Boiled Beef Soup, is locally known and called as Nilagang Baka [pronounced Ni-LAH-gang BAH-ka] in the Philippines. It’s another one of my favorite Filipino dishes that I used to request for dinner all the time.

When my grandmother cooks this dish, she uses a pressure cooker to soften the meat and make the stock out of beef soup bones. I used that as well to cut down on the cooking time to make the brisket really tender. Traditionally, the vegetables added are cabbages, potatoes, bok choy, and sometimes, plantains. I used cabbage and spinach and they still went well with the soup.

Boiled Beef Soup

It’s pretty straightforward to cook Boiled Beef Soup. You basically boil the beef then add the vegetables. For a healthier option, you can make the stock and cook the meat a day ahead. Separate the meat and bones from the soup when you store it in the fridge. You can scoop out the fat from the top of the soup after it has cooled then heat with the meat and add the vegetables when ready to be served.

Here’s the recipe:

Nilagang Baka / Boiled Beef Soup


  • 1 1/4 lb beef soup bones
  • 1/2 lb beef brisket, cut in cubes
  • 1/4 of a cabbage, cut in 2-inch squares
  • half a bag of spinach
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper corns
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • kosher salt
  • 6-8 cups water


  1. In a pressure cooker, place beef meat and bones, chopped shallots, a teaspoon of salt, and just enough water to cover the meat and bones. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Read your pressure cooker manual, start the cooking time according to the instructions. Ours begins when the weighted (screwed on) stopper or “rocker” gently rocks back and forth.
  2. Take the pressure cooker out of the heat and cool it with the lid under running tap water. You’ll know when it is safe to open once the outside of the container is cool and it is easy to turn the lid. If not, DO NOT attempt to force it open.
  3. Put the pressure cooker (minus the lid) back on the stove in medium heat. Add the soy sauce. Mix and add water and salt depending on how much soup you want and how salty you want it to taste. Add the cabbage and allow to boil for 3 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the spinach.
  5. Serve hot with rice.
Related Posts with Thumbnails


  • February 20, 2008 10:59 am

    This might be a silly question but please remember I love eating, I do not cook. What is the reason why you say one should separate the meat and bones from the rest when you store it in the fridge?

  • joy
    February 20, 2008 11:12 am

    Arnold – Good question. You know, I always remember the cooks in my family do that, separate the soup/stock from the meat when storing. I think this is mostly because you can use the extra soup/stock for other things and you just add it back to the meat as needed. With the soup I made above, you will mostly likely have extras that you can add for a meat-based pasta dish, or just to flavor a tomato sauce.

  • February 21, 2008 9:22 am

    My mom never cooks this but I love it! (So I always ask look for it whenever I visit my Auntie’s house). I have to try making it myself now ;)

  • February 21, 2008 11:38 am

    Shows you, one is never too old to learn. Thanks.

  • joy
    February 22, 2008 12:23 pm

    Theresa — Go try making it. It’s super simple. :)

    Arnold — No problem. You’re welcome.

  • February 24, 2008 7:16 pm

    Beautiful dish. Unfortunately, we don’t have any real Filipino restaurants in Atlanta (that I know of).

    I guess I will have to make some.

    I love the pressure cooker BTW.


  • joy
    February 28, 2008 12:09 pm

    Rowdy — Thanks! Hmm…I haven’t heard of any Filipino restaurants from there either. [Not that I’ve searched for them there.] Go make some. :)

Leave A Comment