Simple Super Bowl Sammy: Filipino Steak Sliders
I’d say that this Beef Tapa sandwich is in honor of how well my Filipino brother Sheldon Simeon is doing on Top Chef (except for that soggy surf and turf, ick), but really, it’s just that Beef Tapa is an addictive and easy dish that more food fans need to know about.
A quick pic of a sammy from the first batch, so you know what we’re getting into:
Here’s all you need:
1 c. soy sauce (I used low sodium Kikkoman for this batch. Btw, everyone should see this Kikkoman homage at least once)
1 c. organic vinegar (You can definitely use regular vinegar instead)
2 heaping T. chopped garlic
1.5 lbs. thinly sliced skirt steak (about 1/4 inch width) or sirloin or flank steak
12 mini (2-inch) French rolls or mini hamburger buns
Pour the soy sauce and vinegar into a sealable container big enough to hold the steak with the liquid. Add the garlic and stir. Add the beef, making sure each piece is fully steeping in the marinade. Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
This marinade is delicious and can also be used for chicken, fish and whatever other protein you want to cook. In fact, at one of the Filipino parties my sister and I throw every now and then, Gail Simmons (one of my food heroes) called a batch I made with tempeh* “very flavorful.” !! Definitely a bucket list experience for me. (Btw, tempeh is a versatile meat substitute made from soy, and I plan to make a sandwich or two with it in the future.)
After marination, fry the beef in a pan on medium heat. The skirt steak I got was cut too thick (1/2 inch), so I cooked each side for about 5 mins or so until it was cooked through. (If you prefer, you can cook each side until it’s only a little pink in the middle). You can use a couple tablespoons of canola oil, but you probably won’t need it because the marinade will prevent the meat from sticking to the pan.
Slice the cooked beef into bite-size chunks, put on rolls and serve immediately. (Please note that while there is romaine on the sandwich shown above, Brant and I thought that greens detract from the deliciousness of the sandwich, so I’m recommending just beef and bread.)
That’s the easy version.
I decided to make it more fully Filipino by making our native dinner rolls known as Pan De Sal. They’re sweet and buttery and I usually just heat them up and eat them as is, but I thought they might be even more tasty with Tapa.
I adapted the recipe from food.com, willfully ignoring “Bread Machine” in the title, as I don’t have one. This might be why they turned out more like biscuits than bread:
PAN DE SAL
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. evaporated milk
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 t. salt
5 T. softened butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 c. flour
1 T. yeast (essentially that’s one small packet)
For most of them, I skipped the breadcrumbs that you’re supposed to roll each pan de sal in (to my fellow Pinoys, I know, maraming kalokohan).
Combine the water, milk and evaporated milk and microwave until lukewarm. The recipe said 35 seconds, but my microwave is old and weak, so I did about 75 seconds.
Pour the yeast into the liquid (make sure it’s lukewarm and not hot), and briefly blend so the yeast is fully incorporated, bc otherwise it tends to get goopy and sit at the bottom of the liquid. I used my Magic Bullet. Let sit for 15-20 so the yeast is activated.
Hand mix all the dry ingredients in a large oven-safe container big enough so that you can knead the dough in it later.
Run tap water over the egg for 30 seconds to warm it. Crack egg and whisk in the butter and the oil, then the yeasty liquid.
Pour that into the large container with the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until it’s mostly incorporated and you can knead it with your hands. Knead until it is a fully incorporated ball of dough. It should be somewhat moist and may be a little sticky.
Cover the container with a clean dish towel. Preheat oven to lowest setting, likely 150˚-170˚. Once it reaches that temperature, turn off the oven and open the oven door for 30 seconds. Then place the covered container in the over for 60-75 minutes to rise until it doubles in size.
According the food.com recipe, you’re supposed to punch the dough down and let it rise again. But it was past 8:30pm, and I was getting cranky from hunger, so I just went straight to making oval dough balls and popping in the oven, after preheating it to 375˚. I let them bake for 30 mins, flipping them over at the 15-minute mark until it was evenly golden brown.
Then I sliced them lengthwise down the middle and toasted the insides.
Another shot of a finished sandwich:
Here’s Brant’s reaction (I shot it sideways, probably because of hunger brain):
Once we realized it had to be more eater-friendly, we sliced the meat into bite-size pieces. I also made a less crumbly batch of pan de sal by I hand-rolling more compact dough balls and baking them on Silpat (those amazing silicone baking mats that nothing sticks to).
I’m serving these to some friends during the Super Bowl, so look for their critiques here on Monday. And if anyone tries these at home, please comment and let me know how it turns out!