How to Make Filipino Beef Soup in 5 Easy Steps

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Nilagang baka is a delicious beef soup from the Philippines.

Nilagang baka is a delicious beef soup from the Philippines.

What Is Nilagang Baka?

Nilagang baka is the Tagalog name for Filipino beef soup. It is a simple and tasty dish that is a complete meal by itself since it contains meat, potatoes, and vegetables—but traditionally, Filipinos eat this with rice.

When the weather becomes cooler, nothing beats a nice bowl of hot, steamy soup. Nilagang baka is one of my favorites. It's not fancy. It contains just a few basic ingredients, but you can make it as fancy as you want by adding anything you want. It's so good, I would eat it even if it isn't cold and chilly outside.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

1 hour 30 min

1 hour 45 min

Serves 4–6 people


  • 2 pounds beef sirloin, cubed
  • 1 small cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 3 medium potatoes, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce


  1. Place the beef in a pot of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add peppercorns and fish sauce.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is tender.
  4. Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the cabbage and onions and cook for 5 minutes.


  • Try including other vegetables such as green beans, plantains, green onions, bok choy, Napa cabbage, or corn on the cob.
  • You can use other cuts of beef, such as beef shank (with or without the bones).


Edwin Alcantara (author) from California on October 12, 2019:

Thanks Tori.

Tori Leumas on October 12, 2019:

This looks really good. I'd like to try this. The weather now in October is perfect for soups.

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