Tapsilog, a popular Filipinx meal, is a portmanteau of the dish’s three components: tapa (beef), sinangag (garlic fried rice), and itlog (fried egg). It’s one of many variations of silog (garlic fried rice plus fried egg), others of which include tosilog (made with pork), bangsilog (fish), and spamsilog (spam).
Tapa has origins in the pre-refrigeration era, when it was cured and dried in a fashion similar to beef jerky as a means of preservation, but today, the meat is most often marinated before being fried or grilled. There are countless ways to make the marinade and prepare the protein (read more about silog and its variations here!), but the method below is my personal favorite.
While my recipe is fairly straightforward, there are a few ways to ensure a great result. First, make sure that the garlic in the tapa marinade is coarsely—not finely—chopped; otherwise, it will burn in the hot oil. Second, really drain the marinade from the beef (I like to press it firmly against a fine-mesh sieve to get rid of as much liquid as possible). Third, have a pair of long tongs handy when you start frying, as the oil will splatter when the meat cooks and you’ll want to stand back.Though silog is traditionally served for breakfast—occasionally alongside spicy vinegar, fresh tomato, cucumber, or atchara (a kind of pickled papaya)—it makes a savory, satisfying meal any time of day. —Arlyn Osborne