Easy Beef Nilaga Recipe

Filipino Beef Nilaga

In this Article


Filipino Beef Nilaga with a service of rice

What is Beef Nilaga?

This Beef Nilaga recipe is the perfect companion on a cool Autumn Day – eat it with rice or drink it as a broth, this Filipino Nilaga dish will satisfy your cosy soup cravings and is your ultimate Filipino comfort food. 

Autumn is in the air here in Newcastle, and with that comes all things cosy and warm. One of the cosy things I like to add when it starts getting cooler is incorporating more stews and soups in our weekly meal plans – I mean, what better way to get into the cosy season than a hot bowl of soup or a warm drink? Ahhhh, just thinking about it makes me happy! I love fall so much. 

This Filipino dish, called Beef Nilaga or Nilagang Baka, is a classic in Filipino cuisine. It’s quite literally translated to Boiled Beef because that’s what it is – beef boiled and simmered until tender. Filipinos eat this dish even when it’s hot – all because it’s perpetually summer in the Philippines – but I love cooking this when the weather here starts to transition to a cooler one. This is my husband’s favourite dish, too, and for great reason. The result is an umami and delicious beef broth soup with tender melt-in-your-mouth beef paired with leafy vegetables and tender potatoes. It’s such a hearty dish, and every bite of it will leave you feeling comforted and satisfied. 

This dish is incredibly simple to prepare and make – all you need is a little patience! Let that beef simmer to make it super tender and the broth rich. It’s also very nutritious and healthy. I’m confident that you can make this classic Filipino dish with ease!

How to make Filipino Beef Nilaga


  • 2 lbs beef chuck 
  • 4 potatoes, cut to chunks 
  • half a head of a green cabbage
  • 1 large white onion 
  • 2 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 4 tbsp patis 
  • 3 tsp salt
  1. Boil water in a large stock pot (water should be to the two thirds mark of the pot, 8 qts is a standard size for a home) 
  2. Cut your onion lengthwise and put in the stock pot as the water boils (so it boils with it). Add the peppercorns as well.
  3. Cut your beef into medium chunks, set aside 
  4. When water is boiling, put in your meat, cover with lid and let it boil for about 3 minutes 
  5. Afterwards, take a spoon and get all the residue on top so your liquid is clear of it 
  6. Turn down heat to simmer, cover your pot and let it simmer for about 2 hours (check on the 1 hr mark – depending on the cut of your beef, it might become tender earlier) 
  7. Wash veggies, chop potatoes into bite sized chunks and cut the cabbage into chunks
  8. Once beef is tender, throw in your potatoes and let it simmer for another 5 mins. 
  9. Add the fish sauce and salt to taste
  10. Put your greens in afterwards. 
  11. Serve hot and with a cup of rice. Enjoy!


1. You can use a pressure cooker to cut the cook time in half 

2. You can add other leafy greens like bok choy or choy sum. In the Philippines, we use “pechay” and those two are the closest thing to it here.

Pin to board
Share on facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I think you would like: