Homemade Beef Tapa Pinoy Food Guide

Homemade Beef Tapa Recipe

Instead of buying this meal outside, in carinderias or in your nearest local restaurants, why not make this scrumptious Beef Tapa at home?

It will taste more delicious and it will be more rewarding since, after all, who cooks their own meal and is not impressed by its taste anyway? All kidding aside, this recipe is sure to help you make a super yummy beef tapa and will help impress your family or your friends.

Continue to read the article below to see some tips and some trivia about this popular dish.

What is Beef Tapa?

Beef tapa is a type of viand which involves marinating the meat usually in soy sauce, lemon (or calamansi) juice, sugar, plus other common spices and seasonings such as salt and pepper.

Traditionally, the process involves curing the meat and then drying it afterwards, and some other methods also include smoking it. But nowadays, the modern way of making the beef tapa is by curing it and skipping the drying part.


The beef tapa is well known for being a part of the all-star breakfast combo–the Tapsilog. Tapsilog is actually a combination of three words, which are the three ingredients or three types of food that makes up the meal–tapa, sinangag, itlog, which means beef tapa, fried rice, and egg.

You can find this meal almost everywhere, especially in local restaurants which serve breakfast meals and in carinderias.


How to Cook Beef Tapa?

Cooking the beef tapa can be quite a pressure since it is one of the most famous dishes here in the Philippines and everyone’s expecting that every beef tapa they taste is the absolute best. Don’t worry at all because this recipe is sure to be tasty and it is quite easy to grasp even for a beginner, so let’s get started.

To start the procedure of making the beef tapa, there are two major processes that you need to do. This will make it easier for you to visualize once you’re about to make it.

First, you have to mix the ingredients and make it into a marinade, we will soak the beef sirloin here and we will leave it there overnight.

Second process is, you have to cook the marinated beef. It is a pretty straightforward task of frying, so do not fret about it.

All you have to think about after cooking it is what to partner the beef tapa with! It is nice to eat with fried garlic rice so maybe you can do that too. And while you’re at it, complete your meal with some hot choco or coffee!

By the way, you can also make use of pork meat, try our pork tapa recipe!

Beef Tapa Tips:

  • To ensure that the meat is cooked inside and out, make sure that the slices of the beef are thin. This will make it easier for the heat to go through the insides of the meat and it will result in a much juicier and tender tapa.
  • Do not marinate the beef for more than a day because it might break down the meat in undesirable ways since some of the ingredients may be too acidic if left for more than the time recommended. So just give enough time in advance when you want to prepare and make a delicious beef tapa.

Notes on Ingredients


In case you do not have lemons available with you or you can’t find it anywhere near you, a good alternative for it is calamansi juice, just extract them until you get about 1/3 cup of juice.

However, in this recipe, we will be using another ingredient commonly used to add acidity to the tapa. We will be using vinegar, some may even find this more available than calamansi or lemon. It adds an interesting taste and texture to the beef so go ahead and try this as well.

This recipe also includes a video below. You can also visit our Youtube channel for more recipes!

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

Homemade Beef Tapa Pinoy Food Guide
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Homemade Beef Tapa Recipe

Homemade version of one of our favorite Pinoy breakfast meal
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Marinating Time12 hrs
Total Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: Beef, Breakfast
Servings: 6
Calories: 222kcal


  • Frying Pan


  • 600 g (1.3 lbs) beef sirloin, cut into thin strips
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp (2.33 g) black pepper
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) vinegar, (or lemon/ calamansi juice)
  • 1/2 cup water, for cooking
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil, for frying


  • In a large mixing bowl, add-in the beef strips.
  • Add-in the black pepper and the minced garlic.
  • Massage the ingredients into the beef and make sure it is evenly distributed.
  • Add-in the sugar, vinegar (or lemon/calamansi juice), and the soy sauce.
  • Mix the ingredients well and make sure the beef is completely soaked in the marinade.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to cook, heat up a frying pan.
  • When hot enough, add-in the marinated beef.
  • Pour-in the water and cover the pan for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and continue cooking until water is reduced.
  • Once water is about to dry, add-in the cooking oil and cooking until the beef is browned.
  • Remove from heat and serve with garlic rice and fried egg, 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
Homemade Beef Tapa Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 222 Calories from Fat 57
% Daily Value*
Fat 6.3g10%
Saturated Fat 2.4g15%
Cholesterol 89mg30%
Sodium 877mg38%
Potassium 472mg13%
Carbohydrates 7.6g3%
Fiber 0.3g1%
Sugar 4.5g5%
Protein 31.7g63%
Calcium 18mg2%
Iron 19mg106%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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