Tapsilog is a popular breakfast item that consists of beef tapa, garlic fried rice, and fried egg. If you're Filipino, there's a good chance you've had it before.
In this post, I will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about beef tapa. So if you're curious about it, keep reading!
Beef tapa, originally cured or dried for preservation, has evolved into a modern version that's marinated and then either pan-fried or grilled.
Its delicious taste features a delicious combination of tangy, garlicky, and savory flavors with a hint of sweetness.
Tapsilog gets its name from combining 3 Filipino words: tapa (marinated beef), Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice), and itlog (egg). Together, they create the delightful and iconic dish known as "Tapsilog."
Tapsilog is an all-day type of breakfast or brunch that Filipinos enjoy. It has all the components of a full meal with beef tapa, sinangag (fried rice), and itlog (fried egg). It is sometimes served with Achara (Pickled Green Papaya) and a condiment of vinegar and chilies.
The flavor of beef tapa is similar to that of adobo—salty, tangy, and garlicky with a hint of sweetness.
Tapsilog and other silog-type breakfasts are popular in the Philippines because they are affordable and easy to prepare.
The combination of contrasting, delicious flavors and textures on a single plate makes them a beloved and satisfying breakfast option for many Filipinos.
For making beef tapa, an ideal choice would be a cheap cut of beef with good marbling. Several reasonably priced cuts, such as flank steak, skirt steak, and flap meat, are excellent for marinating.
Sirloin is another popular option. While chuck steak is affordable, it requires trimming due to extra fat content. If you're willing to splurge a bit more, boneless short ribs are a fantastic choice.
Rubbery beef can be caused by using the wrong cut of meat, as some cuts are naturally tougher. To avoid this, it's essential to choose the right cut for your cooking method and slice them against the grain.
Additionally, overcooking tender cuts can also lead to rubbery beef, as prolonged cooking can cause them to dry out and become firm. Keep an eye on your cooking time to ensure tender, delicious results.
A naturally tough cut with plenty of connective tissue must be cooked long enough over low heat to make it tender.
When a tender cut becomes rubbery due to overcooking or improper slicing, you should serve it with a sauce to compensate for the dryness.
You can create tender, mouthwatering beef tapa using budget-friendly cuts like chuck steak. Just remember to slice the meat against the grain or perpendicular to the muscle fibers, which helps keep it tender.
The marinating process not only infuses flavors but also works its magic in tenderizing the meat.
Tapa is thinly sliced beef, marinated, and then either fried or grilled. It's commonly enjoyed with rice or as part of the beloved tapsilog meal.
In contrast, beef jerky is made by dehydrating and smoking thin slices of meat, resulting in a flavorful and chewy snack that's often enjoyed on its own, straight from the package.
The best tip for making tapsilog is to select the right cut of beef and slice it against the grain. Marinate it long enough to become flavorful but not too long to change its texture.
Most importantly, cook the beef quickly over high heat to achieve a perfect sear without drying it out.
Marinate the meat for at least an hour to 24 hours. Too long in an acidic marinade can change the texture of thinly sliced beef.
Filipinos consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day. Just like other diverse cuisines, breakfast in the Philippines doesn't have one specific food that defines it.
You can start your day with coffee and pandesal (bread rolls). It could be rice in the form of champorado (chocolate rice porridge) or kakanin (rice cakes) like Palitaw (Sweet Rice Cakes).
Silog-type breakfasts with sinangag (garlic fried rice), itlog (fried egg), and proteins like Chicken Tocino, Pork Tocino (Sweet Cured Pork), or Longganisa (Filipino Sausage) are always a favorite.
Velveting is a technique used in Chinese restaurants to tenderize meat by adding baking soda and cornstarch. It works well in stir-fries like Beef Stir-Fry with Onions and Peppers.
Beef tapa should be refrigerated and consumed within 3 days. If it hasn't been cooked, don't marinate it longer than 24 hours, as the texture of the meat may change. You may freeze it to prolong its shelf life.
For beef tapa, I prefer using cane vinegar—sukang maasim or sukang Iloco. It is commonly used in Filipino cuisine and is made from sugarcane. Its taste is mellow, like rice vinegar, and is excellent for marinating.
White vinegar or apple cider vinegar are good options, too. Instead of vinegar, you can also use calamansi or lemon juice.
My recipe for beef tapa has 226 calories per 4-ounce (114-gram) serving.
I hope that this post has helped answer some or all of your questions. Would you like to give it a try? You may be surprised at just how easy and delicious it is to make Filipino Beef Tapa.