Beef Tinaktak

Beef Tinaktak is a delicious Chamorro dish.  It’s one of my favorite comfort foods–I love drowning my rice with the coconut milk kådu (broth).

Tinaktak–I love saying that.  I think the name came from the sound made when pounding pieces of steak with a knife to tenderize it (tak tak tak tak tak).  Well, maybe that’s not really where the name of this dish originated from, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? 🙂

Rather than pounding a piece of steak, you can use minute steak or ground beef in this recipe.

Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it.

Beef Tinaktak

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Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds minute steak, cut into bite sized pieces (or substitute with 3 pounds lean ground beef)
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes, undrained (chop tomatoes into small pieces)
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons Dashida seasoning (or salt, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • donne’ (hot pepper), optional

Directions:

1.  If you’re using fresh green beans, you’re going to want to blanch them first.  Blanching means to put vegetables into a pot of boiling water, let it cook for a few minutes, then remove the vegetables and immediately place them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

Here’s how it’s done.

In a large pot, bring about 5 cups of water to a rapid boil over high heat. Add enough salt so the water tastes faintly salty. While the water heats, fill a medium sized bowl about three quarters full with ice, then add enough cold water to cover the top of the ice.

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When the water is boiling and the ice bath is ready, trim the green beans to the size you need. It’s best to trim them just prior to cooking so they won’t oxidize or dehydrate. Add the beans to the boiling water in batches small enough to ensure that the water doesn’t lose its boil. Boil the beans only until they’re barely cooked through but still tender. To test, remove one piece with a slotted spoon, dip it into the ice bath to cool, and eat it.

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As soon as the beans are done, remove them as fast as you can and submerge them in the ice bath. Remove them from the ice bath as soon as they are no longer warm.  Set aside.

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2.  In a medium-sized pan, sauté the meat, onions and garlic over medium high heat; cook until meat is browned and onions are translucent.

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3.  Add tomatoes to the meat mixture, juice and all.

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4.  Add the blanched vegetables to the meat and tomatoes mixture.

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5.  Add the Dashida and black pepper.  Stir, taste, and adjust the seasonings if needed.

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6.  Slowly stir in the coconut milk; lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the coconut milk is heated (do not boil).

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7. Add donne’ if desired.  Serve over hot rice (steamed white or brown) and ENJOY!

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19 comments

  1. Deb says:

    I tried a variation of Tinaktak while visiting in Guam. I made your recipe pretty much as written, using soy sauce instead of Dashida which I couldn’t find and chopped fresh tomatoes instead of canned. It was delicious! Recently made again for friends in Oregon who loved it!

  2. Adela says:

    Whats an alternative to the stewed tomatoes? Would a can of whole tomatoes work with this recipe?

  3. Alex says:

    Hi Annie! Do you use a 14 or 28 ounce can of tomatoes? Thank you 🙂

  4. Xee says:

    Love this site , because it shows pictures too! Thanks for sharing! Im not Chamorro but I love chamorro dishes

  5. Joanne says:

    I love learning the recipes you have posted. My husband is chamorro and I’m not so I get to cook for him with your help. I have had trouble finding the dashida seasoning here and lumping wrap is there any alternative?

    • Hi Joanne! I’m glad you’re learning how to cook our favorite island dishes.

      In place of Dashida, you can use powdered beef bouillon. As for lumpia wrapper, you can use egg roll wrapers or wonton wrappers.

  6. VINCENT PEREZ PNGELINAN says:

    I, like Ron, was always under the impression (Chamorro myths) that any recipe with coconut as a main ingredient, was not a healthy choice. However, how often do you cook tinatak-once a month, every two months or just a few times a year? Certainly it would do very little harm to your health if you only had it infrequently. Coconut adds the finishing touch to any dish that calls for it. Lately when Chamorros serve kelaguen manuk they serve it without the grated coconut which I think is not the proper way the kelaguen recipe calls for (I know the dish will spoil if the kelaguenw with coconut is left out for any length of time) and my wife and I don’t add the coconut until we are ready to eat the dish and then we only add the coconut to the amount of kelaguen we will consume at any sitting. CHAMORRO FOOD IS THE BEST.

  7. esther lizama maher says:

    Very good recipes. Thanks Annie

  8. Ron Perez Whiteman says:

    Similar to the way my mother made it although she didn’t measure a darned thing. She came up with a way of making it that was health-friendly by substituting light sour cream for the coconut milk. Too many Chamorros develop diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol because of our diet.

    • Ron, I never used to measure anything when I cooked. However, when I started documenting my mom’s and my recipes to pass on to my children, I found it necessary to measure everything. I agree with you about trying to find healthier substitutes for certain ingredients. However, more and more medical research points toward coconut milk being a relatively healthy alternative, at least to using cow’s milk. Did you know that coconut fats do not contain trans-fatty acids? The natural fats contained in coconuts are less likely to clog arteries, making coconut milk a healthy alternative to cow’s milk when it comes to preserving your heart’s health. Coconut meat contains monoglycerides, which the body absorbs and uses as energy shortly after it is consumed. Because the body does not store coconut fats, there is less chance that your arteries or blood vessels will clog, which lowers your risk of heart disease.

    • ER says:

      Have you ever tried this with the lower fat coconut milk? Maybe make it a little healthier but with the same yummy taste?

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