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Sweet and Spicy Beef Tapa

Beef Tapa is the Philippines version of ‘cured beef’. Mainly a breakfast meal served with eggs, garlic fried rice and vegetables like tomato salad or papaya salad. It is one of the well-loved Filipino egg rice bowl enjoyed by many including myself.

Sweet and Spicy Beef Tapa Filipino Recipe

Making tapa at home is easy. It only needs basic ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. To start off, the marinade. Classic tapa calls for either vinegar or calamansi added with soy sauce which acts as curing agents. In this recipe, I used vinegar.

By adding some sweetness and a little kick from the chili, this version if tapa will make you want to crave for more rice. It is not a bad thing but just a fair warning if you are watching your carb intake 🙂

Sweet and Spicy Beef Tapa

And why does it always need to be served with egg? Well, beef tapa is a highly seasoned meat with deep flavor. Eggs and some form of vegetables help out with balancing out the saltiness. Actually, we Filipinos love pairing eggs with just about any highly seasoned food, a great example is adobo with boiled eggs.

This is a small serving recipe perfect for one to two persons, depending on how hungry you are. Feel free to double the recipe as needed.

Sweet and Spicy Beef Tapa

Sweet and Spicy Beef Tapa

A small serving recipe of Beef Tapa or Cured Beef Filipino way. Mainly a breakfast meal served with eggs, garlic fried rice and vegetable salad like tomatoes and onions or papaya achara.
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Servings: 2 3-people
Author: Mella


  • 5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 red chilies (chopped or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder)
  • 500 gram thinly sliced beef (i recommend using tender cuts)


  • In a bowl, combine all ingredients for the marinade. Mix well until sugar is dissolved. Taste then adjust seasonings accordingly.
    Tip: Remove seeds from the chilies to make spiciness milder.
  • Add marinade to the beef. Massage until meat is well coated.
  • Cover bowl and marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, best overnight. Basically, the longer the better.
  • Tip: Keep in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days or freezer for 2 weeks until you're ready to cook it.
  • Remove from marinade before cooking. 
  • In a pan over medium heat, heat oil. Fry beef until brown and liquid produced by the meat has evaporated. 
    Serve with garlic rice, egg and your favorite sawsawan (dip). Enjoy!

Recipe Notes and Tips:

I also recommend Beef Shabu Shabu cut for a thinner and fatty beef tapa. They're easier to cook too!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag @rivertenkitchen or leave a comment below!

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