Sunday, August 06, 2006

"Bistek con Tokwa" (Beefsteak with Tofu)

In Filipino cuisine, Bistek means any meat marinated in soy sauce (toyo) and Philippine lemon (kalamansi) juice cooked with lots of onion. That’s according to my mother!!! It’s one of the dishes, I grew up fondly eating.

Soy sauce or Soya sauce is a fermented sauce made from soy beans, roasted grain, water and salt. It originated in China, commonly used in East and South Eastern Asian cuisines. There are many types of soy sauce, all are salty and earthy-tasting brownish liquids used to season food while cooking or at the table. Here in the Philippines, soy sauce and kalamansi juice goes well together, oftentimes as dip, sometimes as marinade.

I tweaked the dish, putting fried tofu as an extender. I have this thing nowadays with tofu, always craving for it!

Good for 4 servings.

  • 250 grams pork shoulder (kasim) or beef tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (patis)
  • ¾ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup SILVER SWAN soy sauce
  • 4 pcs kalamansi, juice extracted, removed seeds
  • 1 medium (150 g) potato
  • Fine salt and white pepper
  • Tapioca starch, for dusting
  • 3 pcs tofu (tokwa), each cut into 6 parts, 2x1x1/4”
  • 1 tbsp + 3 tbsps cooking oil
  • 2 pcs. (150 g) white onion, cut into rings
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely crushed
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt (optional)

Here’s how:
  1. Cut meat tapa-style (thin slices of meat across the grain). Using the back of a knife, pound meat lightly. In a bowl, combine the first-two ingredients. Put two-thirds of ground black pepper, soy sauce and kalamansi juice. Add the fish sauce. Mix. Sprinkle with a little tapioca starch. Set aside.

  2. Scrub skin of potato under running water until dirt is gone. Slice thinly. Pat-dry. Sprinkle with fine salt and white pepper. Dust with tapioca starch. Set aside.

  3. In a wok, put a tablespoon of cooking oil. Place over high-fire. Heat thoroughly but not smoking. Stir- fry onion until soft. Remove from pan. Set aside in a bowl.

  4. In the same pan, add the rest of cooking oil. Heat again. Fry tofu until golden brown. Remove from pan. Combine tofu with onions.

  5. Fry potato slices in the same pan until light golden brown on both sides. Drain in paper towels. Place potato around the serving platter. Set aside.

  6. Back to the wok, sauté garlic until golden brown. Place marinated meat. Stir-fry until liquid evaporates. Add water. Cover. Bring to boil. Put tofu, onions and the rest of ground black pepper, soy sauce and kalamansi juice. Mix. Adjust taste, put salt if necessary. Cook for another minute. Put in a serving platter with the potatoes.

  7. Serve with warm cooked rice.

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