How to Cook Homemade Filipino Beef Tapa

Beef Tapa is a delicious type of cured meat made from thin, tender slices. Its most popular combination – the Tapsilog – consists of fried rice, an egg (sunny-side up), and beef tapa itself. To make it in the traditional way there were two steps involved: curing and drying the meat; yet now modern recipes tend to omit the second step due to its time-consuming nature by only preserving it through curing.

Also Read: Pork Crispy Pata Recipe

The beloved beef tapa is often showcased in the traditional Tapsilog meal. This combination of flavors can be broken down into three words–tapa, sinangag, and itlog–which stand for beef tapa, fried rice and egg respectively. One can find this delicious dish at almost any eatery that serves breakfast or carenderias around town! Beef Tapa, which bears a resemblance to “Beef Jerky”, is a dried and cured form of meat.

Typically the process requires one to cure the beef with sea salt then allow it dry in direct sunlight for preservation purposes. Nowadays however, commercialized versions are often just cured but no longer do they undergo sun drying as well. Accompanying its signature taste, you can best enjoy this savory treat by frying them up before drizzling some vinegar on top!

Making these is a cinch, and the ingredients are effortless to find. What’s more? You can make them in advance and store in your fridge for your next morning meal or make extra packs of it so you can freeze them after curing; that way, you’ll be able to savor its deliciousness for multiple days – even weeks! It’d be wise to craft several batches at once so when hunger strikes, all you have to do is thaw what portion needs cooking.

To start the procedure of making the beef tapa, there are two major processes that you need to do. This will make it easier for you to visualize once you’re about to make it. First, you have to mix the ingredients and make it into a marinade, we will soak the beef sirloin here and we will leave it there overnight.

filipino homemade beef tapa recipe


  • Slice 600g (1.3 lbs) of beef sirloin into thin strips for a flavorful and delicious meal!
  • For this recipe, you will need one head of garlic that has been finely chopped.
  • Two tablespoons (25 grams) of sugar
  • 1 tsp (2.33 g) black pepper
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) vinegar, (or lemon/ calamansi juice)
  • To bring out the flavors of your meal, add a 1/2 cup of water during cooking.
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil, for frying
  • 4 tablespoons of Fish sauce

Marinade Ingredients

  • Fish sauce is the key to boosting any dish with a robust, salty umami flavor that will tantalize your taste buds.
  • Brown sugar not only adds an extra layer of sweetness to your dish but also aids in caramelization, making it the perfect ingredient for countless recipes.
  • To enhance your culinary creations, adding fresh minced garlic is ideal; although if you find yourself in a pinch, utilizing garlic powder will suffice.
  • Ground black pepper adds a hint of zest and intensity to any dish.

Steps in Marinating your Beef Tapa

  1. Pound each cut of meat with a mallet or any other blunt object until it is flattened to about one-fourth inch in thickness.
  2. Carefully place the beef into a bowl, and evenly sprinkle with baking soda. Thoroughly mix until everything is thoroughly blended together.
  3. Incorporate lemon juice and stir until completely mixed. Afterwards, add the remaining components to the mixture.
  4. Securely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the beef to marinate in the refrigerator overnight for maximum flavor.
  5. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan or skillet and begin sautéing your meat. Once both sides have been cooked for 3-5 minutes until they turn golden brown, the liquids should be absorbed. If you need more oil to achieve this result, don’t hesitate to add an extra spoonful!
  6. For the ultimate in flavor, enjoy this dish with a sunny-side-up egg and freshly fried garlic rice – best served hot.

filipino beef tapa recipe

How to Serve Your Beef Tapa

  • TAPSILOG – Treat yourself to a mouthwatering all-day breakfast of succulent beef tapa, crispy garlic fried rice and sunny side up eggs. Dip it in spiced vinegar for an added kick or indulge with atchara as the perfect sweet and tangy accompaniment.
  • Enjoy your cooked tapa for up to three days when stored in the refrigerator.
  • If you’d like to savor the deliciousness of freshly prepared meat at a later date, place it in an airtight container or resealable bag and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. That way, your mouth-watering cravings can be satisfied whenever they arise!


  • Before you add any raw meat, make sure to sample the marinade first.
  • For a succulent, tender tapa, we recommend that you cut the beef into thin slices so that the heat can penetrate throughout. This will guarantee an even cooking and result in mouthwatering meat!
  • For this recipe, calamansi juice is preferred but other zesty agents such as lemon juice, vinegar, pickle juice or wine may be substituted for a delectable alternative.
  • To ensure the best results and a delicious beef tapa, do not marinate the beef for longer than one day. Prolonging the process any more can result in an undesirable taste due to some of the ingredients being overly acidic. Give yourself enough time before you plan on serving by limiting the marination time accordingly!
  • Succulent sirloin requires just a few minutes of pan-frying for an ideal texture. If switching to tougher cuts such as bottom round, add one cup of water initially and allow it to softly simmer until tender before finishing off in oil to crisp up the exterior and achieve a golden hue.
  • To ensure the perfect sear and a succulent texture, avoid overcrowding your pan. Otherwise, they will be overcooked due to steaming, resulting in dryness and chewiness that nobody wants!
  • By blending the marinade, you’ll create a unified mix that the meat can absorb more efficiently. And, not to mention – no need to fret about burning those garlic pieces!
  • Baking soda also helps tenderize the beef for your tapa.
  • The best way to separate the beef from its marinade is with a cooking tong. Simply use the tong to pick up each piece and drop it directly into your hot pan!
  • If you’re feeling daring, why not try something different? Carabao meat, Deer’s meat, Wild boar’s meat and horse’s meat offer an exciting way to add variety to your meals.

homemade beef tapa recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the optimal way to make beef tapa tender and succulent?

Begin by slicing the meat into thin strips, going in the opposite direction of its grain. Then cook it over high heat to ensure it stays tender and juicy. Marinade with a bit of acidon will help further tenderize tougher cuts as well – you can also try pounding them gently for extra softness!

2. What is the best way to retain beef’s juicy, tender texture?

When selecting beef, look for cuts with plenty of marbling – those thin lines of fat interspersed between the muscles. This fat melts during cooking to create a juicy and full-flavored piece of meat. Marinating prior to cooking is an effective way to ensure that your beef does not dry out. Be sure that you do not overcook it either – this will only make it more likely to become tough and chewy.

3. Is it possible to freeze beef tapa for future use or consumption?

Maximize the freshness of your beef by freezing it in a marinade! Thaw overnight in the fridge, and then cook to perfection following simple instructions.

4. What offers the perfect combination to create an exquisite tapa?

When it comes to the perfect tapa, using the right cut of beef is key. Slice against the grain and marinate for optimal flavor without compromising texture. Then quickly sear over high heat to seal in moisture while ensuring that your dish stays succulent and moist instead of dried out or overcooked.

5. What factors result in beef that is tough and chewy?

Making sure you select the proper cut of beef for your recipe is essential to ensure succulent and tender results. Some cuts are tougher than others, so it is imperative that you choose wisely based on what meal you plan to make and always slice against the grain. Doing this will help avoid a rubbery finished dish!


Prepare this recipe to sharpen your cooking and food preparation abilities, all while saving money! You never know – you might even find a lucrative business opportunity in the process. With a little bit of creativity and some practice, anyone can learn how to make homemade beef tapa. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy the delightful results with friends and family alike! Bon appétit!

Happy cooking! By following these simple steps and tips, you’re on your way to creating a delicious and juicy beef tapa. Not to mention, you can customize the marinade according to your taste and preferences.