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Beef Tapa

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In the Philippines, “Tapa” is considered cured meat, and it is usually beef. Although, we also have cured pork in longanisas and tocino, and  chicken tocino. Tapa is pan-fried, after several days of curing in juices and brine. Most Filipinos enjoy eating beef tapa as a breakfast entree, paired with a huge platter of garlic fried rice and eggs.

This combo is called tapsilog in the Philippines. It is an acronym for the Tagalog words tapa (cured beef), sinangag (garlic fried rice), and itlog (eggs). The mere mention of this tantalizing combination of savory-sweet beef, garlic-flavored fried rice, and eggs, sunny side or over easy, makes everyone start drooling. This is the kind of meal that can be served for breakfast, but one can opt to relish it for any meal till dinnertime, or in between and beyond. There are no rules for enjoying soft, succulent slices of beef tapa.

My own version of beef tapa, made in my American kitchen, is a shortcut of what I used to make back in the Philippines. A favorite is the beef tapa I make with skirt steak cuts. No matter which cut of beef, or what time I cook Beef Tapa, this is the kind of meal that will make you stop whatever it is you’re doing, and head to the dinner table asap.

Beef Tapa

Beef Tapa are tender, savory-sweet slices of Filipino cured meat often served for breakfast. It is marinated in dry and wet ingredients for at least three days and stored in the freezer. When ready, beef tapa is pan-fried for a few, quick minutes. Best when served for breakfast or brunch, with sinangang (garlic fried rice), eggs, and fresh tomatoes. This is an Asian in America recipe by Elizabeth Ann Quirino.
Prep Time3 days
Cook Time16 minutes
Total Time3 days 16 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Filipino Beef Tapa Cured Meat
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 228kcal
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • 1 large skillet - 10 to 12 inches in diameter


  • 1 pound beef skirt steak, sliced very thin

For curing the meat:

  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder

For cooking the Beef Tapa:

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

For serving

  • garlic fried rice or sinangag
  • fresh tomatoes, sliced or chopped
  • eggs, sunny side up or over easy


To cure the Beef Tapa:

  • In a large, non-reactive mixing bowl (use glass or plastic), combine the beef slices with the wet ingredients first: pineapple juice and white wine.
    Add the salt, brown sugar, garlic, and paprika.
    Mash and macerate the meat together with the marinade, with your hands, to incorporate the ingredients well.
    Store the meat slices in resealable plastic freezer bags. Freeze for at least 3 days to cure, before cooking.
    *(Note: The frozen beef tapa can keep for 1 to 2 months in the freezer).

To cook the Beef Tapa:

  • Thaw the meat in the refrigerator a few hours before cooking. Do not microwave to thaw.
    In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the meat and pour 1/2 cup of water. This is to allow the meat to tenderize. Cook this for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • When water evaporates, and no trace of liquid is left, pour the oil. Continue cooking for around 6 minutes more. By this time, the beef slices will turn a darker brown and have a shiny glaze.
  • When beef slices are cooked completely, transfer to a serving platter. Serve warm with garlic fried rice or sinangag, eggs, and tomatoes.

Cook's comments:

  • The frozen beef tapa can keep in the freezer for 1 to 2 months. I cure a large batch of beef tapa, and keep them in portions in resealable plastic bags, frozen.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3504mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg

Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided  in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE Asian in America recipes on this blog,  my original recipes, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC by Elizabeth Ann Quirino. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]

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