Bistek Tagalog by
Jenalyn Rose Forbes
Owner of Pagkaing Pinoy TV
Jen is a professional YouTuber whose channel, Pagkaing Pinoy TV, has racked up over 80 million views and over 500,000 subscribers. Filipinos at home and abroad, even non-Filipinos, watch her videos to learn how to make classics like Beef Salpicao or trending dishes like Sushi Bake.
Despite this level of success, Jen admits she has critics – her children. She says that her eldest, now 11 years old, stopped eating Filipino food when they first moved overseas. But she has begun to win him over. “Now he eats a lot of Filipino food. His favorite is the silog recipes. He likes leche flan,” Jen says proudly.
“Yesterday he tried to make lumpia,” she recounts. “He was asking me how to do this, how to do that. He messed up the kitchen but he was able to do it.”
Talking about her son’s kitchen adventures reminds Jen of her own childhood learning from her mother. “Since I was a kid, I’ve been curious about cooking,” she says. “My mom was a great cook – I still remember her serving us delicious food during parties and family gatherings or even when there’s no occasion.” It was her mom’s family-oriented approach to cooking that motivated Jen to share her knowledge with others as well. “I was inspired by her. I thought that I should do the same with other people. I can teach them how to cook and they can enjoy it with their families as well.”
“My mom was a great cook…
I was inspired by her.”
One of the recipes passed down from her mom is the Bistek Tagalog shared on this page. “[It’s] very traditional because that’s how I remember my mom cooking it,” she explains. Jen believes that when it comes to traditional recipes, you can adjust the flavor to your preferences but you have to respect the key ingredients. “With Bistek Tagalog you need to have the onions, they need to be sliced into rings. And the soy sauce, of course. So those things you have to stick on the traditional.”
Follow your own taste buds! Adjust the amounts of soy sauce or calamansi according to the bistek of your own childhood.
- 350g beef, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion
- 7 pcs calamansi
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- Marinate the beef in a deep mixing bowl with soy sauce and calamansi.
- Use a filter to separate the calamansi seed, it will make the beef taste bitter if you forget to do so.
- Set aside or put in the fridge for 1 hour to marinate. (do not freeze)
- After an hour, preheat a deep pan in medium fire and put the marinated beef with the sauce.
- Add 2 1/2 cups of water then cook for 20 minutes or until the beef becomes tender.
- Separate and set aside some of the water.
- Let it cook until the remaining water evaporates.
- Add some cooking oil and fry the beef.
- Put back the sauce and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Top it with onion rings.