In this savory Filipino beef-and-onion dish, bistek Tagalog (also simply called beef steak), calamansi juice tenderizes the beef and makes it more flavorful. The citrus fruit, a staple of Filipino and Southeast Asian cooking, is also called calamondin or Philippine lime and tastes like a very tart combination of lemon, lime and orange. Serve with steamed rice., January 2021


Credit: Brie Passano

Recipe Summary

30 mins
3 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine soy sauce, calamansi juice (or lemon and orange juices) and garlic in a medium bowl. Add beef and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1½ hours and up to 4 hours.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion to a bowl.

  • Remove the beef from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and add to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until no longer red, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved marinade and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by half, about 20 minutes more. Stir in the cooked onion and season with pepper to taste. Serve hot, over rice if desired.

To make ahead

Marinate beef (Step 1) for up to 4 hours.


People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients.

Nutrition Facts

generous ½ cup
315 calories; fat 18g; cholesterol 78mg; sodium 945mg; carbohydrates 10g; dietary fiber 1g; protein 30g; sugars 4g; niacin equivalents 7mg; saturated fat 3g; vitamin a iu 9IU.