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Don’t let the name deceive you! Bistek may mean beef steak in Spanish, but this simple, elegant, and satisfying Bistek dish from Food Empowerment Project’s website,, cleverly substitutes beets for beef.


3-4 medium beets, peeled, quartered
10 pieces dried shiitake
1 large onion, sliced into rings
20 ml4 teaspoons oil
30 ml2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 to 4 tablespoons water
Sea salt
Sliced green onions, for garnish (optional)


In an oven-safe bowl, toss beets with 2 teaspoons of oil, a pinch of salt, and roast for 30 minutes, 400 degrees. Alternatively you can sauté the beets until all sides are lightly browned and caramelized. Set aside in a plate.
Soak shiitake in 1 cup of hot water while beets are roasting/frying.
Add mushrooms and the soaking liquid (careful not to include the dregs) into a pan, let simmer and cook further until soft. If you sautéed the beets, you can use the same pan you cooked them in.
Once the soaking liquid has evaporated, increase heat to medium and add remaining oil and onions. Season with a pinch of salt and cook until onions are translucent.
Add beets, soy sauce, and water. Sauté for a few minutes until sauce has almost evaporated but not completely dry.
Serve with rice.


The only thing I changed was to roast the beets first for 90 minutes at 425 degrees F and then peel off the skin.