Relish rib-eye with a Filipino kick

By Phil LempertChef Drey Roxas shares his recipe for bistek, a Filipino specialty. This recipe for bistek — a traditional Filipino dish — was “stolen with permission” from Chef Drey Roxas of Palencia in San Francisco. Bistek comes in many variations: in this case it is comprised of thinly sliced rib-eye sautéed with caramelized onions, garlic, soy and fresh lemon juice, served with fried potatoes.

The restaurant name of “Palencia” is the owners’ surname as well as a small town in northern Spain. Tying in the strong Spanish influences in the Philippines, it is pronounced “Pa-lén-si-a” and also pronounced by Filipinos as “Pa-lén-sha”.

Filipino cuisine in San Francisco and beyond has yet to be truly celebrated. Palencia restaurant fills the niche of upscale Filipino cuisine in San Francisco’s eclectic restaurant scene and is an answer to the rising desire amongst Filipino-Americans to have a proper representation of their culture.

Through its cuisine and ambiance, Palencia creates an experience of Filipino culture — bringing tastes of new flavors through familiar ingredients and a warm and inviting neighborhood restaurant for diners to enjoy and Filipinos to call home.

Palencia offers authentic Filipino cuisine prepared carefully with healthy and responsible cooking alternatives. Ecologically farmed meats and poultry as well as produce from local farms are used whenever possible. Native ingredients such as vinegar, shrimp paste and fish sauce come directly from the Philippines.

About the Chef:
At Palencia, 25-year-old executive chef Drey Roxas maintains the flavors of Spain and Asia, which strongly influence Filipino cuisine, while incorporating native Filipino ingredients and techniques. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Roxas received his culinary degree from California Culinary Academy in 2003. Immediately afterward he worked at the Shangri-La Hotel in Manila. Roxas’s menu at Palencia incorporates bright, fresh flavors along with the deep, rich national dishes of the Philippines.

3870 17th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94114

Bistek is served at Palencia for $12.95.

Chef Drey Roxas, Palencia restaurant

2 servings


• 2 rib-eye steaks (6-7 ounces)
• 3 slices of red potato cut 1/4-inch
• 1 small or medium yellow onion sliced into thin rings
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 tablespoons diced garlic
• pinch of red chili flakes
• 4 tablespoons 7-Up or Sprite
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• pinch of coarse sea salt for garnish
• 1 tablespoon scallions for garnish

Sauté the onions with about a teaspoon of oil until translucent. Remove them from heat and set aside.

Deep fry the potatoes until golden brown and set aside. Alternatively, you could bake the sliced potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Preheat a sauté pan at medium-high heat, then add oil. Sear one side of the steaks until slightly brown and caramelized. Turn the steaks over and deglaze with garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice, 7-Up and chili flakes for about 30 seconds.

Remove the steaks and place on a serving dish.

On medium-high heat, add sautéed onions and reduce sauce by half. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat.

Top the steaks with onions then pour the sauce over meat. Add the potatoes. Garnish with coarse sea salt and scallions and serve with rice.

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