Air-Dried Beef Tapa

Breakfast :)
Breakfast 🙂

This should be more appropriately titled with “Electric Fan-Dried Beef Tapa.” 🙂

I read from one of the new books that I have, Memories of Philippine Kitchens, on how they air-dried beef to give them that jerky chewiness. I was interested if that would really make the meat better, and so I bought myself some beef.

I already made beef tapa here before and it turned out great for a non-recipe compliant dish. And I somewhat followed the same for this recipe. A little bit of toyomansi (a combination of toyo – soysauce, and calamansi – a local sour fruit, like lime), and some rice wine vinegar over a low fire, with about a teaspoon or two of sugar and some granulated garlic. Tasted it and it turned out to be too sour. I added some more soysauce (having finished the last of the toyomansi) and it turned out too salty. Add again some fresh calamansi juice. So it was all to taste. I like mine a bit salty sour, with a very slight hint only of sweetness. I toped that with some ground pepper and we were good to go 🙂

Air-drying
Air-drying

I had my meat slice insanely thin from the sirloin. So in the container, i poured a bit of the marinade, added a layer of the beef, another shot of marinade, another layer of beef, until I finished both. Overnight marinating was done.

Once I woke up, I proceeded to air-dry the meat on a cooling rack, on top of a tray, in front of an industrial electric fan. This was supposed to be done for an hour. But tummies (mine especially) were rumbling, so the first few slices were dried only for 30 minutes, and the last were done for an hour.

Meat, up-close
Meat, up-close

Sliced into matchbox sized pieces, this was fried in a bit of oil, and served alongside a runny sunny side-up egg, and some steamed rice. 🙂

So did the drying make a difference? Surprisingly, yes. It gave of a chewier bite without being tough. Just right. 🙂

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