Filipino Bistek (Or Beefsteak) My Way

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READY IN: 50mins
Recipe by mlao77

I noticed a few other Filipino Bistek recipes on here and while I haven't tried any of them, they weren't very close to the way I've always prepared it. I've made it the way my own mother made it since I was little (don't we all try to?). She used flank steak, a little on the pricier end, but so much more tender and moist than an eye of round and similar cuts. While some mothers sliced their meat on the thicker side, my mom would semi-freeze the flank steak and slice the meat across the grain, into roughly 3 inch pieces. She also never used more than a tiny squeeze of the calamansi/lemon so the acidity was never apparent in the finished dish, so feel free to omit it here (I usually do). When I think about those dinners as a kid, I remember a peppery, tender and onion-rich meal. To complete the dish, serve it over a bed of hot, steamy white rice. I hope you enjoy this simple, yet yummy memory from my childhood!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 12-2 lbs flank steaks, semi-frozen, cut across the grain into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, more if preferred
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 12 cup dark mushroom soy sauce
  • 14 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon calamansi juice (optional)
  • 3 large yellow onions, sliced


  1. 1. Season flank steak pieces on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. 2. Heat vegetable oil in large nonstick saucepan on medium-high heat. Add crushed garlic cloves to brown lightly and flavor the oil.
  3. 3. Add steak pieces to hot pan, layering only when necessary.
  4. 4. Add soy sauce and water to pan. Bring to a low boil. Lower heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 30 minutes, flipping over steak pieces halfway.
  5. 5. Remove lid and spread onion slices evenly over steak pieces (it will look like a lot of onions, but they will shrink and release their water into your sauce). Cover with lid for 10 minutes over medium-low heat.
  6. 6. Remove lid and gently toss onions and meat in sauce. Onions are done if they become tender, but not wilted. If sauce is too thin for your liking, leave the lid off for about 10 minutes while the steam evaporates and thickens the sauce. Serve steak and onions with sauce over a bed of hot, white rice and enjoy!

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