Bistek is another classic Filipino comfort food that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I like making a big batch so we have enough to enjoy for the next few days. It has a similar citrusy flavor profile to my Air Fryer Flank which uses lemon juice and coconut aminos.
Bistek is originally made with soy sauce and calamansi (a type of citrus that’s abundant in the Philippines). To make this recipe taste like the real deal, I am using a combination of gluten-free tamari and fresh lemon juice. As much as I love using coconut aminos as a substitute in almost all of the recipes that I cook with that calls for soy sauce, it will not work for this recipe. Gluten-free tamari is a better substitute for soy sauce because it has that rich soy flavor that Bistek is known for.
Bistek pairs best with a hot, piping bowl of white rice or my Turmeric Garlic Rice. With less than 10 ingredients and a short amount of marinating time, you can have a delicious and budget friendly meal with tasty leftovers.
- 3 pounds thinly sliced top sirloin
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup tamari
- 1/4 cup garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 large sweet onions sliced
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil
- 1.5 cups water
Place beef in a large bowl. Pour lemon juice, tamari, garlic and season with sea salt and black pepper. Mix. Add the sliced onions. Mix and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add the oil and cook the marinated meat in batches over medium heat. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a bowl to cook the next batch.
Using the same pan, Add the onions and cook until softened and browned. About 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place beef back in the pot and add half of the onions. Add water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
Cover and simmer for 35-45 minutes until beef is fork tender.
Add the remaining onions set aside earlier and mix well before serving.
If you can find fresh calamansi from an Asian or Filipino store, substitute lemon juice with 3/4 cup calamansi juice.