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...an easy, lemony beef steak kelaguen recipe for your party.



A member of the Guam Chamorro family of lemony-oniony-spicy side dishes, beef kelaguen is excellent with titiyas or a rice-coconut milk dish.



Set 1

12 ounces to 1 pound or ½ kilogram tender, raw beef which measures about 2 cups of 1 ½ pieces of sliced raw meat

*Flank steak is a popular cut for beef kelaguen.

1 cup or large handful thinly sliced yellow onions

½ cup or 50 grams chopped green onions

½ cup or 118 milliliters fresh lemon juice (or mix a ½ cup of water with a ½ rounded tablespoon of lemon powder)

½ cup or 118 ml fresh calamansi juice

*If no calamansi, replace with ¼ cup or 59 ml lemon juice mixed with ¼ cup or 59 ml water as calamansi is not as tart.

1 ½ teaspoons or 9 grams regular salt

1 slice ginger, about ¼ inch thick, sliced into 3 to 4 pieces.

Thai hot pepper or pepper paste

Tools:  medium glass bowl, cutting board, sharp knife


Rinse the raw beef very well under running water till the water runs clear.

Slice beef into ¼ inch thick slices that are about 1 ½ inches long and place into a medium glass bowl. If you slice against the grain, finished kelaguen will be very tender. If you slice along the grain, the beef will have a good chew. I do both so there is varied texture in my beef kelaguen.

Add the lemon juice, calamansi juice, salt, and ginger, giving the mixture a good stir. Add the yellow and green onions then stir. You may add just a little bit of hot pepper if you’d like, but don’t do a taste test yet.

Fridge overnight. I do about 18 hours just as I do for deer kelaguen.

Remove from fridge. Give the mix a good stir and taste. If it’s too lemony for you, add ¼ teaspoon of salt at a time. You may also add a little bit of water if it’s too tart.  Add more hot pepper if needed.

Keep stored in the fridge. This is delish if you are eating with something that is not tart – like red rice, potato salad and barbecue, or white rice with a rich coconut milk curry.

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© Copyright Paula Quinene. Check out Guam cookbooks and Chamorro cookbooks, A Taste of Guam and Remember Guam, for more Guamanian recipes and Chamorro recipes that are tested, tried and true. Get Macarons Math, Science, and Art, for foolproof macaron recipes and techniques. Enjoy a Guam romance novel in Conquered. Most photos courtesy Paula and Edward Quinene.