March 28, 2007
tapsilog ( beef, rice & egg dinner )
Marinated thinly sliced beef sirloin, poached eggs and steamed brown rice was a version I made for dinner of what we call "tapsilog" in Manila. Quite a favorite there for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it's served in many local restaurants around Manila. The term tapsilog is actually the combined syllables of three food-related words, tapa ( pan-fried marinated beef like jerky ), sinangag ( fried rice ) and itlog (egg). It may also be ordered "tapsi" without the egg. I must admit this is not a very healthy meal, the original meal version has everything fried. I made an effort to lighten it up a bit, by choosing to have poached egg instead of fried and switching to steamed brown rice instead of fried white rice. Although the meat was fried, I made sure I drained it well. The first eatery in Manila which comes to my mind when I think of this meal, is GoodAh. This restaurant most probably started out as a small outdoor type cafe or what we call "carinderia". The diners sit in wood benches placed around a circular counter facing the main food source, where simmering casseroles of local rice porridge and other specials, are served from. Yes, I remember Goodah well, it was one of our favorite hang-outs back then. Fast, filling and very affordable. Some prefer it served with sliced tomatoes but I always like my tapa with a vinegar and garlic dip. An over consumption of rice isn't surprising for flavorful dishes like this and most Filipinos will agree to this. Not sure if GoodAh is still existing with the many new restaurants competing in Manila these days, after all, it wasn't the only restaurant serving this kind of food, there was also another successful one, Tapsi ni Vivian. But as long as they're out there, they will always have a solid market, catering to all lovers of simple Filipino comfort food.