Vegetable recipe

Better Beef Nilaga – Panlasang Pinoy

What dish instantly reminds you of comfort? Something about the familiarity of certain recipes can bring you back to warm memories you’ll always be fond of. Such is the magic of food — it affects not just our bodies in the physical sense, but allows us to get in touch with our emotions in sharing…

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What dish instantly reminds you of comfort? Something about the familiarity of certain recipes can bring you back to warm memories you’ll always be fond of. Such is the magic of food — it affects not just our bodies in the physical sense, but allows us to get in touch with our emotions in sharing the same with our loved ones. Filipino food is ripe with examples of comfort meals, whether it’s a filling bowl of soup or a hearty and delicious meat. But one dish manages to bring these two together in a perfect and refreshing way. I am, of course, talking about none other than delicious beef nilaga!

beef nilaga recipe panlasang pinoy

What is beef nilaga?

A piping hot broth and tender chunks of meat comprise this calming and delightful dish. Beef nilaga is a native Filipino dish that uses juicy and rather fatty portions of meat, which you boil until they practically fall off the bone in succulence. Add your vegetables, like crunchy green beans and cabbage, and your pieces of sweet and chunky potatoes, and you have for yourself a filling dish that’ll soothe your stomach as well as your soul! The taste of this dish may be mild, but its impact on you is definitely long lasting. Beef nilaga is perfect proof that sometimes, less is more!

How do we make this beef nilaga better?

In usual beef nilaga recipes, we tend to gravitate toward beef brisket cubes as our cut of choice. Brisket comes from the breast or lower chest of the beef, and is quite common in many slow-cooked and boiled recipes. However, today, we’ll be using a different part of the cow for our beef nilaga: beef neck bones! Unlike brisket, neck bones come—you guessed it—from the neck of a cow. They might appear to have less meat than your usual cut at first glance. But once you really boil this part of beef to tenderness every bite will definitely be worth it.

What makes it even better is that the beef neck bone cut is a cheaper alternative to others! Beef nilaga in itself is quite an affordable dish to make, with many common household ingredients and easily purchasable components from the supermarket. Now with the beef neck bone being used, cooking can be made a whole lot easier!

beef nilga

How to make this better beef nilaga

The first step in this beef nilaga recipe is to grill your beef neck bones for 1 ½ minutes per side. After doing this, take a pot and heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil, sautéing your garlic and onions. Once the onions soften, you can add the neck bones you had just grilled, and sauté it for another 2 minutes.

Next, pour 6 cups of water into the pot, and turn your heat down low as your nilaga steadily starts to boil. Cover your pot, and continue to let your meat cook until it becomes tender. If you feel like it needs more water, feel free to add the same!

As regards how long your neck bones need to cook, many recommend leaving it in the pot to simmer for about 2 to 4 hours. The more tender you want your neck bones to be, the longer you’ll have to keep them on the grill. Patience is of the utmost essence in making this beef nilaga, after all! However, be sure to check on your meat at least every half hour; it might be as tender as you want it in less time!

When your meat is finally juicy, add a Knorr Beef Cube and your corn on the cob before covering the pot. Cook for about 8 minutes more.

We’re finally at the homestretch! Add your potatoes, then cook them in your stew for about 6 minutes. Next, your remaining ingredients come in: long green beans, cabbage, and bok choy. Your beef nilaga needs only 3 minutes more, during which time you can season with fish sauce and ground black pepper. When the taste is to your liking, that’s it — you’re done!

Turn the heat off the stove and transfer your beef nilaga to a serving bowl. Serve it piping hot with heaping cups of rice, and enjoy!

beef nilga recipe

Did you love this better beef nilaga? Let us know in the comments below!

Did you make this? If you snap a photo, please be sure to tag us on Instagram at @panlasangpinoy or hashtag #panlasangpinoy so we can see your creations!

beef nilaga recipe panlasang pinoy

Better Beef Nilaga

Filipino boiled beef soup with bok choy and corn

Prep: 15 hours

cook: 1 hours 30 hours


  • Grill the beef neck bones for 11/2 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, heat cooking oil and sauté the garlic and onion.

  • Once the onion softens, add the beef. Sauté for 2 minutes.

  • Pour water into the pot. Let it boil. Cover and continue cooking using low heat setting until the meat gets tender. Note: add more water as needed.

  • Add Knorr Beef Cube and corn. Cover the pot. Cook for 8 mins.

  • Add potatoes. Cook for 6 mins.

  • Add the long green beans, cabbage, and bok choy. Continue cooking for 3 minutes.

  • Season with fish sauce and ground black pepper.

  • Transfer to a serving bowl. To install Serve hot. Share and enjoy!


Nutrition Information

Calories: 820calories (41%) Carbohydrates: 29g (10%) Protein: 73g (146%) Fat: 47g (72%) Saturated Fat: 16g (80%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Monounsaturated Fat: 22g Trans fat: 0.05g Cholesterol: 201MG (67%) sodium: 649MG (27%) Potassium: 2227MG (64%) Fiber: 7g (28%) Sugar: 12g (13%) Vitamin A: 9792IU (196%) Vitamin C: 147MG (178%) Calcium: 327MG (33%) Iron: 10MG (56%)

©copyright: Vanjo Merano

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