Beef tapa is a type of cured meat of thin slices of tender beef. A popular breakfast that is usually served with a sunny-side up egg and fried rice. This trio is then known as ‘Tapsilog’, that is short for Tapa, Sinangag (fried rice), Itlog (egg).
It is not hard to make and ingredients are rather simple. You can do it in advance and store in the fridge for next day breakfast or make more and freeze them after curing so you can enjoy them for some days or weeks to come. I would suggest making several packs so you only thaw and cook what you need.
The tender cut of beef, like sirloin, is usually used to make Beef Tapa as it involved frying. However, sometimes, you cannot be so sure how tender the meat you get until you cook it. I read somewhere that adding a bit of baking soda to the meat will make it more tender. But just to make sure, I also pound my meat and it really helps.
You may also just marinade it for at least 6 hours but I find that curing it overnight brings out a certain tanginess that is usually associated with tapa. And that is exactly how I prefer it, tangy with some hint of sweetness. Serve it with spicy vinegar and I am sure nothing wakes up the senses better than this!
Beef Tapa Recipe
- 1/2 pounds beef sirloin - - cut into thin slices
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice - or calamansi juice
- 1 tablespoon garlic - - finely minced
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda - (optional)
- oil - - for frying
- Using a mallet or any blunt object, pound each cut of meat until meat is flattened to about a quarter inch thick.
- Place the beef into a bowl and sprinkle with the baking soda. Mix until well blended.
- Add lemon juice and mix again several times. Then add the rest of the ingredients.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate beef in the fridge overnight.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan or skillet. Fry each side of the meat for 3-5 minutes or until browned and the liquids are absorbed. Add more oil as needed.
- Serve with sunny-side-up egg and garlic fried rice while still hot.