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overhead image of bistek tagolog in pan

Vegan Bistek Tagalog (aka Filipino Beef Steak)

  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 small servings
  • Diet: Vegan


Learn how to make a vegan version of bistek Tagalog, a Filipino dish comprised of vegan beef cooked in a tangy marinade with sliced onions. It’s hearty, packed with flavor and made with only a few simple ingredients.


  • 2 cups boiling hot water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon lemon juice (+ more as desired) *see notes
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (+ more as desired) *see notes
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan beef bouillon (or vegetable bouillon, see notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 oz. soy curls
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cooking oil of choice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rings
  • Cooked brown or white rice, to serve


  1. To a large bowl, add in the boiling hot water, lemon juice, orange juice, tamari, vegan beef bouillon, black pepper and garlic powder. Stir until uniform. Add in the soy curls and mix until well combined. Marinate for 1 hour, mixing every 20 minutes or so to ensure that the soy curls marinate evenly. 
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the soy curls (not the marinade) to the hot pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Keep the marinade in the bowl that you used to marinate the soy curls.
  3. Add in 1/3 of the marinade (about 1/2 cup) and continue cooking until the liquid has cooked off, being sure to stir the mixture regularly so that the marinade is evenly distributed. 
  4. Add in another 1/3 of marinade and cook that through. Add in the last bit of marinade and cook for about 1 minute, or just until it is warmed through. Transfer the soy curl mixture back into the bowl and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, add in 1 teaspoon of cooking oil along with the sliced onions and an extra spritz of lemon juice. Cook until the onions begin to brown and soften, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Return the soy curl mixture along with any remaining marinade back into the pan and cook for a a minute or two more,  or until the onions reach your desired consistency. Some people prefer this with crunchy onions but I like them cooked through (as pictured in the post). 
  7. Remove the pan from heat and serve warm with rice and an extra side of lemon to drizzle on top as desired. 


  • We recommend using a cast iron skillet for this recipe if possible. We have found that it yields the best result! 
  • The vegan beef bouillon adds a significant amount of flavor to this recipe and is recommended if you are able to access it. If you are not, vegetable bouillon will work in its place. 
  • Calamansi has a different flavor profile then the lemon and orange juices, but this was the most accurate option that I had access to. If you are using calamansi, I would suggest using less than the lemon and orange juices–about 3 tablespoons to start. You can adjust this to taste and add more at the end if you think it needs more citrus. My mom tested this recipe with the full amount 1:1 with the lemon orange mixture and it did not come out as desired, it was too tart! 
  • This recipe is meant to be tangy/citrusy, so feel free to adjust the citrus as desired if you think you want more or less in the dish. You can also always add a smaller amount to start and add more at the end after tasting it.
  • We have not tested this recipe with other vegan beef alternatives but we will update this recipe if we do.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Keywords: Entree, Bistek, Beefsteak, Beef Steak, Vegan, Filipino, Philippines