Bistek Tagalog Recipe Pinoy Food Guide

Bistek Tagalog (Pinoy Beef Steak) Recipe

Bistek is one of the dishes here in the Philippines where I can say that is somewhat of a signature. If you’re a Filipino and you hear the word beef steak, you automatically think of the Filipino dish called the Bistek Tagalog.

I’m sure your mouth is probably starting to water as you think about it, as you know that you’ve eaten it countless times since you were a child. 

So here is our recipe for the famous Bistek! Read the article below to see some tips and some other alternative methods you can utilize for this savory dish.

What is Bistek Tagalog?

The Bistek or the Filipino beef steak is a dish made out of beef, usually sirloin, that is marinated using citrus juice such as lemon or calamansi, onions, garlic, soy sauce, and salt and pepper.

This combines salty and savory flavors in one dish that is perfect to partner with fried rice or even just a plain steamed rice. This is a popular dish all over the country and you can see it being sold in small canteens and luxury restaurants alike. 

How to Cook Bistek Tagalog?

This recipe of cooking the bistek is as easy and straightforward as it can get! If you’re still a beginner and is still exploring to make new and exciting dishes for your family or your friends, this is perfect for you.

To make things simpler and streamlined, we are going to break down the process of cooking this in three parts: First, you need to prepare all the ingredients, next is to marinate the beef, and then the last part is to cook it through frying and then boiling. Easy as that.

When marinating the beef, it is better if you can do it for a longer period of time–but only to a certain extent. So the best time to prepare this is about 1 to 3 hours before cooking. This is the recommended amount of time as the beef will absorb all the flavors of the marinade within this time frame.

Bistek Tagalog Tips:

  • For the beef meat, there are ready-made cuts in the market which you can find such as sirloin or top round, so these two are recommended for this recipe. But other types of meat such as beef chuck will do good for the dish as well.
  • Just be sure to cut them evenly so they can be easily cooked without having any problems.
  • When buying the meat, you can tell the butcher at the market to cut the beef across the grain, to avoid the tough parts and stringy parts.
  • Tenderizing the meat before cooking is a helpful way to get rid of the hardness of the meat but simply cooking the meat slowly will still give it a soft and chewy texture.
  • A good tip while cooking is to just use one pan for all of the process for all of the flavors to blend together well. It is a nice thing to note that pan frying the beef before proceeding to boiling and simmering gives the beef time to release some juices and add more flavor and texture.
  • For an improved overall flavor of the beef steak or bistek when cooking, a good idea is to reserve the excess liquid from the marinade and use it for boiling the beef meat.
  • This will bring out more character to the dish as the liquid is loaded with flavor that will mix well into the beef as it tenderizes.
  • You can also use pork meat, check out our recipe: Pork Steak.

For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:

Bistek Tagalog Recipe Pinoy Food Guide
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Bistek Tagalog (Pinoy Beef Steak) Recipe

A unique Filipino variation on the beef steak.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Marinating Time1 hr
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: Beef
Servings: 6
Calories: 340kcal


  • Cooking Pan


  • 1 kg beef sirloin, cut into thin slices
  • 1 pc onion, cut into rings
  • 1 pc onion, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 4 pcs lemon calamansi, or 1 pc lemon
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • In a mixing bowl, place the beef and then add in the lemon, soy sauce, chopped onions, and season with pepper. Mix and massage the ingredients into the beef until well-incorporated.
  • Marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • In a cooking pan, pour in and heat oil over medium to high heat.
  • Add in the minced garlic, and onion rings. Saute, making sure that the onion rings are evenly cooked, until soft and aromatic. Set aside.
  • Remove and reserve excess liquid from the marinade and then add in the beef. Cook until lightly browned.
  • Pour in the water and the reserved marinade and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer for 30 to 50 minutes or until the beef is tender and the liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Transfer to a serving tray or serving plate and add back in the onion rings. Serve and enjoy!


Don't forget to check out more information like cooking tips, suggestions, and notes on the sections above in case you jumped to this recipe.


Nutrition Facts
Bistek Tagalog (Pinoy Beef Steak) Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 340 Calories from Fat 95
% Daily Value*
Fat 10.5g16%
Saturated Fat 3.9g24%
Cholesterol 149mg50%
Sodium 714mg31%
Potassium 781mg22%
Carbohydrates 6.8g2%
Fiber 1.3g5%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 52.1g104%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 32mg178%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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