Bistek is a popular dish in Filipino cuisine which is typically prepared with beef with slow cooking method and the dish is quite easy to make. Bistek recipe is not dependant upon any specific beef steak, but it can be prepared with any cut of the meat. The main factor is the cutting of the meat. The dish is made with thinly sliced beef cuts and this adds to the taste and presentation of the dish. Bistek can be prepared easily with different versions and it is not necessary to use the traditional ingredients. The ingredients may be substituted with the easily available components, but the method of cooking should be perfect and traditional.
Bistek is believed to be originated from the land of Philippines. Though the original recipe of this dish is the same, but with the changing times and availability of ingredients, bistek has also undergone various changes. It is considered a traditional Filipino dish that is prepared during festivals and special occasions in Philippines.
The basic recipe of bistek calls for beef steaks, kalamasi juice, onion and minced garlic. Salt, pepper and soy sauce are also used to season the marinade. Kalamasi is referred to the native musk lime of Philippines. It is easily available in that region and uses to provide tartness to the food. Cooking oil is essentially used to stir-fry the ingredients. In stead of kalamasi juice, lime juice or lemon mix may be incorporated to marinade the meat. Traditionally, red onion is used in this recipe, but white or yellow onions may also be used.
Bistek is traditionally prepared with slow-cooking method. Marinade is the main process of making this dish. Soy sauce, kalamasi juice, salt, pepper and minced garlic are mixed together to make a marinade. The beef steaks are immersed in the mixture and kept for not more than 30 minutes. This process facilitates the meat to absorb the flavor of the ingredients. After half an hour, the beef steaks are cooked in a skillet. Thinly sliced steaks would take less time to cook as compared to the thick slices. The meat should be cooked on slow-fire until done and all the juices get evaporated. The onion should be cut into rings and stir-fried in the same skillet after removing the cooked steaks. The remaining marinade may be used to prepare a thick sauce. Presence of soy sauce and kalamasi juice may give a strong flavor to the sauce; hence little bit water may be added to dilute the strong flavor.
Bistek is served as a main dish with steamed rice. While serving the stir-fried onion rings and sauce is poured over the beef steaks. Another way to serve the bistek is to place the steaks over the bed of steamed rice mixed with onions and sauce. It can be eaten with spoon or fork.
Recipe Bistek is a healthful dish as it contains very less oil. Few drops of oil are used to stir-fry the meat and onion. Though, beef is not considered a very healthy meat, but the over all presentation of the dish is relatively beneficial. Kalamasi juice is also a good source of Vitamin C. Onion and garlic helps in reducing cholesterol and contains essential nutrients.