Nobody makes tapsilog like Rodic's, the legendary diner from UP Diliman's Shopping Center. Who else would think of chopping their tapa into corned beef-like shreds? It looks less like your textbook classic tapa and more like adobo flakes, showered over a pile of rice on a stainless steel plate. But it's this unique approach to tapa—flaky, tender, seasoned with anise—that has drawn crowds to the hole-in-the-wall since 1949.
Of all our tapa recipes, this style takes the longest. Here we use beef shank, a cheap yet flavorful cut that's low in fat—we want our chopped beef to be as meaty as possible. A long braise in an anise-spiked marinade injects the shank with flavor while breaking it down into softer, shreddable meat. It's then chopped and fried, caramelized in its braising liquid until flavorful and glossy.
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 800g-1kg beef shank
- 1 garlic bulb, cut in half
- 5 star anise
- 1 tbsp whole black pepper
- 5 cups (1.2L) water
- ½ cup + ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2-3 tbsp brown sugar
Add oil to a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the beef shank, searing until a crust forms. Flip the meat over and sear the other side. Remove the beef from the pot.
Add the two halves of the garlic bulb to the pot, cut side down. Stir, cooking until the garlic until charred and golden brown. Add the star anise and black pepper. Quickly toast the spices until fragrant.
Add the water, ½ cup soy sauce, and beef into the pot. Once the liquid starts boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the beef is fork-tender, about 3 hours.
Remove the beef from the pot and transfer to a cutting board. (Reserve about 1 ½ to 2 cups of braising liquid.) Chop the beef with a knife or shred it with a fork until you get small, half-inch pieces.
Combine ¼ cup soy sauce, brown sugar, and ½ cup braising liquid in a pan over medium-high heat. Once the liquid is simmering, add the chopped beef. Cook until the liquid has reduced to a glossy sauce, coating the meat. Serve with garlic rice, sunny-side-up, and atchara.