Filipino Homemade Beef/Carabao Tapa – Tapang Baka/Kalabaw ng mga Pinoy!

Don’t you just miss the times of leaving for work early and having the delicious beef tapa for breakfast at the carinderia or cafeteria near your workplace? I sure do. This work from home situation made me realize that there’s a lot of Filipino dishes out there that are generally eaten in food establishments and beef tapa is one of them.

I’m sure there are plenty of households that cook their own beef tapa at home but it’s undeniable that the complete beef tapa experience, with the garlic rice and fried egg, is largely eaten outside the home.

Let me paint the picture for those who are not familiar with the beef tapa. Beef tapa is a favorite Filipino dish among the everyday Filipino. It’s most commonly served for breakfast to give you a hearty start for the day. The dish is very popularly served in local carinderias and it’s commonly seen as the standard Filipino breakfast.

Carinderias are the main sellers for this staple Filipino dish but I’ve seen many restaurants food stands in cafeterias offer beef tapa on their menu as well.

Now, when you order beef tapa on any menu, you’re not just ordering one dish. Instead, you’re ordering an entire breakfast meal that consists of a cup of garlic rice, a fried egg, and a healthy serving of the star of the meal, beef tapa.

The beef tapa is made up of cured meat that’s marinated overnight in a special mixture of native ingredients. And the garlic rice, or simply known as sinangag, is typically cooked with leftover rice that should be a day old and loads of minced garlic sauteed over a hot pan. You can get creative with the garlic rice, some even add in some chopped hot dog or soy sauce, but the standard is simply leftover rice and garlic. A lot of garlic.

The fried egg is simple enough. The meal pretty much only requires a straight forward fried egg. Straight to the point right? The fried egg will tie all the different flavors in the dish together. I prefer my fried egg runny but still has a crunch to its underside.

And that’s pretty much the beef tapa meal. I’m sure you’ll love it if you ever got a chance to have it at any food establishment once it’s safe enough to venture outside.

I’ve been missing getting the delicious beef tapa for breakfast ever since it became a health risk to go outside and be in close proximity to other people.

So, since it’s not really a good idea to have a beef tapa outside, you can just have it delivered to your home or make your own homemade beef tapa. I’m clearly doing the latter.

For this recipe, we’re going to focus on the beef tapa recipe of the dish. The garlic rice and fried eggs are still important components, but we’re going to keep those two as simple as possible because, for this recipe, we’re going to make the beef tapa shine.

This beef tapa recipe is something special, not only because of the delicious flavors we’re going to achieve but also because of a different ingredient we’re going to use. By now, if you’ve already seen the title, you already know that we’re going to use carabao meat for this beef tapa recipe.

I recently got a hold of carabao meat from the local butcher shop that I frequently visit and I thought why not make something special with it. Oh, this beef tapa recipe is something special. The carabao meat will be packed with flavor from the mixture of great ingredients it marinated overnight.

Plus, since I’ve been more sensitive with my health, healthy alternative ingredients are always something I’m on the lookout for. Carabao meat isn’t the healthiest ingredients you can have per se but it is healthier than the regular beef or pork meat that we Filipinos love to have on our plate.

Studies show that carabao meat contains less cholesterol, fats, and calories than most meats on the market. This makes it a great meat alternative that’s healthy to eat for people with health problems like heart conditions or if you just want to lose weight.

Unfortunately, there’s an ongoing myth in the Philippines that carabao meat is bad for you which seems to largely contribute to lessening the production carabao meat in the market.

Well, we’ve got our hands on carabao meat today, and we’re going to make use of this special ingredient. Ask your local butcher or local vendors at the market place if there are or when carabao meat will be available. 

The production and distribution of carabao meat are slowly gaining popularity as people are starting to let of old beliefs. So you’ll never know, you may just have carabao meat in your kitchen sooner than you think.

Carabao meat works as well as any meat on this beef pata recipe. You need quality meat to use for your beef tapa recipe, of course, but you can elevate that by marinating it in a special mixture. Have that carabao meat marinate overnight in the fridge and cook it the next day and you’ll have the perfect beef tapa.

This recipe needs prep work a day before the actual cooking. Once the marinating process is done, you need to have patience and good timing during the cooking process.

So as always, all the ingredients are enumerated down below as the instructions on how to create the marinade and the cooking process. We also created a fun video for visual learners which includes all the relevant information you need to know to create this dish.

Don’t forget to also prepare your garlic rice and fried egg. Serve all the ingredients in a single plate and you have your Filipino homemade beef tapa made with carabao meat. Enjoy!

Filipino Homemade Beef/Carabao Tapa - Tapang Baka/Kalabaw ng mga Pinoy!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 Persons
  • 1⁄2 kilo of Carabao meat
  • ● 7 cloves of garlic
  • ● 1 pc. Bay leaf
  • ● ½ cup vinegar
  • ● ½ cup soy sauce
  • ● ¼ cup sugar
  • ● 1 tsp salt
  • ● 1 tsp pepper
  • ● 1 tsp seasoning granules
  1. Wash and cut the carabao meat in your desired cut. Drained
  2. In a big mixing bowl marinate the carabao meat with salt, bay leaf, seasoning granules,
  3. pepper, sugar, chopped garlic, soy sauce and vinegar the mix well.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Heat the pan and pour the marinated carabao meat mix.
  6. When it's boiling turn the heat into low, and let it boil for 1 hour or until the meat gets
  7. soft.
  8. If the meat is soft remove the cover and let it reduce. Mix well to avoid getting burned.
  9. Served with Garlic Rice and Fried Egg. Enjoy

Youtube Video


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