Filipino Beef Tapa

Filipino Beef Tapa

Finding a hangover cure is the modern day version of finding the Holy Grail. During my years in Manila I remember begging for mercy after some long, long, nights of partying. Luckily I found my cure – my Holy Grail. For me beef tapa was my ultimate cure. Perhaps because it’s cured? I will be honest, tapa has gotten me through some very difficult morning-afters.

I don’t know what it is, but there is also something incredibly sexy about a heaping pile of fried meat on a plate. Everyone has a preference on how they prefer their breakfast tapa. Some like it crispy while others prefer more tender meat. I for one enjoy it when it’s on the chewier side, kind of like jerky but not quite that stiff.

Beef tapa cure

Traditionally it was made by curing the meat in salt and then drying it in the sun. Remember that back in the day, fridges weren’t a thing, so curing was a method of preservation. Today it’s simply made by marinating the meat in a sugar-salt mixture and allowing it to sit for at least 24 hours.

Tapsilog is so easy to make on your own that you can pass on any of the packaged stuff in the store that has preservatives in it. Of course living in the District, I went through college craving a good plate of tapa but only had it if I went home. I figured it was important to learn how to make it myself and to my surprise it is so incredibly easy to prepare yourself.

Beef pressed into cure

When tapa is paired with an egg and fried garlic rice it is known as Tapsilog. To enhance all the flavors it is important to serve with a side of vinegar marinated with garlic. Also some cucumber and tomato slices because it negates the calories.

People say they could eat breakfast all day, I agree with them, I could eat tapa for any meal. Don’t forget, it’s also a good budget friendly meal. If you’re also still struggling to get over that hangover, I suggest giving this a try, it might just be your new Holy Grail.

find the cure,



Beef Tapa


  • 1 lb Beef, thinly sliced
  • 6 tbsps Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper


  1. Slice your beef so that it's thin, but not shaved. You want it at least half a centimeter thick.
  2. Make the cure by mixing together sugar, salt, and black pepper on a dish.
  3. Take the beef and press it into the cure on both sides then place into a container or ziplock bag.
  4. Do this with the remainder of the meat and then close the container or bag. You may need to stire the meat to ensure even curing.
  5. Place the meat in the fridge to cure for 24 hours.
  6. After 24 hours, place the meat in a lightly oiled pan and cook until each side is brown.
  7. Serve with garlic rice, an egg, and vinegar with chopped garlic.

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