Nilagang baboy recipe (Pork nilaga): Filipino boiled pork soup
The nilagang baboy recipe is the newer version of boiled beef soup (made with pork here instead) associated with the peasant class back in the day.
It’s locally called nilagang baka (cow’s meat) and has seen several adaptations but you can cook this pork version much faster, making it perfect for those weekday dinners. It’s the right dish to prepare if you’re pressed for time and gives as many nutrients as the beef version does.
The best part about this pork nilaga recipe is that it only uses simple ingredients, and it requires very basic cooking skills, so let’s start implementing those!
It’s the perfect hot soup for a cold day with just a little spice from the pamintang buo (whole peppercorns)! So let’s move on to the recipe.
Also check out our recipe on how to cook tokwat baboy
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 How to make nilagang baboy at home
- 2 Nilagang baboy recipe
- 3 Cooking tips
- 4 Substitutions & variations
- 6 How to serve and eat
- 7 How to store
- 8 Similar dishes
- 9 FAQs
- 10 Make a bowl of this pork soup
How to make nilagang baboy at home
Nilagang baboy recipe
- 1 kg pork
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 2 pcs corn cut into 3
- Pinch of salt
- 1 pork broth cube
- MSG (optional)
- 1 Banana
- Boil the pork for 30 mins until it's tender. It can take up to 1 hour to become tender, depending on how chewy the meat is.
- Add onions, garlic, pork broth cubes, salt, and peppercorn.
- Add the corn and wait until cooked or soft.
- Add some water if needed.
- Adjust according to taste; add some salt or patis instead if you want.
- Add the banana and boil for 5 minutes. Then add the pechay and cook for another 5 minutes.
See nilagang baboy being cooked by YouTuber A La Carlene Dishes:
You can also use different cuts of pork for this dish. The most common are pork belly (liempo), pork ribs (tadyang), and leg part (pata). These are the parts that give pork the most flavor, especially if the bones aren’t removed.
Although the method seems to make everything so simple, the texture of the pork is very important for the success of your nilaga. Make sure the pork has enough time to become soft, so boil it for between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Simply begin by allowing the beef or pork stock to boil if you wish your nilagang baboy to be less oily. After that, boil the pork with the onion, peppercorns, and other ingredients until the pig is cooked. The salt can be left out as well.
You can include the fish sauce right before serving if you want a more intense flavor.
You can cook the nilagang baboy recipe the way you cook pochero, with only a few modifications. Nilaga is the dish home cooks prepare on ordinary days, while pochero is more special and seen during celebrations.
It’s mostly made up of pork, potatoes, pechay (bok choy), onions, and repolyo (cabbage). You can also add carrots and sibuyas na mura (spring onions).
Whole black peppercorns give the most flavor, but you can use crushed black pepper too.
Substitutions & variations
The main variation of this dish is the original beef nilagang. But that’s a whole other recipe!
Those who really like vegetables can also add some cabbage too, besides the pechay.
If you want to add more flavor to your nilagang baboy, you can also try adding some Knorr pork cubes. This will give your dish an umami flavor.
Some home cooks also like adding green chili peppers to their nilagang baboy. This will give the dish a bit of a kick.
Pechay can be replaced with other leafy greens like kangkong (water spinach) or malunggay leaves.
Banana is a common ingredient in nilaga, but it does help balance out the flavors. If you don’t have any bananas on hand, you can also use plantain or taro.
How to serve and eat
Nilagang baboy is best served with steamed white rice and some fish sauce on the side.
You can also add some chili peppers if you want it to be spicy. Some people also like to add some soy sauce and calamansi juice to their nilagang baboy.
The dish is served just like any other soup: in a serving bowl. You can add side dishes to make it more filling.
As mentioned, rice is a good accompaniment, as well as some boiled egg or maybe some kangkong (water spinach).
How to store
Leftover nilagang baboy can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it for up to 2 months.
To reheat, simply thaw the nilagang baboy in the fridge overnight and then reheat in a pot on the stove.
The same dish made with chicken or seafood is called tinola. The beef version is nilagang baka.
Nilagang baboy is sometimes confused with pochero, which is a similar dish made with beef and vegetables. Pochero is usually served with plantains, whereas nilagang baboy is usually served with bananas.
Kinamatisang baboy is another pork soup dish that’s similar to nilagang baboy, but it’s made with tomatoes and other vegetables.
Sinigang is another popular soup dish in the Philippines that’s made with pork, beef, or seafood.
Paksiw na baboy is a dish made by stewing pork.
What is the best meat to use for nilagang baboy?
The best meat to use for nilagang baboy is pork shoulder or pork belly. These cuts of meat are relatively tough, so they benefit from being boiled in the soup.
What vegetables can I add to nilagang baboy?
The most common vegetables to add to nilagang baboy are cabbage, potatoes, squash, and carrots. You can also add some peas or corn if you really want to make it healthier.
Is nilagang baboy healthy?
Nilagang baboy is a healthy dish, especially if you remove the fatty parts of the pork before eating it.
The soup is also full of vegetables, so it’s a good way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals.
Make a bowl of this pork soup
Nilagang baboy is a delicious and hearty soup that’s perfect for a cold day. It’s also a great way to fuel up with hearty and nutritious ingredients.
So if you’re looking for a new soup to try out, give nilagang baboy a go!
You can serve it for lunch or dinner with all kinds of side dishes, and it’s sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Also read: how to cook pork higadillo to perfection
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.