How To Make Homemade Beef Tapa

Homemade Beef Tapa

Tapa is a classic Filipino dish in the Philippines that is made of either beef, chicken or pork. The meat are thinly-sliced and cured with salt and spices but the most common recipe that are used nowadays is marinating the meat.

Homemade cooked meals saves you a lot of time. At the same time give you control of the ingredients that you use to cook. Also, by cooking the meal by yourself, you will have the assurance that you and your family are eating fresh and clean cooked meals. There are 5 benefits of making homemade foods: it contributes to a healthier diet, reduces your calorie consumption, give you more control of the ingredients you add, cooking brings a person joy and of course saves you money. Eating home cooked meals tends to give you and your family a healthier way of living.

So today, I am going to teach you how to make the famous Filipino Beef Tapa, the easiest and the yummiest way possible that you and your family can enjoy.

What is a Beef Tapa

Filipino Homemade Beef Tapa is a dried cured beef that is more or less similar to Beef Junky meal. But in here, we will do another Beef Tapa recipe wherein we do not need to dry the beef but instead we marinade it first. The procedure is similar though however instead of curing the meat we marinade it with soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic. and some added seasonings. This is to allow the flavor of the marinate mix to infuse its flavor to the meat. Also, meats are marinated to save and reduce the time for cooking as it can help tenderize the meat.

Filipino Beef Tapa, from the name name itself, is curing the beef. It is a type of cured meat using a thin slices of beef. It is actually a famous dish usually served with Garlic fried rice and egg which we usually call ‘Tapsilog’.

Ingredients used to Marinade Beef

  • Soy Sauce: the main marinade ingredient to allow the meat to steep down its flavor.
  • Brown sugar: used to sweeten the marinade and caramelize the meat. It is also added to balance acidic components of the meat.
  • Minced Garlic: for additional layer to add flavor to the meat.
  • Calamansi Juice: Used to add tangy taste and at the same time used to tenderize the meat.
  • Salt: used to season the meat and improve its flavor
  • Black Pepper: for seasoning

Tips When Cooking Beef Tapa and Marinating Meat:

Before we proceed with the cooking process, let me first give you some cooking tips.

  1. Make sure the chunk of beef sirloin you’ll be cooking is thinly sliced to the grain. Grains refers to the muscle fibers of the meat. Thin slices allows your Beef Tapa to be cooked faster, while cutting to the grains makes it also easier to chew, allowing a more tender slices.
  2. Make sure to completely immersed the meat to the marinade. Ideally, you can use a half cup of marinade mixture for every pound of beef meat. If you feel like the meat is not completely covered, you can turn the marinade meat over once in a while.
  3. In the Philippines, our marinade recipe typically involves using a calamansi the Filipino way. But there are also other acidic agents you can use as a substitute such as a lemon juice or vinegar. For some, they also use wine which is also a great choice.
  4. Before not to marinade for a longer period of time as this can alter its protein fibers. Marinade time depends on the meat that you are marinating, which means that tighter the protein of that meat, the less it is susceptible to the marinade. For this recipe, I am going to marinade my thinly cut beef sirloin for just about 12 . Just enough time to soak the flavors to it. Normally, I do marinade overnight.
  5. Non-reactive containers such as Stainless steel ,glass containers and resealable plastic bags are advisable. As much as possible, avoid using metal and aluminum containers that usually reacts with acids and gives a metallic flavor. Remember we are adding acidic component to the marinade, we don’t want the flavor and the color to change by using aluminum containers.
  6. Refrigerate Marinade after in closed containers.
  7. Beef Sirloins are best parts of the meat when cooking Beef Tapa, however, if you are using the bottom round of the meat part, adding 1 cup of water to the cooking process to help tenderize the meat.
  8. After marinating your meat, you just need to remove the meat from the container and just allow it to drip the excess off. There’s no need to pat dry the beef meat.
  9. Do not use the leftover marinade sauce. If you want to use it, make sure to boil it for about 3 minutes or so to kill any harmful bacteria. Better safe than sorry.

Without futher ado, let me now teach you a simple and easy to follow recipe on how to make Beef Tapa. Let me know what you think.

Beef Tapa Recipe


  • 3 pounds beef sirloin (Thinly Sliced)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup calamansi juice or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic; finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking oil (used for frying)
  • 1 cup water (if desired)

Things to Prepare:

  1. Non Reactive Container
  2. Medium Sized Frying Pan

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinade Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 25 minutes

Marinade the beef meat

In a container, combine soy sauce, calamansi juice, minced garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir well to mix and until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the thinly sliced beef to the mixture. Gently massage to coat the meat with the marinade. Set aside for 12 hours inside the refrigerator.
Marinade meat

Pour cooking oil to the heating pan

In a medium frying pan, pour at least 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Allow to heat up. (you can add 1 cup of water first and simmer before adding oil. Use water if the bottom part of the beef meat is being used. This is to help tenderize the meat).
Pour cooking oil

Add marinade beef

urn to sides for about 3-5 minutes on each side or until the liquid is almost absorbed and evaporates.

Add marinade beef

Add another 1 tablespoon of oil

continue cooking until lightly brown. The Beef Tapa is being fried using the remaining oil or if needed add additional oil. Remove the meat from the frying pan.

Homemade Beef Tapa

Cut Beef Tapa into serving portions

Cut Beef Tapa into servings portions as desired. Once done, it ‘s time to serve Beef Tapa.

Homemade Beef Tapa

Serve Beef Tapa Hot

Serve Beef Tapa hot together with Garlic Fried Rice and Fried Egg to make a Tapsilog.

Make Homemade Beef Tapa

Making Tapsilog

Before we proceed with the recipe, let me first add a little information about Tapsilog, favorite Filipino Breakfast of all time. Tapa is known to be a component of the meal Tapsilog. The name of the meal Tapsilog is an acronym which stands for Beef Tapa, Sinangag and Itlog. It is a common breakfast dish here in the Philippines. Tapa which refers to Beef Tapa, Sinangag a word used to describe Garlic Fried Rice and Silog comes from the word Itlog (native name) which refers to Egg., makes it into a fried egg.

The recipe to make Beef Tapa will be discussed below, let us talk about the additional components of Tapsilog, Fried Rice and Egg. Making Garlic Fried Rice involves using a leftover rice, garlic, rice and cooking oil. Leftover rice is best to use as it tends to stick. Saute garlic in heated oil until light brown and add rice. Stir Fry mixture then add a pinch of salt to taste. Now you have fried rice.

Making a fried egg is pretty easy. The Fried egg of Tapsilog is usually the sunny side up kind of fried egg. In a medium heat pan, add cooking oil. Allow it to heat up, then add your Egg. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Allow to cook for 2 minutes or until the lower part is light brown.

Interested in other recipes? Feel free to comment below. Also, let me know your experience along the way. I look forward to hearing from you.

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