Beef Tapa Tug O’ War

Tapsilog Rvsd

It’s finally Friday!  Every time I get to the end of the week, I am always in search for easy and quick recipes .  These are for days that I do not feel like messing around in the kitchen.  The past week has been hectic and stressful at work and I just want to go home, have a quick meal, relax and go to sleep.  This gave me an idea to make some beef tapa that I can just marinate and leave in the fridge and cook quickly.

Tapa Versions

I have tasted so many versions of beef tapa, some on the sweet side and some on the salty, garlicky side.  My preference is the the garlic, peppery, salty version rather than the sweet kind. I was searching through pages of blogs looking for the version that I wanted but the closest I got to is Pinoy Food Blog’s recipe.  It is not exactly what I had in mind since I immediately saw 7 tbsps of sugar in the recipe.  But I figured the salt content in this recipe should balance the sweetness of it. Thus, I chose this recipe to review.

My Tapsilog Plan

I marinated the beef tapa for 24 hours. When I came home from work, I am so relieved with the thought that I can just throw that beef tapa in the pan and make some garlic rice and fry an egg, and I can have my own Tapsilog. I was set with my plan and so I executed….

The Game of  Tug O’ War

So I did it!  My Tapsilog looks awesome…took a picture of it to share with all of you.  I am stoked!  I can’t wait to have a bite of my beef tapa and garlic rice.  I took my first beef tapa bite…but..I can’t!  Yanked it, pulled it..I was playing tug-of-war with my beef tapa….grrrr…and finally got to taste it.  I looked across the table and there was Rolan fighting with his beef tapa too! Haaaaa!!!! And we both lost in this game of tug-of war.  My beef tapa can beat Rubbermaid!  There goes my first lesson in making beef tapa. Make sure you get the right cut of beef and slice it thinly so you don’t have to play tug of war and then lose the game.

Play the Game or Go Hungry?

Nevertheless, we continued and persisted.  I wanted to taste the tapa marinade at least, plus we had no choice..that was dinner or go hungry.  As far as the taste, it was any other beef tapa. Although I preferred my tapa to be on the garlicky, salty side as mentioned, I found the flavor of garlic and salt in this recipe too strong for my palate. I was hoping to have a milder and more balanced flavor.  This recipe was not what I expected since there was enough sugar in there to balance the garlic and salt. Although there was a hint of sweetness in it.

The next time I make beef tapa , I will be incorporating the same ingredients in this recipe but will definitely use less salt and garlic and maybe even less sugar.  And of course, no more tug of war..I’m making sure the beef cut is perfect!


1 kilo beef sirloin, thinly sliced, cut into long strips
1 1/2 Tbsp + 1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tbsp white sugar
2 teaspoon minced garlic (adding more the better)
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
3 1/2 tablespoon vinegar

Cooking Instructions:

1. Mix all ingredients into mixing bowl.
2. Cover and Let stand overnight or two nights in the refrigerator.
3. Depending on the size of your family, apportion the beef slices into plastic bags. In our case, we are a family of four. A pack of 3 plastic bags is enough.
4. Store in freezer for 24 hours before cooking.

Have you ever played tug-of war with Beef Tapa?  Share your story!

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