Filipino Bistek

Monday, March 6th 2023

Bistek, also known as Beefsteak Filipino style, is a popular Filipino dish that is believed to have been influenced by Spanish cuisine. The name "bistek" is derived from the Spanish word "bistec", which means steak.

The dish is typically made with thin slices of beef that are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi juice (a citrus fruit native to the Philippines), and other seasonings. The meat is then pan-fried and topped with caramelized onions.

While the dish has Spanish origins, it has become a beloved Filipino comfort food and is a staple in many households and restaurants in the Philippines. It is often served with rice and sometimes with a fried egg on top.

In the Philippines, bistek is usually made with beef, but it can also be made with other meats such as pork or chicken. It is a simple and flavorful dish that showcases the blend of Spanish and Filipino influences in Philippine cuisine.

Regional Variations

Bistek is a popular Filipino dish that is enjoyed in many regions of the Philippines. While the basic recipe is the same, there are variations in the preparation and ingredients used in different regions of the country. Here are some examples of regional varieties of Bistek:

  1. Tagalog-style Bistek: This is the most common and traditional way of preparing Bistek in the Philippines. It is made with thin slices of beef, marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi juice, and sometimes vinegar, and pan-fried until browned. Caramelized onions are then added to the pan and cooked until they are golden brown and tender.

  2. Bicol-style Bistek: In the Bicol region, Bistek is prepared with a spicy twist. The meat is marinated in soy sauce and calamansi juice, but with the addition of chili peppers for extra heat. The onions are cooked with a generous amount of chili peppers, making the dish fiery and flavorful.

  3. Batangas-style Bistek: In the Batangas province, Bistek is prepared with a unique twist. The dish uses beef that is cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi juice, and beef broth. The meat is then cooked until tender and served with a sauce made from the pan juices and caramelized onions.

  4. Ilocano-style Bistek: In the Ilocos region, Bistek is made using a different type of meat called "bagnet", which is deep-fried pork belly. The meat is then simmered in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, onions, garlic, and peppercorns until the flavors are well-incorporated.

  5. Visayan-style Bistek: In the Visayas region, Bistek is made with a slightly different marinade that includes garlic and ginger. The dish is cooked with onions until caramelized and tender.

Overall, Bistek is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit different regional tastes and preferences. The combination of tangy and savory flavors makes it a favorite among Filipinos and a must-try for visitors to the Philippines.