Crispy Beef Tapa

Crispy battered beef belly dressed in garlicky tapa reduction just made your breakfast silog more exciting.
3–4 servings
Prep Time
05 Mins
Active Time
10 Mins

Imagine if your tapsilog was crispy, not chewy. This twist on Filipino tapa does just that, with a process closer to chicken wings than your traditional marinated and air-dried beef: It's battered, fried, and glazed in sauce.

  • The batter: A light coating of cornstarch with some black pepper—that’s it.
  • The fry: A shallow-fry in a pool of hot oil, just deep enough to cover the thin strips of tapa.
  • The sauce: The classic tapa marinade of garlic, soy sauce, black pepper, and calamansi juice, reduced until thick, syrupy, and concentrated with flavor.

Most home cooks default to sirloin when making tapa. This recipe makes use of fatty beef belly, which we've made the case for in our Modern Beef Belly Tapa. You want it thinly sliced, like beef bacon.

Some groceries sell thinly sliced beef belly in packs for samgyupsal and hotpot. Try to avoid sukiyaki cuts—they can vary wildly in terms of thickness and parts used. Better to buy a slab and ask your butcher to slice it for you, or par-freeze it at home to slice yourself.

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