Flash Tapa +Silog
Quick Stir Fried Beef Strips with Garlic Rice and Fried Egg
*Updated 16 March 2023*
What is Tapa?
Tapa is cooked with beef, mutton, horsemeat, carabao meat, or goat meat that is dried or cured. In the Philippines, it generally means beef that is smoked. The word tapa is a Spanish word that means to cover or to seal. The word tinapa, which literally translates to “prepared by smoking,” has the same etymological origin as tapa. In Filipino, tinapa means smoked fish, usually bangus. In the Philippines, tapa can be cooked by frying or by grilling. When it is served with fried rice and egg, it is called tapsilog. Sides to tapsilog may be atchara (pickles click here ) and sliced tomatoes, with vinegar as condiment. – Esquire Magazine
Many Filipinos would think that since we have a huge influence from Spain, the word tapa would have originated from them, well not quite, in fact there are many theories where the word came from and none of those were from Spain. Some say that tapa is rooted in the Sanskrit word tapas, which means “heat”, and that was the pre-Hispanic practice of drying meat under sun to preserve them. Some say it was derived from the Proto-Malayo-Polynesian word “tapa”, which in turn is came from Proto-Austronesian word “capa” which means preservation of meat through other means hence we have “tinapa“, that refers usually to the smoked fish. So where did tapa came from? No one knows and since Filipino ancestors preserved meats before by sun drying them most likely it would be earlier than the word itself, probably it was called something else. – Ang Sarap
Tapa is commonly eaten for breakfast or lunch and usually eaten as a cheap combo meal. Today, there are many variations to Tapa. There many Filipinos who live outside of the Philippines, curing or smoking Tapa is not ideal for us. For me, I live in a flat or apartment so smoking the tapa (roll eyes) in my house or drying the tapa under the sun is out of the equation because London is not a sunny warm City. When I was living in the Philippines, when my papa was alive, he used to marinate the beef and dry them under the sun for a day. This was delicious but of course I can’t do this in England.
This recipe is updated from my Flash Lockdown Tapa, during the pandemic when we all had to quarantine this was one of the recipes I did and I think I did a Live cooking show for this recipe too!
This recipe is not traditional but an alternative, a quick and easy recipe that you can replicate at home. Here’s the recipe on how to make Garlic Rice.
Swap it & Common Q
Beef – I usually use thinly sliced beef sirloin or minute steaks. I have used leftover beef too! This recipe is very versatile.
Vegan/Vegetarian – swap beef with tofu, it works as good as beef and is tasty too! Same method as the beef but timings may vary.
Garlic – Filipinos love garlic, if I say 4 garlic cloves in our household we probably double that number! haha!
Vinegar – vinegar is better but if you don’t have any filipino vinegar you can use 2-3 lemon juice.
Garlic rice – this is what Filipinos call ‘Sinangag’, garlic rice is common for breakfast or lunch. It’s always paired with +silog (combo meals) meals.
In a bowl add beef, soy sauce, vinegar, half of minced garlic and black pepper. Mix the ingredients together and leave it on the side to marinate. You can marinate this overnight too if you have time (It will taste better). But since this is a flash tapa, you can cook them as soon as the frying pan or wok is ready.
Heat some oil in a frying pan or wok, add onions, cook for a minute, then add the rest of the garlic and cook for another minute. Scoop the beef out of the bowl separating it from the marinade and add it into the frying pan. Stir fry the beef until the juices are reduced down and you can see oil at the bottom of the meat. Mix them often so they don’t burn. Take the beef out of the frying pan and leave it on the side for later. Using the same frying pan or wok, add the marinade, bring it to a boil on medium heat until it reduces into a thick sauce. Pour it into a sauce pot for later.
To make your fried rice please go here. Fry your eggs at this point.
To assemble your Tapsilog, using a plate, place the garlic rice on one side, scoop the tapa onto the side of the rice, add the tomatoes or cucumber or atchara then place the fried eggs on the side or on top of the garlic rice. Best serve with spiced vinegar or calamansi.
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