Minced beef mixed with herbs and thins slices of red pepper. Sitting on a large green leaf and garnished/surrounded by citrus slices, cucumber slices, carrot sticks, sliced bread and long red peppers. Wooden table underneath.

A dish from the Nothern Marianas Islands, Kelaguen is meat that’s “cooked” in the acid from the citrus-based marinade, but feel free to substitute finely sliced grilled meat if you’d like.

The spice in this version is toned down, as the traditional level of heat may knock your socks off. 


  • 1 ½ lbs very lean beef trimmed of all fat 
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 cup soy sauce, divided 
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers – homemade, or we like Mediterranean Organic Fire Roasted 
  • 1 onion  
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced 
  • 2 tsp minced ginger 
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp chili flakes 
  • Several grinds fresh black pepper 


Cut beef into thin strips or tiny bite size pieces. Cut onion in half and then cut ¼-inch thin strips on the grain. 

Add beef, lemon juice, ½ cup soy sauce, roasted red peppers, onion, chili flakes and pepper to a bowl. Mix well and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  

Let rest at room temperature for about 3 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator, stirring once to make sure everything’s coated evenly. 

Dipping sauce: In a tiny saucepan, gently heat soy sauce with garlic and ginger so flavors meld.  

Serve with dipping sauce, rice, potato salad and/or flour tortillas.