Sunday, July 26, 2009


I've been on a posting spree today. I'm just scared that I'm going to lose these scraps of paper stuck to my fridge door with my tried-and-true recipes! So here's my version of tapa. Nope, not tapas, which has become so popular these days! I mean beef tapa, the Filipino breakfast dish of marinated beef, often served with garlic rice (sinangag) and eggs (itlog). The meal therefore is called TAPSILOG from TAPa, SInangag and itLOG.

There are endless variations to the SILOG:
*Tosilog - with Tocino (sweet marinated pork)
*Longsilog - with Longganisa (Filipino breakfast sausages, of which there are as many styles are there are provinces in the Philippines)
*Bangsilog - with Bangus, or milkfish (our national fish)
*Adsilog - with Adobo
*Cornsilog - with corned beef
*Spamsilog - with Spam, obviously
*Tusilog - with Tuyo, dried salted fish
*Tinsilog - with smoked fish

Anyways, you get the pictures. So on to the recipe...

2 lbs of sliced lean beef (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick works best)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper (freshly cracked makes a big difference here)
1 whole head of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp. salt

1. In a large ziplock bag, put all the marinade ingreadients and swish around until incorporated.
2. Add beef and swish around again to make sure each piece of meat has been blessed by the vinegary goodness.
3. Keep in the fridge for about 24 hours. After this you can cook it, or store it in the freezer for a rainy day (both literally and figuratively...I just love breakfast food when it's raining outside)

To cook, place entire contents of bag in a non-stick pan with about 1/4 cup of oil. Turn heat up to medium-high and let marinade evaporate. During this time, I often take the opportunity to cut the meat into smaller, more manageable pieces (about 1x2 inches). I use tongs and kitchen shears and do this right on top of the pan. As the marinade evaporates, lower heat to medium and let the meat fry in the oil, keeping the meat moving so as not to have burnt spots. The sugar in the marinade will then become sort of like a glaze and will become sticky and shiny. Serve the tapa with eggs, rice and vinegar. Sliced fresh tomatoes with some scallions and fish sauce on the side doesn't hurt either.

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