Pinoy Recipe: Ilonggo-style Carne Frita

Eduardo Joven
Eduardo Joven | Aug 21, 2015

Filipino dishes often have differing iterations and versions, depending on the household, region, and taste of the one preparing it.  This is most true for the recipe that we are going to prepare: the Carne Frita,similar to the “Bistek Tagalog” which happens to be the counterpart of the world famous “beef steak”. 

The Ilonggo-style Carne Frita is a meat dish which is usually made of thin strips of beef but you may also opt to use chunky beef or the shoulder part of pork. Cooking this dish is easy, and the marinade, even easier: simply combine spices such as soy sauce, garlic, lemon or kalamansi juice, salt and pepper and a little sugar, then allow the meat to marinate in the mixture.

Ilonggos live in the western region of Visayas here in the Philippines and they consider Carne Frita as comfort food, usually prepared during Sundays where all the family members gather and serve it for lunch.


  • 1/2 kilo beef sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup Canola oil

For rhe marinade:

  • 1/4 tsp. black peppercorns, crushed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup calamansi juice or Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup  soy sauce (Silver Swan)
  • 2 small onions, cut into rings
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil (optional)


  • Cut the beef into smaller pieces. Remove the ligaments.
  • In a big bowl, combine the beef, light soy sauce, garlic, and peppercorns.
  • Pour the calamansi juice over the beef and mix well. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • In a large wok over high heat, put in the Canola cooking oil.
  • Place the beef one by one, then fry and let brown on both sides.
  • Set aside the remaining marinade.
  • Once the liquid is boiling briskly, reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for about 6 minutes then drain the liquid into the bowl of marinade and set aside.
  • Bring the heat up to medium and to fry the beef, adding Canola cooking oil as needed.
  • When the beef has turned crisp at the edges and is done to your preference (I like it browned), add the beef marinade.
  • Let the Carne Frita simmer for 2 minutes and then turn off the heat.
  • Add the sesame oil and onion rings then mix well with the beef then transfer to a serving plate.

READ more Pinoy Recipe articles on Choose Philippines

(These recipe and photos were previously published on For more features about Philippine food and delicacies, LIKE Pinoy Recipe FB Page.)

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