Quick Filipino-Style Rib-Eye Steaks (Bistek Tagalog)

  • Serves

    serves 4

  • Cook

    45 minutes


By SAVEUR Editors

Published on March 27, 2019

Traditionally, this Filipino-inspired marinade would be made using calamansi, a sour citrus fruit that's popular in the country's cooking but tricky to find fresh in the U.S. While bottled juice is available online, fresh lemon juice is a tasty substitute. Wok-Braised Water Spinach with Garlic and Chiles makes a simple but delicious accompaniment. This recipe is adapted from Nicole Ponseca and Michael Trinidad's book, I Am a Filipino and This Is How We Cook.

What You Will Need


  • ¼ cups fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • ¼ cups low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. dark brown sugar, divided
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 well-marbled, boneless rib-eye steaks, about 1-in. thick (about 1 lb. total)
  • 1 small white onion, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Thinly sliced scallions, for serving (optional)
  • Steamed white rice, for serving


Step 1

Make the marinade: In a medium bowl, stir together the lemon juice, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, garlic, and ¼ cup water until the sugar has dissolved.

Step 2

Place the steaks between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat tenderizer to pound them into even ½-inch cutlets. Cut the steaks into 3-inch-wide strips and transfer to the bowl with the marinade. Add the onion, toss well to coat, and set the mixture aside to marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. (Alternatively, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.)

Step 3

When you are ready to cook the steaks, set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the oil shimmers, add the onions and cook just until they begin to soften without browning or losing their shape, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Reserving the marinade in the bowl, add the strips of steak to the skillet in a single layer, working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the skillet. Cook, turning once, until the meat is evenly browned, 3–4 minutes per side. Transfer to the plate with the onions. Add the reserved marinade to the skillet and stir well, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is slightly reduced, 1–2 minutes.

Step 4

Remove the skillet from the heat. Whisk in the butter and remaining 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Transfer the strips of steak to a serving platter or divide between 4 individual plates. Drizzle with the sauce, and top with the onions and scallions (if using). Serve with lemon wedges and rice.

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