Tapsilog is a popular breakfast item that consists of beef tapa, garlic rice, and fried egg. If you're Filipino, there's a good chance you've had it before.
In this blog 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 was traditionally cured or dried to prolong its shelf life. The version that we have now is simply marinated, then pan-fried or grilled. It has a tangy, garlicky, and savory flavor with a hint of sweetness.
Tapsilog is a portmanteau of the Filipino words tapa, sinangag (fried rice), and itlog (egg).
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. One plate combines contrasting flavors and textures that are all delicious.
Ideally, a cheap cut of beef with good marbling would be suitable for beef tapa. There are several reasonably priced cuts that are excellent for marinating, including flank steak, skirt steak, and flap meat.
Sirloin is another popular choice. Chuck steak is affordable, but it comes with extra fat, so trimming is necessary. If you are willing to spend more, boneless short ribs are a great option.
Using the wrong cut of meat can result in rubbery beef. Some cuts are tougher than others. It's important to select the right cut for a specific purpose and slice them against the grain.
Overcooking tender cuts can make them rubbery as well. The longer you cook them, the more they dry out and firm up.
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 use inexpensive cuts of beef like chuck steak to make tender and delicious beef tapa.
Make sure to slice them against the grain or perpendicular to the muscle fibers. Marinating not only adds flavor but also tenderizes the meat.
Tapa is sliced beef marinated and fried or grilled. It is typically eaten with rice or as part of tapsilog.
On the other hand, beef jerky is dehydrated and smoked thin slices of meat. It is eaten by itself, typically straight from the package.
First, choose 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. Finally, cook it quickly over high heat to sear well 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. Like any other cuisine, no particular food defines breakfast.
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).
Silog-type breakfasts with sinangag (garlic fried rice) and itlog (fried egg) are always a favorite. Tapsilog with beef tapa is an example.
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 three 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.