We had Bistek Tagalog tonight for dinner. After much experimentation that went wrong the past 5 years I’ve been cooking, I have the recipe down pat. It used to get too salty as my beef drowned in soy sauce. I tried substituting the calamansi with lemon, but thanks to calamansi juice in sachets, I now have enough to make a pound of beef taste like it should.
I wasn’t exactly listening when they taught us the different parts of beef and pork back in High School at St. Paul College of Quezon City. So I often find myself lost when I shop for beef cuts in the grocery and I’m following a Tagalog cookbook. The only parts I have mastered by heart are “Beef Shank” for “kinste” and “Pork Belly” for “liempo”.
For my bistek, I grab a pound of skirt steak (or the diaphragm) from my favorite grocery. Cutting it up can get a little tricky because of the “weave” of the beef fiber, but I use my handy kitchen shears to cut across the grain. I use Tagalog soy sauce because we all know Kikoman has it’s own distinctive taste that just alters the flavor drastically.
I have always enjoyed eating bistek with a ripe lakatan banana on the side. Tonight, I had that kind of a meal.