. For instance, some may prefer using sirloin or tenderloin cuts for their Bistek, while others might opt for a more traditional flank or skirt steak. Moreover, while the conventional Bistek dish focuses on the combination of citrus, usually calamansi, and soy sauce for its marinade, other variations might introduce ingredients like pineapple juice, star anise, or even a splash of coconut vinegar.

My personal Bistek recipe, as mentioned earlier, leans towards an innovative approach by integrating bell peppers and jalapeño. I believe that the red and green bell peppers not only add a vibrant color to the dish but also enhance its flavor profile, complementing the savory taste of the marinated beef. The addition of jalapeño peppers provides a hint of heat, which contrasts beautifully with the sweet and tangy marinade. This Filipino Beef Steak adaptation showcases the flexibility of the dish, proving that while tradition is essential, there’s always room for personal touches and innovations in the culinary world.  🙂

Ingredients: 3-4 servings

1 lb. thinly sliced beef sirloin or prime rib
1/2 sliced red bell peppers
1/2 sliced green bell peppers
¼ cup of soy sauce
1 whole medium lemon or lime
4 cloves of crushed garlic
1 whole sliced red onions(white is okay)
3 tbsp. cooking oil
1 cup water
1 tsp ground pepper
Salt to taste

Cooking Procedure:

  1. Immerge sliced prime rib or beef tenderloin into soy sauce, ground pepper and squeezed lime or lemon juice. Marinate for at least 30-45 minutes. Heat oil onto a deep saucepan, stir fry sliced round red onions for 3 minutes until they soften and separate into singles. Set aside.
  2. Using the same pan, sauté chopped garlic and add the marinated beef steak without the sauce. Stir to combine, let the beef cook for at least 15-25 minutes, while stirring occasionally, until they are slightly browned.
  3. Apply marinated sauce onto the browned beef, add water and bring it in to boil. Let it simmer for slightly 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add the stir-fried, sliced onions, sprinkle some salt or add more soy sauce and crushed black peppers, if desired. Apply sliced bell peppers and jalapeno. You can also add more sliced onions, if you wish.
  5. Simmer for another 3-5 minutes until bell pepper and jalapeno are fairly cooked, and beef is fork tender. If you used prime rib meat, it should not take long, since meat is already tender.
  6. Remove from heat. Enjoy this best tasting, deliciously-flavored, Filipino Beef Steak (Bistek) or marinated beef steak with steamed rice.

Tip: For spicy pepper lovers, you can add 2 medium chopped jalapeño peppers to it. Remove the seeds to mellow down the fiery taste, or leave them if you prefer it spicier!

Beef steak was marinated in lime, soy sauce and spices for at leat 40 minutes prior to cooking. Jalapeno was also used as an alternative to green bell pepper for spicier flavoring.