A true Filipino Beef Tapa is beef cured with salt and saltpeter, usually for a number of days and then dried to preserve without refrigeration. My version isn’t that, it is seasoned with similar flavors but without saltpeter and I preserve by freezing. So I have actually misled my children by calling this dish that they love, beef tapa.
This is a typical Filipino breakfast fare eaten with fried rice and vinegar-garlic dip. When prepared for lunch or dinner, I usually serve this with my homemade pickled green papaya or I make a green mango-cilantro salsa.
This dish is a perfect example of the Filipinos’ fondness for the salt-and-sweet taste on their food.
Here are what you need:
- 2 lb sirloin or London broil. Round is a cheaper substitute, it just needs to be cooked a bit longer but taste just as good. Slice the meat about 1/8 inch thick.
- 1 T sea salt
- 1/4 C brown sugar
- 2 T minced garlic
- 1 t ground pepper
- 2 T soy sauce
Put all the seasonings in a big bowl and using your hand, massage the meat into the mixture to ensure that each slice is properly seasoned. Store in the refrigerator for 24 hours, after which you can either cook and enjoy it right away or freeze it for later.
To cook, heat 2 T oil in a pan and add the meat. Water may be added especially if using a less tender cut of meat. Keep on turning the meat to cook evenly and avoid sticking to the pan. Remove the meat from the pan. (Try to fry the rice on the beef pan for a tasty tapa fried rice.)
I usually make a big batch of this and portion in quart size plastic freezer bags. This is one of my standbys for visiting family members.