Bistek Tagalog

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.

Bistek Tagalog
Photo: Brie Passano
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs


  • cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (see Tip)

  • ¼ cup calamansi juice (or 4 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon orange juice)

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pound beef sirloin or top round, thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup olive oil or canola oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced

  • 1 cup water

  • Ground pepper to taste


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 (per serving)

315 Calories
18g Fat
10g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size generous ½ cup
Calories 315
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 30g 60%
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Vitamin A 9IU 0%
Sodium 945mg 41%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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