Recipe #38: FILIPINO STYLE STEAK (Bistek Tagalog)

Bistek Tagalog is one of my all-time favorite Filipino dishes. Bistek is a local version of the very western beef steak, hence the name. But the etymology of the word may have come from the Spanish word bistec, which means, well, steak in English.

What makes it distinct from the western version is its mild, citrus-y flavor, which is produced by combining the tang of calamansi and the essence of soy sauce. Also, the Filipino bistek is usually thin in slices, compared to the thick chunks of meat and large servings of the American beef steak.

Beef is the typical meat ingredient, but you can also use slices of pork, such as pork chops and liempo (pork belly). I choose pork over beef because I like the taste better, and I try to avoid red meat as much as possible. My favorite cut is liempo, because it’s easier to cook and the meat is more tender and tastier.

When you prepare bistek, make sure not to overcook the onions to keep them crunchy. The potatoes are optional, but please, include them to your grocery list. Who doesn’t like potatoes, anyway? If beef steaks are great with mashed potato, consider this as our alternative.

Continue reading below to get the recipe:

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Recipe #37: ADOBO FLAKES

For our first recipe this year, I decided to share one of my favorite dishes — Adobo Flakes — which is another variation of the popular adobo. This recipe and our version of Adobong Tuyo has a few similarities in flavor. Both dishes exude the distinct aroma and savory of garlic. The big difference is in the texture because Adobo Flakes is shredded.

Another interesting reason why I love this recipe is that you can turn most leftover pork and chicken meat into Adobo Flakes. Your leftover Chicken Tinola or Pork Sinigang can be instantly transformed into this adobo version without the conflicting taste in your mouth. Garlic and vinegar are strong enough to overpower other flavors. Why throw away and waste your food if there are ways to save time and money with leftover recipes like this?

Adobo Flakes can be served as toppings on rice (or fried rice) or as filling in bread. Add fried egg or salted egg and fresh sliced tomatoes on the side. Prepare it using your weekend leftover food and bring it to your school or office for lunch on Monday. You may now stop wondering how those yummy Adobo Flakes in fancy restaurants are being made.

Read on to learn how. 🙂

Adobo Flakes

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Recipe #35: PALITAW

Our old folks undeniably love our local kakanin. My mother and father, even my lola and tita when they were still alive, are huge fans of these sweet rice cakes. They come in varieties of flavor, color, shape, and texture.

In Malabon, the town where I grew up in, kakanin can be found everywhere. Go to one of our public markets and you will see a special section that sells different kinds of kakanin with names you probably have never heard of. In fact, the city is known for its delectable sapin-sapin, kutsinta, and biko elaborately served in a colorful array on a round bilao.

On this blog post, I will share to you my mother’s recipe for Palitaw. We call it dila-dila in Malabon because of its distinct shape (dila means tongue). The name palitaw was derived from how it is being prepared. Palitaw or litaw means “to appear,” or in this case, “to float,” because it starts to float in water once it’s cooked.

If you want to learn how to prepare palitaw, refer to the recipe below:

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