Nothing chaps my ass more than when I go into an establishment that serves me questionable food.   I just so happened to go to a  Chinese restaurant the other day that half asses their cooking.   The stir fry tasted like  barely cooked meat drenched in either oyster or hoisen sauce. And the wonton soup tasted like dirty socks.  Can food taste lazy?  Because it all tasted lazy to me.

So today, I am making a stir fry recipe we Filipinos call “Beef Steak or “Bistek”.   It’s kind of like a lemon pepper stir fry.  It’s by far one of the most delicious stir frys ever.  It has this tangy, yummy, appeal from the lemon  or kalamansi juice that is so addicting.  Kalamansi  is a fruit that is a cross between a lemon and a lime  and way popular in Filipino cooking.  Since they’re hard to come  by in the U.S., we use lemon.  This dish has become a staple in our Fil-Am household. I often have to fend off my husband and children.  They turn into salivating hyenas over the stove when they smell me cooking it.  Although I’ve made this recipe many times the traditional way by quickly stir frying it after a long marinating process,  I’ve been cooking it differently.  Let me explain.

I have come to love my stepmothers version.  She,along with my father and little brother lived with my husband and I for a month in Houston back in 05′ when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.   They became refugees when their first floor apartment flooded.  In that month my step mother and I bonded as she taught me some great Filipino recipes that she added her own twists to.  She doesn’t cook Filipino beef steak aka bistek the traditional way by marinating an expensive cut of meat then quickly stir frying it, but rather she boils a cheaper cut of meat in the marinade with water.  She lets it get tender letting the juices evaporate all the way down until the meat caramelizes.  Pretty great idea for tenderizing a tough cut of meat!   Cheaper too, and cheap is good with me!  Here’s her secret method for a great NON-LAZY beef steak stir fry!


1 tbs canola oil

2 to 3 pound chuck roast cut into thin slices

1 large onion sliced into rings

1/2 pound of green beans cut in halves

juice of 1 large lemon or juice of 2 Kalamansi fruit

zest of 1 lemon (optional)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 T. vinegar

5 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon vinegar

salt and pepper to taste


1. ) I first start off by cutting my vegetables.  So cut the green beans in halves and snip the ends.  Cut a lemon wedge in half, mince garlic and cut onion into rings.  Set aside.

2.)  Cut meat into thin slices.

3. ) Add  meat to a large saute pan and pour water into pan until it covers about  1/2 an inch above the meat.   Add garlic, vinegar,  soy sauce, lemon juice to pan and sprinkle pepper to season.  You can also add the zest of the lemon at this point if you have a zester on hand.  It makes the dish taste so much better in my opinion.  Turn the heat on high and bring the whole pan to a boil!

4. )  The trick to this dish is to keep boiling on HIGH heat, UNCOVERED, until the water starts to evaporate.  This will take about a good hour or so.  Keep the heat on high stirring once in a while until all the water evaporates.  Here it is roughly 45 minutes later with the liquid evaporating.

5.  )  Once the liquid is almost all evaporated,  you will want to watch it carefully.  At this point you can adjust the soy sauce and add a little more.  Add salt and pepper to taste if it needs it.  You can keep a little liquid in with your meat as this is good to serve over your rice once it is finished or let the meat caramelize and let all the juices  cook out of the pan completely.  It’s your preference.  Either way, your meat should be nice and tender.  Take the meat out and place on a serving platter.

6.) Return pan back to stove top.  To the pan drippings, add oil and saute onions and green beans. the traditional way to make bistek is to saute only onion rings, but I always add green beans or sometimes broccoli.  Saute until veggies are al dente’.  Excuse the blurry picture….

7.)  Place your sautéed veggies over your beef and there you have it.

A family style Filipino dish that is so mouth-watering.  The beef is tangy and so good!  My husband and children love this!  It is one that they get so excited for!

Since I’ve been on a health kick lately, I serve mine over a brown rice, millet and quinoa concoction just like this!

If you have any questions feel free to ask,  follow me or leave a comment.  I would love it! I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.  Promise.  Thank you for visiting my blog! Happy eating everyone and have a beautiful day!