Beef Tapaka-Sarap Recipe

The Filipino beef jerky.

Tapa is dried or cured meatdish and a popular ulam in the Philippines. It is also delicious! Fun fact, during the Spanish colonization, the word actually meant fish or meat preserved by smoking or other means. Currently, it’s regarded as a Pinoy breakfast staple, usually served as tapsilog —a portmanteau of tapa, sinangag (garlic rice), and itlog (egg). The meal is such a crowd-favorite that many fast food chains, restaurants, and hotels have included it on their breakfast menus.

Photo by Marketman.

Here’s a basic but guaranteed to be a napakasarap na tapa recipe.


1 kg. Beef Sirloin, Sukiyaki cut
1 cup Calamansi Juice
¼ cup Soy Sauce
¼ cup Vinegar
½ cup Brown Sugar
1 tbsp. Black Pepper Powder
½ cup Chopped Garlic
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 segment of Star Anise
½  tsp. MSG (optional)
1 White Onion, chopped into rings
1 tsp. cornstarch


  1. Combine calamansi juice, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, black pepper, chopped garlic, and baking soda in a bowl to make the marinade.
  2. Add meat to the marinade and marinate for at least two hours.
    a. It’s better if you let it sit in your fridge overnight.
    b. Make sure to fish out the meat before use so that excess
    marinade can drip off.
  3. Heat anise seed segment and two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan until a bit of white smoke starts to come off the pan.
  4. Fry the meat in the pan until the juices that come out of the meat start to dry out.
  5. Whisk a teaspoon of cornstarch into the marinade and pour it into the frying pan.
  6. Bring the contents of the pan to a boil, then simmer until you get the desired consistency for your sauce.
  7. Serve with white onion rings on top.

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