Nilagang Baka Recipe with beef shanks & fish sauce

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 2, 2020
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This Nilagang Baka recipe is yet another brothy Filipino dish that is perfect for the rainy days.

It is made up of the bony parts of the cow and vegetables and this Nilagang Baka recipe is also very easy to cook as it is also just a one-pot affair.

The ingredients in this Nilagang Baka recipe include the beef bones called “buto-buto” in Filipino which is its main ingredient (though some buy the actual beef for its meatiness), salt, peppercorns, mature corn, sliced papaya, and cabbages (or it can be a combination of cabbage and potatoes, depending on the one cooking) and pechay which can be added in combination with papaya.

Nilagang Baka Recipe

Nilagang Baka Recipe and Cooking Tips

In cooking Nilagang Baka and in following this recipe, one has a variety of choices.

One is to buy beef bones and put it in a large pot with water to a boil for 30 minutes to create the beef stock. This stock will serve as the broth to the nilagang baka.

Another one is to just put water into the pot, add the beef and beef bones and let it simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.

In both choices though, the ending is that after you can already see that the meat and the meat around the bones are starting to get tender, you can already start adding the seasonings to this dish such as salt and pepper.

For an enhanced flavor, especially if you have not used beef broth, you can add beef broth cubes bought from the supermarket.

Nilagang Baka

As for the vegetables, put the papaya in first as this is the hardest vegetable as well as with the corn. Follow these two with the other vegetables depending on their hardness.

For example, if you are going to have pechay as well, put it in the pot just before you turn off the stove and let the remaining heat cook the pechay.

Add salt and whole peppercorns to taste.

After putting all vegetables, let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes or depending on whether the beef and the harder vegetables are already tender enough to be eaten.

Be careful though in over simmering, except if that is really your intention.

Filipino Nilagang Baka

This is perfect for the rainy days and as with many other Philippine dishes, should be eaten with rice.

Nilagang Baka Recipe

Filipino Nilagang Baka Recipe

Joost Nusselder
This is perfect for the rainy days and as with many other Philippine dishes, should be eaten with rice.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 7 people


  • 1 pound beef shanks cut into serving parts
  • 1 pound beef tendons
  • water
  • 1 small onion peeled and quartered
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 1 small cabbage cut into wedges
  • 10 green beans ends trimmed
  • salt to taste
  • green onions, optional


  • In a pot, combine beef shanks, beef tendon and enough water to cover. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, skimming scum as it rises to the top.
  • Once broth clears of scum, add onions, peppercorns and fish sauce. Lower heat, cover and cook at no more than a simmer for about 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until shanks are fork-tender and tendons are soft. Add more water as needed during cooking to maintain about 6 cups.
  • Add potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add green beans and cabbage and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender yet crisp. Season with salt to taste. Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired, and serve hot.


Since beef tendons are tough and fibrous connective tissues, they are almost impossible to cut uncooked. Ask the butcher to slice tendons into pieces or halfway during cooking and when tendons are soft enough to slice through, remove from pot, cut into serving parts and then return to pot to continue to cook.
Keyword Beef
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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.