February 18, 2006

beef steak with onions and squash side dish

Popularly known as beef steak or “bistek” as some would refer to it in Manila. This is comfort food Philippine-style. What’s interesting is, this dish is commonly eaten for breakfast with fried rice, eggs and tomatoes, but I guess the time of day to have it doesn’t matter at all. Breakfast back there often consists of rice with preferably some salty dish to go with it. Another popular example is rice with pan-fried spam and eggs. There’s also a much drier meat dish version, called tapa, which is very similar to beef jerky here. For the steak dish in the photo above, the beef, is very thinly sliced across the grain. For the marinade, calamansi or lemon juice, light soy sauce, ground black pepper and a little worcestershire sauce are combined together. The beef slices are browned in a little oil and piled up as they cook in a serving platter and kept warm. Sliced white or yellow onions are stir fried briefly in the same pan. As the onions start to caramelize, a little sugar is sprinkled to sweeten them up, except when using vidalla onions, since these variety are already naturally sweet. The caramelized onions are then transferred to the serving platter with the meat. The dish may be served just like this, garnished with finely sliced green onions. However, if a saucier dish is preferred, return the meat to the pan, add some water, then simmer for a few minutes more. A very flavorful dish which is best served with some vegetable side dish. I decided to make this vegetarian side dish with squash & green beans combination. I tried using butternut squash this time, I tend to buy acorn, but I discovered that the butternut variety is even better, with a deeper yellow color and much easier to peel. Add the cubed squash and cut green beans to some sauteed onions in pan. Then add some coconut milk when the veggies are half-cooked, and simmer until fully cooked.


  1. My version of the beef steak is stir-fry beef. I use beef sukiyaki style. This is sliced really very thin. I then cut it into 1-inch strips, marinade it the way you do but I add a tsp of sugar to sweeten it. Then stir-fry in oil. We like it saucier so I add a little water. The squash & green beanscombination is a perfect side dish. I use stringbeans which are always available here in the Phils.

  2. I agree, the thinner the beef slices, the better. I like sitaw also, has much more flavor than regular green beans. Thanks!