The Ilonggo carne frita recipe is very easy to cook but you can serve it in two ways. Some like it dry, almost dried and fried, hence the term “frita”. The beef is cooked in sauces and oils until it is almost dried like jerky. But you can also have it sauce because I was told that Ilonggos like to eat their rice with sauce. So I will share the two ways on how to do this, along with some tips to get the best carne frita. Beef is rich in protein, the building blocks of growth, so this dish is the perfect tribute to our Olympic gold medalist, weightlifting fairy Hidilyn Diaz.
Check out the other beef recipes in this blog:
- Homemade Garlic Corned Beef Recipe by Mommy Sigrid
- Beef Pares Recipe Using Flank Steak (Beef Camto)
- Korean Beef Stew Recipe: Restaurant-Style Cooking with Beef Camto
- Homemade Japchae Recipe for Korean Food Cravings
Ilonggo Carne Frita Recipe (the saucy version)
This Ilonggo carne frita recipe may be a variation because of the sauce, however, the basic ingredients are there–the soy sauce, garlic, and calamansi. Plus, of course, the onion rings at the end, which will become soft and caramelized. These four are the basic ingredients of the Ilonggo-style carne frita.
Four basic ingredients of the Ilonggo carne frita: soy sauce garlic, calamansi, onion rings
The meat used is usually beef unod (or the lean part). To tenderize, the beef is sliced thinly and pounded. You may also slice into the grain to “break” them apart.
But since I have sirloin, I used it. The kids like it because they have difficulty chewing the sinewy parts. Moreover, I prefer it because of its fatty layers. It makes for a more interesting texture.
- 1/2 kg lean beef slices (I used sirloin)
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly (the more garlic, the merrier)
- Juice of 6-8 calamansi (depending on how sour you want it)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbsps. liquid seasoning (optional)
- Pinch of salt (adjust to taste)
- Water for boiling (I used 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 Tbsps. brown sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup water
- 2 large onions, sliced into rings
- 1. Clean and slice the beef. Drain. Transfer into a marinating dish and add the garlic, soy sauce, and calamansi juice. Mix well and leave in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. Mine was around 4 hours in the refrigerator.
- 2. When you are ready to cook, transfer the beef along with the marinade into a pot. Add the water and let it cook until tender. If the beef needs more cooking, you might want to add more hot water, about 1/4 cup at a time.
- 3. When the beef is ready, mix in the onion rings and the sugar solution. Bring to boil once more and mix well. Serve hot with rice.
This dish is so simple and uses only a few ingredients–there’s even no need to add cooking oil. But it is so tender and full of flavor! Mix the brown sauce with the caramelized onions into your rice to fully enjoy this. Then maybe, we will feel as strong as our very own Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz!
- Read: Teaching Kids to Cook
The Dry Ilonggo Carne Frita
Use a skillet or frying pan for the dry version, after all, we will be cooking the beef in its own sauces and oils until almost fried.
The ingredients are pretty much the same as the saucy version, except that you have to lessen the water and let it boil until the liquid has evaporated. This is the version that I grew up with, which my mother and I have perfected in our kitchen so this is kind of like an heirloom recipe. It is similar to the beef tapa (jerky). If my husband did not mention this dish, I might have forgotten that once, this was my favorite dish–a dish from my childhood.
- Related: Another heirloom recipe that I want to share is the Habichuelas de San Carlos Recipe.
Remember: You do not add the sugar solution anymore.
When the liquid has almost evaporated, reduce heat. Add a bit of cooking oil and the onion rings. Toss everything while the heat is on to allow the onions to wilt.
- Note: You might want to add slices of red bell pepper along with the onions for added color and aroma. Enjoy with hot rice!
Tell me in the comments below which version you prefer. 🙂