Nilagang Baka is a Filipino beef soup cooked until the meat becomes really tender and with vegetables like potatoes, beans, and cabbage that makes this simple soup healthy and flavorful.
This dish is one of that 'ordinary day' dish that is served at a Filipino table on a regular basis. It is normally eaten with rice, of course, and I usually make a dip from fish sauce with chili flakes. It is perfect for the rainy days but is usually eaten all year round and even in the heat of the summer. It may sound weird to some, I know, but not to us Filipinos. It is actually kind of refreshing after eating a hot soup in the middle of a hot day. You just got to try it to believe it.
For this recipe, I used beef shank but you may also use other beef cuts like brisket, round, chuck, and even spareribs. The bones and collagen found in these cheaper cuts of beef are perfect for making delicious beef soup. These tough cuts become fork tender and tastier over long cooking unlike other (more expensive) tender cuts like steak or tenderloin which becomes exactly the opposite (tough and chewy) when boiled or stewed.
Nilagang Baka (Filipino Beef Soup with Vegetables)
- 1 ½ pounds beef shank
- 6 cups water
- 1 big onion - quartered
- 10 pieces peppercorn
- 1 big (or 2 small) potato - peeled and cut into 4-6 pieces
- 1 corn on the cob (optional) - cut into 4
- 10 pieces green beans - ends cut
- salt - as needed
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 stalks spring onions - cut to inch-long pieces
- ½ small cabbage - cut into 4
- Place beef shank in a pot. Add water, onion, and peppercorn. Bring to a boil at high temperature.
- Once it starts to boil, cover the pot with a lid and lower temperature to low. Let the beef cook for 30 minutes to an hour or until it becomes tender. Cut the beef into serving size.
- Add the potatoes, beans, and corn. Season with salt and fish sauce. Cook covered for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
- Add the spring onions and cabbage and then turn off the heat. Cover with lid and let the vegetables cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve hot.
I added carrots and bokchoy.. totally optional but such a good add in to use up veggies in the fridge!
Very hearty and savory, great comfort food especially when it's cold outside.
Glad you like it, Matthew.
I'm always get good results with your recipes. It is easy to follow. Thanks for sharing and keep it coming.
Hi Bebs! Can I use a slow cooker for this one?
Hi. I'm planning to use beef sirloin instead of beef shanks. Should I reduce the cooking time? 🙂
Hi Bhing, I would not really recommend beef sirloin for making soups or you might get tight, dry chunks of beef. I would use it for stir-fry, like pepper steak or bistek instead.
Sue Jesse says
Great recipe..cooked it for my husband today and he loved it😋😋☺️
That is awesome, Sue! Thanks for the 5 stars.
Tried this recipe and it’s the perfect Nilaga! After having tried different recipes in the internet, I finally found the taste I wanted! (Also, same goes for your recipe of Bistek - it’s just the right taste, and I think the key is the Kalamansi!) Thank you for your recipes! Hope we see more! It’s always good to have a taste of home when your living abroad. 🙂
so happy to know that you like our recipes, Nikki! Thanks for the 5 stars..
Thank you for this great recipe. I tried it and its really great. I just have question. The recipes says it it for 4 servings.. how much is 1 serving of this? (Sorry for this question.. im currently on calorie watch and knowing this will be of good help)
Thank you! 🙂
Actually, the nutrition information just computes the calories in total then divides it by the number of servings we put. So in this case it is about 1 1/2 cup per serving
Leopoldo Villanueva says
Very good nilagang baka.
Fernando San Buenaventura says
Why is your Nilagang baka recipe has so much sodium and potassium? What's your alternate meat for baka?
Hi Fernando, I adjusted the salt content as people have different taste and this has to depend on one's preference. You can also use pork then it will be Nilagang Baboy (Pork Nilaga).
Hi again ms bebs . What oy beef shank auf deutsch?tnx
It is Rinderfleisch Beinscheibe... you can ask for it from the butcher but it is also usually available in kaufland in the meat section already cut without the skin and with bone with marrow..
Patty @pattysaveurs.com says
Your stew is so appetizing Bebs! We have about the same recipe in France, we call it Pot au Feu, guess it could translate beef stew, we make it with different veggies and in the heart of winter, it's supposed to be comforting, will try to add corn on cobs next time, so beautiful and tempting!
Hi Patty, it is funny that cuisines from around the world can be so different and at the same time similar. Just proves that food is universal. ????
Great recipe, in between Irish stew and Italian ossobuco which are my two favorite stews. I could have bone marrow anything, even in the summer.
Elaine @ Dishes Delish says
My grandmother always maintained that eating soup in the heart of summer will cool you off, and you know what? She was right! Just like you! This looks so yummy. I love the little corn cobs. So fun! I can't wait to try this!
There, I just ordered beef shank for tomorrow's lunch. 🙂 Hanoi summer won't stop me from making this nilaga.
Way to go Zara! ???? I've also tried making Hainanese Chicken and rice and I love it so much will share it here soon!
I am always looking forward to your posts because they give me ideas what to prepare for my brood. 🙂
I'm glad I could help, Zara. Wish you a nice day! ????
Jas @All that's Jas says
That soup looks delicious! I'd never think to put chunks of corn cob in a soup, it's great on the retina 🙂 What does baka mean in Pilipino? 'Cause in my native language it means grandma, ha! You cannibal you, lol!
Jas @All that's Jas says
Ugh, the autocorrect... *Filipino
Pilipino also works...
Hahaha...'Baka' means cow or beef. Thanks for the comment, Jas, and for the laughs! ????
Jas @All that's Jas says
Oh, man! Making my grandkids call me something else pronto! 😉
It looks absolutely delicious! Your photos are beautiful too! I love a new recipe for beef soups!
Lisa @ Tiny Kitchen Capers says
I'm not too familiar with Filipino food but this looks absolutely delicious! I need to try it soon.
Hi Lisa, Thanks for dropping by. You should definitely try it and other Filipino dishes too! ????