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Bistek – Filipino Beef Steak with Calamansi – Instant Pot + Stove-top

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A year ago, good friend and cookbook author Pat Tanumihardja asked me to test Filipino recipes for a forthcoming Asian cookbook. I was glad to help. Inspired by what I cooked then, I again made this Bistek – Filipino Beef Steak in the Instant Pot for dinner tonight. I was delighted when Pat’s new cookbook launched recently. She sent me a copy and I got started cooking from the Instant Pot Asian Pressure Cooker Meals Cookbook.

It was timely to see favorite Filipino recipes featured in this new Asian cookbook using the Instant Pot, a multicooker. That’s because it’s Filipino American History Month, to commemorate the first time Filipinos landed in the USA in on October 18, 1587.

Bistek is short for the phrase Beef Steak. This is the Filipino-style  of cooking fillet-cut beef, marinated in soy sauce and citrus calamansi (the Filipino lime). I cook this often. The combination of sweet-citrusy calamansi with salty toyo (soy sauce) sizzling will make you anticipate dinner sooner than you think. This is the kind of entree that you can put together quickly with basic Asian ingredients in your pantry.

The glazed onions crowning the top make it even more irresistible. You’ll want to pour the salty-citrus-flavored sauce on a mound of steamed rice, so make sure you cook lots of kanin (rice) when you serve this. Food indeed brings friends together. I was so happy to help out a friend with recipe-testing. Receiving Pat’s cookbook and seeing her mention me in the Acknowledgements was a treat. And this classic Bistek recipe cooked tender and juicy in the Instant Pot was the best bonus of all.


Bistek - Filipino Beef Steak - Instant Pot + Stove-top

Dinner doesn’t get easier than this Bistek- Filipino Beef Steak cooked in the Instant Pot. The beef slices were marinated then pan seared quickly. Then the High Pressure mode makes the slices tender and juicy. When done, the calamansi-soy sauce blend gave off the sharp citrus aroma and flavors which were irresistible. This was adapted from a recipe of Instant Pot Asian Pressure Cooker Meals Cookbook by Pat Tanumihardja (Tuttle Publishing). Serves 2 to 4.
*If you don't own an Instant Pot or mutlicooker, I also share how to cook this stove-top in the procedure.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time1 hour 12 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Bistik - Filipino Beef Steak - Instant Pot
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 1kcal
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • Instant Pot multicooker - 6 quarts or 8 quarts.
  • Large skillet - if cooking stove-top


For the Beef:

  • 1 pound skirt steak; or use beef tenderloin or sirloin, cut into slices with 1/8-inch thickness
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 whole medium-sized white onion, sliced
  • 1/2 of a whole medium-sized red onion, sliced
  • 1 pinch salt

For marinade:

  • 1/2 cup calamansi or lemon juice; use Meyer lemons if possible
  • 4 Tablespoons toyo (soy sauce)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For serving:

  • steamed rice


To prepare beef:

  • Pound whole beef slices with a meat mallet or use the back of a large kitchen knife or cleaver. The pounding can help tenderize the meat even more.
    Marinate the beef slices with the calamansi juice (or lemon), soy sauce, garlic and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

To cook in the Instant Pot:

  • Click Saute on the keypad.
    Pour 2 Tablespoons oil into the inner pot.
    When oil is hot in 1 to 2 minutes, add the white and red onion slices. Sprinkle the salt.
    Stir and caramelize onions for 3 minutes till transparent. Remove the onions.
  • Scrape off any burnt bits of onions left in the inner pot. This prevents the Burn notice from happening.
    Pour remaining 2 tablespoons oil. When oil is hot, pan sear the beef slices for 2 minutes. Turn the slices over with long tongs, to evenly brown.
    Click Cancel to turn off Saute function.
  • Pour the marinade over the seared beef.
    Close and lock the lid. Set valve to Sealing position.
    Click Manual/High/10 minutes.
    When timer beeps, do a natural release.
    When float valve drops, click Cancel.
    Carefully open the lid and place lid on a safe area on counter.
    Arrange beef slices on a platter. Pour the sauce over the meat. Garnish the top with the caramelized onions. Serve warm with rice.

To cook Bistek on stove-top:

  • 1. Pound beef slices with a mallet to tenderize. Marinate and keep in a non-reactive container. Cover with a plastic wrap. Keep refrigerated for 1 hour.
    2. Over medium heat, in a large skillet, pour the remaining vegetable oil. Add the onion slices when oil is hot in 2 minutes. Sprinkle salt. Stir around pan to flavor the oil. When translucent, remove onions from pan and set aside.
    3.When ready to cook the beef, reserve the marinade.
    In same pan, over medium-high heat, add the beef slices and pan sear on both sides, for about 15 minutes to cook well done.
    .4. Pour the marinade into the pan. Let boil. Add back the onion rings. Arrange the meat and sauce on a platter, topped with the onions. Serve warm with rice.

Instant Pot Notes:

  • It takes about 17 to 20 minutes for the Instant Pot to preheat before the High Pressure cooking begins.
    For safety, use accessories recommended for Instant Pot use. For more information, please check the product manual.

About the cookbook and author:

  • Instant Pot Asian Pressure Cooker Meals by Pat Tanumihardja (Tuttle Publishing) is the first pan-Asian cookbook for the Instant Pot brand. The author expertly shows how to whip up delicious Asian meals, including favorite Filipino dishes, using everyday ingredients. Available where most books are sold.
    Patricia Tanumihardja is well-known as a farm-to-table guru and the author of several other widely acclaimed cookbooks. She writes the Pickles and Tea food blog in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.


  • This is not an ad. I was not paid to write about this cookbook. The book was a gift from the author, a friend of mine. Though I highly recommend this and the other cookbooks Pat Tanumihardja has written for wholesome, delicious Asian meals.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 1kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 10mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

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

Did you like this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-QuirinoBuy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. 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]

Disclosure: Instant Pot is the brand name of a multi-cooker that cooks in high and low pressure. I was not paid by the Instant Pot company to mention the product or brand nor endorse it. This is not an ad. My views and opinions are my own.


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