Bistek -⁠ Mom’s Version4 Servings • 45 Minutes • Braise

Bistek -⁠ Mom’s Version

4 Servings • 45 Minutes • Braise
Tim Flores
Tim Flores owns Kasama in Chicago with his wife Genie Kwon, a pastry chef. Kasama reflects Tim’s Filipino heritage in homestyle dishes served by day and a tasting menu in the evenings. After studying graphic design, Tim was drawn to working as a chef but it wasn’t until he opened Kasama in 2020 that he decided to lean into his background. “I’d been cooking contemporary American and French cuisine but as we kept working on the concept I thought, why wouldn’t I do the food I grew up eating?

Bistek is a Filipino classic: a simple braise of sliced beef, onions, soy sauce and calamansi (a native citrus that’s somewhere between lime and mandarin).

It’s done in two ways at Kasama. A version of Tim’s mom’s classic bistek is on the daytime menu, but it uses Wagyu instead of more traditional braising cuts. This bistek is served with rice and eggs, making for a substantial and satisfying brunch with a touch of Wagyu luxury. The nighttime degustation features a dressed-up version of bistek, this time made with Wagyu striploin cubes and plated with elegant restraint.

“We take a humble dish of beef and onions and elevate it so people have a fine dining experience,” says Tim. “By using different ingredients such as Wagyu we can execute at a higher level without overcomplicating the flavours. They have the same soul though. We always reference traditional dishes and keep the same seasoning and basic technique.”

Recipe TC1 Right Story - bistek-moms-version


  • 3 onions, sliced in thick rounds

  • 900g (2lb) Westholme short rib, sliced

  • 1 cup calamansi juice

  • 1 cup soy sauce

  • Fried rice, to serve

  • Fried eggs, to serve

  • Achara pickles, to serve


  1. Brown onions in a pan. 

    Once onions are caramelised, remove most of them from the pan and reserve for later.

  2. Brown sliced beef then add soy sauce and calamansi juice.

  3. Place a lid over pan and simmer until beef is tender, about 45 minutes.

  4. Add reserved onions back into the pan. 

  5. Serve braised beef with fried rice, fried eggs and achara.

“By using different ingredients such as Wagyu we can execute at a higher level without overcomplicating the flavours.”