A portmanteau of tapa (marinated beef), sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (egg), tapsilog is a popular breakfast dish in the Philippines.
Before it became tapsilog, the dish was simply tapsi — a beef and rice dish. Story has it that it was a popular breakfast and all-night dish among workers who could enjoy a filling meal without breaking the bank.
How tapsi became tapsilog is attributed to a carinderia owner named Vivian. At her establishment in Marikina, she transformed the duo into a trio and the rest, as they say, is history. Vivian went on to build branches of her eatery while copycats sprouted all over Metro Manila.
The most common, and probably the least expensive way, to prepare tapa is to marinate the beef in soy sauce. I go a step farther. I go a step father too in cooking the fried rice.
Tapsilog (Marinated Beef, Egg and Fried Rice)
- 500 grams yakiniku-cut beef
- 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons liquid seasoning I used Knorr — I do not recommend substituting soy sauce
- cooking oil for frying
- 1 small onion peeled and roughly chopped
Garlic turmeric fried rice
- 3 eggs fried sunny side up
Marinate the beef
- Cut the yakiniku beef into half-inch strips.
- Place the beef in a bowl, and mix in the garlic, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and liquid seasoning.
- Transfer the beef to a container with a tight cover and leave in the fridge to marinate overnight.
Cook the tapa
- Heat enough oil in a frying pan to reach a depth of about one-fourth inch.
- Spread the marinated beef on the hot oil and leave to cook for about a minute before stirring to up the pieces.
- Cook, stirring often, until the edges of the beef are lightly caramelized.
- Scoop out the tapa, transfer to a bowl and toss in the chopped onion.
Cook the garlic turmeric fried rice
- Pour off the oil and rendered fat from the pan leaving only two tablespoonfuls (or transfer the required amount of oil and rendered fat into a clean pan) and reheat.
- Saute the garlic and turmeric powder until fragrant and lightly browned.
- Turn up the heat, add the rice, sprinkle in salt and stir fry until the rice is heated through.
Assemble the tapsilog
- Ladle rice on a plate.
- Spoon the tapa a la salpicao around it.
- Arrange an egg on top of the rice.