Skip to main content

Easy Philippine Nilaga Recipe (a Rich Filipino Meat Broth)

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Kerlyn loves to share her passion for Filipino food with others so that they too can delight in delicious Southeast Asian cuisine.

Beef nilaga or nilagang baka

Beef nilaga or nilagang baka

How to Make Nilaga

Nilaga is a Philippine dish that Filipinos love cooking and eating during those cold, rainy days when they just want to have a hot soup and some chunks of meat and vegetables to go with their hot steamed rice.

The term "nilaga" translates to “boiled” in English. As the name suggests, this Philippine dish is prepared by boiling meat (pork or beef) and vegetables (potatoes, corn, Filipino bokchoy or pechay, and yardlong beans or sitaw).

Because all the ingredients in nilaga are simply boiled, the broth is basically clear. Even so, the rich broth gives this comforting dish a robust taste that pairs well with bland rice.

Nilagang mais means "boiled corn," nilagang mani means "boiled peanuts," and nilagang itlog means "boiled eggs."

Nilaga is so easy to cook. In fact, newbie cooks specializing in Philippine cuisine often start out with cooking nilaga. All one needs to prepare this dish is to cut meat and vegetables and make them tender. It is that effortless!

Nilagang Baka or Beef Nilaga Recipe


  • banana plantain or saba – 2 pieces; cut
  • beef – brisket part; cubed; 2 pounds
  • cabbage – 1 piece; small-sized; cut
  • fish sauce or patis – 3 tablespoons
  • pechay or Filipino bokchoy – 1 bundle; separated per each leaf
  • peppercorn – 1 tablespoon; whole
  • potato – 3 pieces; large-sized; peeled and cubed


  1. In a pot set over medium heat, sauté onion until it becomes transparent.
  2. Put in beef brisket.
  3. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add in fish sauce and peppercorn.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Pour in water.
  7. Allow simmering from one to two hours.
  8. If using a pressure cooker, simmer for half an hour.
  9. When the beef is tender, add in potatoes and banana plantain or saba.
  10. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  11. Add in pechay or Filipino bokchoy and cabbage.
  12. When the pechay and cabbage are cooked, remove the pot from the heat.
  13. Serve while the soup is warm.

Nilagang Baboy or Pork Nilaga Recipe


  • cabbage – 1 piece; small-sized; cut
  • fish sauce or patis – 3 tablespoons
  • garlic – 3 cloves; crushed
  • onion – quartered
  • pechay or Filipino bokchoy – 1 bundle; separated per each leaf
  • peppercorn – 1 teaspoon
  • pork – 1 pound; cut into serving sizes
  • potato – 2 pieces; large-sized; quartered
  • water – 5 cups


  1. In a pot set over high heat, pour in water and place in pork.
  2. Bring water to a boil.
  3. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to low.
  4. Allow water to simmer for one to two hours or until the pork is tender.
  5. Then, add garlic, onion, and peppercorn.
  6. Flavor the mix with fish sauce.
  7. Add in potato.
  8. When the potato is soft, add in pechay and cabbage.
  9. Simmer for 5 minutes, taking care not to overcook the vegetables.
  10. Serve the nilaga while its soup is hot.

Voila! Your Philippine nilaga is ready to eat. Enjoy it with rice!

© 2012 kerlynb