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October 26, 2008


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Haha. Well, in Vietnamese it's "bit tet." Which if you say it with an accent sounds like "beef steak."

Normally I would have picked the Filipino Bistek by default, but eating a bit more beef in the States recently has reinforced my love for it. So, to summarize: as long as the latter is sliced thinly, bring it awwn.
Here in the household we use pork tenderloin instead of beef since there are some people here who don't eat beef (sigh). But I think it's still a very good dish. Gotta love those soft, beef-y, salty and sweet onions.
I think even bistec is etymologically derived from "beef steak." If it were otherwise, that would be a pretty uncanny coincidence!

Those tacos look delicious. The recipe totally seems connected carne asada. I love to see how recipes travel the globe.

I wish there were fresh calamansis over here -lemon is never the same. Those bistek tacos sound great...never thought of grilling them - thanks for the idea!

that bistek sounds good and easy (not to mention, it sounds goofy. hehehe)! since i don't know what to make for dinner... and i'm getting close to it, too. YIKES! i think, i'll try that. thanks!

have an awesome week!

I try to avoid pan-frying in my condo, so your grilled version of bistek is a great idea! For a single portion, I can even do it in my oven toaster/grill.

Oh, man--just the sight of that bistec over rice brought back some strongly wonderful memories of my mom's cooking. I could even taste it. It looks great!

Bistek was actually the first Filipino dish I learned how to make. I don't know how I could have survived living on my own without it! But no matter how many times I've made it so far, I can never make it as good as my dad's.

Cheers! =D

Correct me if I'm wrong, but how is this different from Carnesada? The cooking method? Also can I use lime instead of the very hard to find kalamansi in Canada...

By the way, I LOVE your blog, I have it saved on my igoogle page, first thing I open after my emails and work websites.

This sounds great!

I like to take my time in the kitchen too, that's why I struggle with restaurant work and its fast pace.

Wow, looks so yummy! By any chance, did you use "Kal's" fruits for this go-round? :)

Hey this looks great! I'll have to try the taco. I've used hanger/skirt steak with great success as well. and you are absolutely right it's very easy to make this stuff.


That looks good. If you want more recipes or if you want to take a look at the collection of tips I have for grilling you can visit www.cookingandgrillinoutdoors.com

Haven't made bistek in a long, long time (last year), so this reminds me that I need to have it soon. However, I'm torn, because I love the bistek tacos too. That was inspired!

i really find the bistek taco very very innovative! Thanks marvin for always going beyond the usual and daring to share it even! That inspires me a lot!

man, it's lunchtime here and i'm looking at your bistek..salavating like a mad dog! . how come my bistek doesn't look as yummy as yours?? LOL...

This looks wonderful and is making me hungry. My husband will love both of these dishes.

that calamansi juice is tasty in just about anything! i've found the juice in small packs in the freezer section of my Asian market and some vendors sell the fruit-laden trees in farmers markets here. I think meyer lemons are a wonderful, fragrant substitute for those who can't find calamansi.

I haven't been to your blog lately and looks like I've been missing on a lot. Filipino steak looks yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

That's awesome! I had no idea that bistek was so easy to make. I have a lot of calamansi leftover since I made a calamansi limoncello, so I think I'm going to make some bistek tonight.

wow! your bistek looks so good. I like it to have more soy sauce but with a good balance of kalamansi juice. For bistek - it just has to be kalamansi juice and nothing less. Lemon juice just doesnt cut it. =) I checked your proportions and yes! thats what I was looking for. No wonder your version has that brown-ish color which would go so well with a steaming cup of rice and those onions. Yummy!

Bistek tacos - awesome idea! I wonder what bistek shawarma or gyros would taste like hmmm

oh when I cook bistek..i fry actually more like sear the beef first with little oil then set it aside. Then once all have been fried or seared i put the marinade into the pan so I can scrap off the drippings, let it simmer then put the beef and onions. This is when I have more time =) I guess when quick food is what we are looking for, putting everything in the pot is the best way

I thought it was "Bipstek"

Calamansi juice and soy? *Slapping my forehead* I had thought surely there must be more. This is one of my favorites at Magic Wok and dang...maybe I should make it myself if it's just calamansi juice and soy.

I've never heard of "bit tet", WC. But I wonder if there's any relation to bistek at all, or if it's just coincidence.

My grandmother doesn't eat beef either, Manggy, and I've always thought that was weird. But pork tenderloin "bistek" sounds like a fine idea!

Hi Erin. Yeah, it is a lot like carne asada-very flavorful and tender.

I agree, veron. Lemon is OK as a sub, but nothing compared to using actual calamansi juice.

thanks rita! I hope it turns out well for you.

Hi Socky! Yes, the grilled version is definitely condo-friendly. I try to avoid pan-frying too, even with a splatter guard, but sometimes I can't help myself so the cleanup is worth it.

Thanks julie. Bistec and rice are always a great combo.

Hello Dea. Thanks for visiting my blog. Very true, it seems that we can never duplicate the cooking of our parents and grandparents, but it doesn't hurt to try;)

Hi Bobby. Well, the first recipe I have is very different from carne asada in the cooking method (cooking in a pan vs. on a grill). The taco version is very similar, but the ingredients are different. Carne asada is usually marinated in lime juice and spices like cumin (usually no soy), whereas the bistek uses soy and kalamansi juice. And thanks for reading my blog.

Thanks brilynn. I can't imagine having to work in a restaurant--I'd get fired on the first day.

Hi Bagito. Actually, Kal is all tapped out as far as his fruits go, so I had to buy some kalamansi from the local Filipino market.

Thanks paoix, your version of bistek look awesome too.

Thanks outdoor griller.

Thanks js! I've gone much longer than a year without bistek, but now that I know how to make it, I'll be eating it more often for sure.

Thanks very much bernadette. All I was doing was just thinking of a different way to cook the meat than the normal way.

Hi Jescel, I'm sure your bistek looks just as good!

Thanks Fearless Kitchen! I hope your husban is as hungry as you are.

I've got to look for the frozen version of calamansi, pat. I haven't seen it yet, though I haven't looked too hard for it. It would probably be good just to have some on hand whenever I need it. And great tip about meyer lemons!

Thanks for coming back farida!

Calamansi limoncello, stkyrice? That sounds awesome. Is it anything like my calamansi vodka: http://burntlumpia.typepad.com/burnt_lumpia/2007/10/kalamansi-vodka.html

Ooooh, bistek shwarma and gyros?!! I might have to try that raissa! And yes, in my recipe I actually do sear the beef first, then scrape the drippings as you said.

Haha mikey. I guess "bipstek" is right if you are actually saying "beef steak" with an accent;) Thanks for stopping by.

Really, that's all it is elmo. Super duper easy.

The sauce in the first photo looks so rich and delicious, hard to believe it is simply citrus and soy. I have to try that. Maybe with chicken too? Oh, I like your onions on a skewer. I grill them all the time, can't believe I don't do that to keep them from falling into the grill. You are just full of good ideas Marvin.

I LOVE BISTEK...in fact, i have a plate in front of me :) Nothing like bistek to heal a broken heart...

arrrgggg... my notebook crashed... anyway, i know im late... but anywho, bourdain did do berlin! and the boba was in LA i think.
oh and i love, love bistek! actually im cooking it tomorrow for dinner... but i go the long way with mine, by sauteing garlic until brown then adding some of the onions then the beef and marinade. i dont notice any difference but i just like my food 'sangkutchado'. im just like you in the kitchen, im super slow... i can spend hours upon hours neglecting my crying baby who i left in the walker to roam free and to leave me be.

I've heard the "filipino corruption" story and I don't buy it as well. Spanish influence makes more sense.
I always remember this being really rubbery, cooked to death and greasy, so I'm liking your different takes on it.

hehe.. you have to admit, 'filipino corruption' is practically redundant.. =) i know, i'm sorry, i'm spewing things sad AND true all over lately.. maybe it'll motivate us to change a bit? hope springs eternal..

great bistek, dude! the last batch i made with thin sirloin slices was great but i must try your grilled deconstruction soon!

This looks delicious. I love the shot of the skewered onions.

Bistek tacos? You're definitely smarter than the average bear because that sounds heavenly! :)

I've been at my parents for the week and just revisited my bistek recipe since my parents got a couple bags of kalamansi from their friends. Since my mom likes the citrus flavor more, my marinade was 1 cup kalamansi juice and 3/4 soy sauce. (I had a lot of steak to work with.) I also add some minced garlic to the marinade. She said it reminded her of home.


Grilling the bistek is brilliant and I was thinking about the same thing while I was standing over the stove. And those bistek tacos look great.

The sauce is really good, Lori Lynn, and it is also really simple. Yeah, the skewers help a lot in turning the onions and keeping everything together, just make sure you slice the onions thick enough so that a skewer can go through them.

I hope your heart is healed by the bistek, Janice.

Hi ahnjel. I'm sure there's little, if any, difference at all between the way you cooked your bistek and the way I demonstrated. It all ends up tasty anyways.

Jude, Bistek can definitely get rubber if the beef is cooked too long in the marinade. That's why I sear it, then remove from the pan, and then only add the beef back when the sauce is pretty much finished.

Haha, greasemonkey. I hope the grilled version works out for you.

Thanks very much matt, though any pictures I take are nothing to what's on your site. Thanks for stopping by.

Hey, hey, hey pleasurepalate;)

Mmmm, garlic would definitely be good in the marinade Arnold. And yes, I should have mentioned that the marinade is very flexible depending on if you want more soy or kalamansi. Both of your versions look fantastic.

Just wanted to let you know that for Thanksgiving, I'm totally going to bite your style and grill some bistek. So this year, I guess I'm thankful that you wrote about it and inspired me!

Have a good Thanksgiving. :)

I don't mind at all that you try the grilled version, Arnold. I hope it turns out well.

Those tacos look amazing.

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