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How to Cook Your Own Batangas Bulalo

| by Apple Barretto

How to Cook Your Own Batangas Bulalo

Batangas Bulalo is probably the most simple but delicious version of bulalo. If you are not familiar with this dish, it is a type of Filipino beef shank soup in clear broth – very straightforward. Having a combination of meat and bones, especially the shanks, cooked in low heat for several hours makes a huge difference in the savory taste of this dish. And if you cook it right, the meat should be super tender too.

Vegetables such as cabbage and bokchoy are also added in common bulalo recipe, while there are other versions that even use sweet corn, leaning towards a similar dish called “nilaga.” To guide you on how to cook Batangas bulalo, here’s a recipe from Pueblo de Oro Batangas.  It may seem simple, but take note of these few tips before making your bulalo to make sure you get the best results as much as possible.

  • You need to scoop out the scums and oil that you see floating over the soup as much as you can. This should be done after boiling the meat for the first hour. You may also continue doing it towards the end, before serving.
  • You can save on gas or propane by using charcoal and cooking it outside when you have the opportunity. This will give it a fuller flavor than just boiling it on a stovetop.
  • Finally, control yourself. The bone marrow is very tempting to take a little sippy bite, but you may enjoy the dish more if you cook it longer in the soup.

So without further ado, here are the steps on how you can cook your very own Batangas Bulalo:


3 to 4 lbs. beef shank with extra bones

4 pieces medium red onions sliced

1 tablespoon whole peppercorn

1 ½ tablespoons rock salt or coarse sea salt

4 to 5 tablespoons fish sauce (or patis)

8 to 10 cups water

1 small cabbage

3 bunches of baby bokchoy


  1. Boil a large pot of water in a cooking pot.
  2. Add the marrow bones and beef shank and return to a boil. Continue boiling until you don’t see any red blood coming from the meat or bones for about 10 minutes.
  3. Then remove the meat and bones with tongs and scrub under cold water to remove any scum. Dump the water in the pot out and rinse the pot. This process rids the meat of excess blood and will ensure your soup is nice and clear.
  4. Return the cleaned meat and bones to the pot then add the onion, garlic, peppercorns and patis. Cover and then bring it to a rolling boil in low to medium heat for 3 hours.
  5. Scoop away the floating scums and oil from the water. Skim off any excessive fat from the top, but do not remove it all because the fat enhances the flavor.
  6. Arrange the cabbage and bokchoy leaves on a large serving bowl.
  7. Put the bones and meat over the vegetables, and scoop the hot soup over the meat.
  8. Serve with a dipping sauce composed of chili peppers, fish sauce, and lemon or calamansi.
  9. Enjoy!

Image: source

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