Dried Beef Tapa – Cured Beef

Tapa in it’s literal meaning in Spanish is “lid” which have evolved into the tapas genre of Spanish food. In the Philippines tapas are a form of pulutan which in the West we refer to as an “appetizer”. In my opinion it has a closer relationship to the Spanish tapas which are small plates served with your alcoholic libation of choice. The Dried Beef Tapa recipe is likened to a type of jerky with the more flavorful Filipino twist added.

Dried Beef Tapa – Cured Beef


2.2 lbs |1 kg sirloin steak
6 cloves | 30 g garlic minced
1 tbsp | 15 g salt
1 tbsp | 15 g white sugar
2 tbsp | 30 ml cooking oil


  1. Slice the sirloin steak across the grain into 1/4 in | 1/2 cm thick pieces.
  2. Pound the slices of sirloin steak with a mallet to flatten it out.
  3. Crush garlic with the flat of a chef’s knife, peel, and mince the garlic.
  4. Mix together the salt, sugar, and garlic; combine it with the sirloin steak slices.


The key component to this recipe is to dry the sirloin steak slices so they become crunchy. Since it is not practical to dry them in the sun (which varies from region to region) this recipe will use the power of an oven to achieve the same effect.

  1. Preheat an oven to 400° F | 200° C.
  2. Take a baking tray and brush on the cooking oil.
  3. Arrange the slices of sirloin steak on the baking tray ensuring that they are not overcrowded.
  4. Place the tray inside the preheated oven.
  5. After 15 minutes, turn off the oven leaving the tray inside for an additional 15 minutes to dry the sirloin slices.
  6. Remove the meat from the tray and store in a sealed bag in the refrigerator or freezer for future use.


  1. Fry the sirloin slices in oil.
  2. Drain each piece on a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Serve with your favorite alcoholic libation and enjoy.


  • The dipping sauce of sawsawan for tapa is a mixture of vinegar with crushed garlic.
  • Tapa is also a great accompaniment to sinangag (garlic fried rice) and itlog (fried egg) aka tapsilog.
  • To make it easier to slice the meat into consistent thickness, freeze the sirloin steak for about 45 minutes before slicing.