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Easy and Delicious Filipino Beef Tapa

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Beef tapa is the perfect savoury accompaniment with rice. With simple ingredients frequently used in Filipino cuisine, it is popularly enjoyed for breakfast with sinangag (garlic fried rice) and a fried egg to make the beloved tapsilog.

Picture this: you wake up on a Saturday morning to the aroma of savoury beef tapa and sinangag (garlic fried rice) permeating the air. You sit down with a warm cup of coffee and chow down on a hearty plate of tapsilog – flavourful beef tapa with garlic fried rice and a fried egg with a runny yolk add a bite of fresh tomato and you’re guaranteed to have a great day.


Replying to @Belle and Chester Tapsilog! A top tier Filipino breakfast dish with only a few ingredients! 😋 Had to muscle through this voiceover after almost losing my voice from singing along to Cowboy Carter for the past 4 days LOL 🐝 Tapa Marinade (for approx. 2 lbs of beef) ⬇️: 1/4 cup soy sauce 3 tbsp sugar cane vinegar, lemon or calamansi juice 5 minced garlic cloves 1 tsp ground black pepper 2 tbsp sugar (I used coconut sugar) Measurements are approximate! I usually eyeball ingredients for recipes like this until my ancestors tell me to stop. ✋🏽😉 Adjust to your taste! 🫶🏽 #tapsilog #filipinofood #breakfastideas #easyrecipes #beeftapa

♬ ♡ ᶫᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ ♡ – SoBerBoi

What is tapa?

Tapa refers to dried or cured meat. As a child, I have memories of my Nanang marinating thin strips of beef then hanging them to dry before frying them off in a pan on the stove. It was always a treat whenever she would make it. The texture resembled beef jerky and was packed with flavour from soy and vinegar.

In this recipe, we will not be drying or curing the beef but will mimic the texture by cooking down the beef until we achieve a nice caramelization.

Looking for more Filipino recipes? Check these out!

Type of Beef

For beef tapa, you can use cuts of beef such as sirloin, ribeye or any other cut that marinates well. If you’re looking for a richer tapa, blade/chuck roast is also a good option and is easily accessible! 

TIP: If you ever need to cut protein (i.e. beef, chicken, etc.) into thin slices, place it in your freezer for half an hour. By partially freezing the meat, it will be easier to achieve thin slices.

tapsilog breakfast

Tapa has a wonderful balance of flavours. The ingredients you will need are:

  • Two pounds of beef (sirloin, ribeye or chuck work well)
  • Soy Sauce (for saltiness)
  • Sugar Cane Vinegar (for acid)
  • Garlic (for umami)
  • Black Pepper
  • Sugar (for sweetness)

I don’t have sugar cane vinegar. What can I use instead? 

If you don’t have sugar cane vinegar, substitute a different type of vinegar or acid! I recommend lemon or calamansi juice. Online users have also mentioned using pineapple juice for an added layer of sweetness!

Marinating the tapa

After combining all the marinade ingredients with the beef slices, you will want to marinate this in your fridge for at least a few hours. There have been times when life got in the way, and I’ve marinated beef tapa for as long as two days. The result was a rich tapa. It was delicious and the marinade infused with the beef very well! 

If you’re looking for a flavourful dish that can be enjoyed any time of the day, I hope you give this beef tapa a try! If you’ve made tried this out, I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

Easy and Delicious Filipino Beef Tapa

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Recipe by asiamakes Course: Breakfast, LunchCuisine: FilipinoDifficulty: 1


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  • 2 pound 907.18 g beef (sirloin, ribeye or chuck work well), sliced thinly

  • 1/4 cup 59.15 ml soy sauce

  • 3 tbsp 44.36 ml sugar cane vinegar *see note

  • 5 large 5 garlic cloves minced

  • 1 tsp 1 ground black pepper

  • 2 tbsp 25 g sugar (I used coconut sugar)

  • 2 tsp 9 g neutral oil


  • In a medium-size bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, black pepper and sugar. Mix until sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour marinade over sliced beef and mix until marinade is thoroughly distributed.
  • Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours up to 2 days.
  • Place a wok or large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add a thin layer of oil to the pan and then add half of the marinated beef. Cook for up to 6 minutes, flipping halfway or until beef begins to caramelize around the edges. Repeat with the remaining half of the beef.
  • Continue pan-frying beef in batches until all slices are cooked.
  • Enjoy with sinangag (garlic fried rice) and a fried egg for breakfast or any time of the day!


  • *If you don’t have sugar cane vinegar, substitute for coconut vinegar, lemon juice, calamansi juice or pineapple juice.

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