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Filipino Bistek


  • Beef / Pork Steaks
  • Lemon / Calamansi, 1 medium size lemon / 3-4 small calamansi
  • Soy Sauce, 1/3 cup
  • Onion, 2 medium size
  • Black Pepper


  1. Chop the beef or pork into strips, and the onion into thick rings.
  2. Mix 1/3 cup of soy sauce with the juice of 1 lemon. Place the meat into the marinade, ensure the meat is completely covered by the marinade.
  3. Heat up a pan then add oil. Add half of the meat to the pan, browning both sides, then put aside.
  4. Add the remaining meat and marinade to the pan and cook, browning both sides.
  5. Combine all the meat and settled juices into the pan. Add chops onions, cover pan and simmer for 5 mins or until onions are cooked to your liking.
  6. Taste the sauce, season with pepper to taste. More lemon or calamansi juice can be added to your desired sourness.
  7. Serve on a bed of rice.

Tips and My Thoughts

Bistek, a really simple and fast meal to cook that is deliciously salty and sour. Typically viewed as a 'poor' peoples dish in the philippines due to the simplicity of the dish. Honestly, this is a great dish for those on a budget, and lasts for a week in the fridge for a quick meal to heat up when you get hungry. Can be cooked with either beef or pork but personally, I prefer pork- especially if it has a big chunk of fat.

The meat can be left to marinade in the fridge for 1-2 hours depending on how thick you cut the meat and if you have the time. You can also leave it for 5 minutes or less if you're in a rush and it tastes just as good. Leaving the meat to marinade longer only tenderizes the meat more- helpful if you only have access to a cheaper cut of meat.

Make sure to not let the sauce evaporate too much for this dish, as it goes great drizzled onto rice- which you'll absolutely love. I'd also recommend not over-cooking the onions as they are the only vegetable in this dish and you don't want them to disappear.