Beef Tapa made Easy

Tapa is dried or cured beef, pork, mutton, venison or horse meat, although other meat or even fish may be used.

Filipinos prepare tapa by using thin slices of meat and curing these with salt and spices as a preservation method. Tapa is often cooked fried or grilled. When served with fried rice and fried egg, it is known as tapsilog, a portmanteau of the Tagalog words tapa, sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (egg). It sometimes comes with atchara, pickled papaya strips, or sliced tomatoes as side dish. Vinegar or ketchup is usually used as a condiment.  (Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Here’s my version of tapa made easy!


  • 2 lbs flank or skirt steak pounded and cut into thin slices.
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Banana Ketchup (can be purchased from a Filipino  or other Asian grocery store)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 heads garlic, including skin
  • 1 tbsp fresh calamansi or lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cola or apple juice

Recipe Preparation:

Add all of the ingredients into a blender and mix until combined.  Place the cut meat into a large baking pan or container, preferably with a cover, pour the marinated mixture onto the beef, and mix well into the meat with your hands.  At this time, you have the option of cooking the tapa immediately.  Cook until the beef is brown; remember not to mix it too much while cooking.


You can also marinate it overnight or for a few days to soak up the flavors.  When you’re ready to cook, heat the pan to high heat.  Add about 2 tablespoons of oil.  Place enough meat to fill the pan, and cook until the meat is brown.  Repeat the process until you have all the meat cooked.

Best served and enjoyed with steamed rice.  I’ve also made my favorite spicy vinegar dipping sauce (coconut vinegar, sliced chili peppers, minced garlic, chopped red onion, salt, and pepper to taste) to go alongside this dish.  Note I have separated the sauce from the beef for plating purposes, but this is optional.