Filipino Beef Steak or Bistek

"I am posting this here so I don't lose it! This is the first time I got this right - at least the way my MIL and her family makes it. (Note the measurements are still altered by taste: too sour, more soysauce; too salty, more calamansi juice). If you don't have calamansi (a native small lemon that's sweet and sour at the same time), you can try using meyer lemons. Typically my inlaws use london broil, but you can use any cut. One of the methods used to tenderize the tough cut (yet cheap) cut of meat is to pound it. Another hint on handling the meat: Before you slice it, stick it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes so that it is easier to slice thinly."
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Ready In:
1hr 5mins




  • In a nonreactive bowl (non-metal), mix kalamansi juice, soy sauce, and garlic. Taste it, if it's too sour, add soy sauce; if it's too salty, add more juice. Balance out the flavors. Remember you can also adjust near the end of cooking the beef.
  • Cut up the beef into about 1/4" strips. Pound it with a meat tenderizer (optional).
  • Season the meat with gound pepper. Add meat to soy sauce mixture and stir to let it soak up the marinade evenly. Let sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat a (non-reactive) skillet. Add one tablespoon of oil. Stir fry the onion rings until translucent and a tiny bit brown on the edges but still with a bit of a crunch. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat one tablespoon of oil. Pan-fry the beef working in batches, remove after browning on both sides. When all the beef has been browned, pour the marinade into the skillet and bring to a slow boil and simmer for a few minutes or until cooked through. Adjust the sauce with more soy sauce or juice, or some water, to suit your taste. After adding soy sauce always let it cook a little.
  • Slide the beef slices onto a serving plate, arrange the onion rings on top. Make sure to pour all the rest of the cooking liquid on top (this is great on rice).
  • The leftovers freeze well.

Questions & Replies

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  1. its way too sour
  2. It was good, but it was too sour. I think that 8 tbsp of lemon was too strong. I would reduce it to 3 or 4 tablespoons, and keep everything else the same. 4 stars.
  3. I've been loving this recipe since I had my 1st daughter...this is the only solid food i could swallow during my first 4 months of pregnancy
  4. Love this recipe so much! Don't forget your hard boiled egg! It tastes amazing with the bistek sauce & of course gotta have the rice! mmmmyummm!!!! :)
  5. i dont like too sour too much lemonsito


I'm married with 2 young children. Like lots of other folks, after getting married, I finally started learning how to cook when we got tired of take-out food. Watching Foodnetwork taught me lots of skills as well as inspired me to try. I haven't followed the shows much nowadays, but years ago my favorite chefs on FoodNetwork were Giada DeLaurentis, Ina Garten, Bobby Flay, Alton Brown, and Paula Deen. I also watched 30 minute meals with Rachel Ray but never could make my meals in 30 minutes with her recipes! ;0) My pet peeves are when people refuse to try something different, or after they've had one bad experience with a certain ingredient or food then they will never want to taste anything related or with it. <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket">
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