Nilaga Beef Is Better

What dish immediately brings you comfort? Something about the familiarity of particular dishes can transport you to happy memories you’ll cherish forever. Such is the beauty of food: it impacts not only our bodies physically, but also helps us to connect with our emotions through sharing…
What dish immediately brings you comfort? Something about the familiarity of particular dishes can transport you to happy memories you’ll cherish forever. Such is the power of food: it affects not only our bodies physically, but also helps us to connect with our emotions when we share it with our loved ones. Comfort food abounds in Filipino cuisine, whether it’s a substantial bowl of soup or a succulent piece of meat. But one meal manages to combine the two in a delicious and refreshing way. Of course, I’m talking about the delectable beef nilaga!

What exactly is beef nilaga?

This relaxing and wonderful dish is made up of a steaming hot broth and delicate bits of pork. Beef nilaga is a traditional Filipino meal that involves boiling succulent and fatty chunks of meat till they virtually fall off the bone in succulence. Add your vegetables, such as crunchy green beans and cabbage, and your sweet and chunky potatoes, and you have a substantial dinner that will calm both your stomach and your soul! This dish’s flavor may be moderate, but its impression on you will be long lasting. Beef nilaga is a fantastic example of when less is more!

How can we improve this beef nilaga?

We usually use beef brisket cubes as our preferred cut in beef nilaga recipes. Brisket is made from the beef’s breast or lower chest and is commonly used in slow-cooked and boiled recipes. However, for our beef nilaga today, we’ll be using a different component of the cow: beef neck bones! Neck bones, unlike brisket, are derived from the cow’s neck. On first appearance, they may appear to have less meat than your typical cut. But once you’ve cooked this section of the meat to softness, every bite will be well worth it.

What’s more, the beef neck bone cut is a less expensive option than others! Beef nilaga is a relatively inexpensive recipe to prepare, containing numerous common domestic ingredients and easily procurable shop components. Cooking is now much easier thanks to the usage of the beef neck bone!

How to improve this beef nilaga

Steps to Prepare

The first step in making beef nilaga is grilling the cattle neck bones for 12 minutes per side. After that, heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a pot and sauté your garlic and onions. Once the onions have softened, add the grilled neck bones and cook for another 2 minutes.

Bringing It to a Brisk Boil

Pour 6 cups of water into the saucepan and reduce the heat to low while your nilaga begins to boil consistently. Cover your saucepan and continue to cook the meat until it is soft. If you think it needs more water, feel free to add more!

When it comes to how long your neck bones should cook, many people advocate leaving it in the pot to simmer for 2 to 4 hours. The longer you leave your neck bones on the grill, the more delicate they will be. After all, patience is essential when creating this beef nilaga! Check on your meat at least every half hour; it may be as tender as you like it in less time!

When the beef is tender, add a Knorr Beef Cube and the corn on the cob before covering the saucepan. Cook for another 8 minutes.

Lasting Details

We’ve arrived in the home stretch! Add your potatoes and simmer for around 6 minutes in your stew. The final items arrive next: long green beans, cabbage, and bok choy. You simply need 3 minutes more to season your beef nilaga with fish sauce and ground black pepper. When the flavor is to your liking, you’re done!

Remove the beef nilaga from the heat and place it in a serving basin. Serve immediately with heaped cups of rice and enjoy!

Did you enjoy our improved beef nilaga? Please let us know in the comments!

Did you make it yourself? If you take a photo, please tag us on Instagram at @panlasangpinoy or use the hashtag #panlasangpinoy so we can see your work!

Better Beef Nilaga

Filipino boiled beef soup with bok choy and corn
Prep: 15minutes 
Cook: 1hour  30minutes 


  • 3 lbs. beef neck bone
  • 1 Knorr Beef Cube
  • 3 corn on the cob cut in half
  • 2 potatoes quartered
  • 18 long green beans
  • ½ head cabbage
  • 1 bunch bok choy
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Fish sauce and ground black pepper to taste


  • Grill the beef neck bones for 11/2 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and set it aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat cooking oil and sauté the garlic and onion.
  • Once the onion softens, add the beef. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Pour water into the pot. Let it boil. Cover and continue cooking using low heat setting until the meat gets tender. Note: add more water as needed.
  • Add Knorr Beef Cube and corn. Cover the pot. Cook for 8 minutes.
  • Add potatoes. Cook for 6 minutes.
  • Add the long green beans, cabbage, and bok choy. Continue cooking for 3 minutes.
  • Season with fish sauce and ground black pepper.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve hot. Share and enjoy!


Nutrition Information

Calories: 820kcal (41%) Carbohydrates: 29g (10%) Protein: 73g (146%) Fat: 47g (72%) Saturated Fat: 16g (80%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Monounsaturated Fat: 22g Trans Fat: 0.05g Cholesterol: 201mg (67%) Sodium: 649mg (27%) Potassium: 2227mg (64%) Fiber: 7g (28%) Sugar: 12g (13%) Vitamin A: 9792IU (196%) Vitamin C: 147mg (178%) Calcium: 327mg (33%) Iron: 10mg (56%)


What is Nilaga Beef, and how is it prepared?

Nilaga Beef is a traditional Filipino beef stew made with tender beef shanks or brisket, vegetables like potatoes, cabbage, and corn on the cob, and flavored with fish sauce or salt. The beef and vegetables are simmered together in a flavorful broth until they become tender and delicious.

What makes Nilaga Beef better than other beef dishes?

Nilaga Beef is often favored for its simplicity and hearty flavor. The slow cooking process allows the beef to become incredibly tender, and the combination of vegetables adds a delightful taste and texture. Additionally, the clear broth helps enhance the natural flavors of the beef and vegetables.

Can I use other meats instead of beef for Nilaga?

Yes, while the traditional Nilaga Beef uses beef shanks or brisket, you can substitute other meats like pork, chicken, or even fish to create variations of the dish. However, using beef typically results in the authentic Nilaga experience.

How long does it take to cook Nilaga Beef?

The cooking time for Nilaga Beef can vary depending on the cut of beef used and the desired tenderness. Generally, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to cook, but some cuts might require longer cooking times to become tender.

Are there any regional variations of Nilaga Beef?

Yes, Nilaga Beef may have some regional variations in the Philippines. For example, some regions might add banana blossoms, saba bananas, or taro roots to the stew for added flavor and texture. These regional twists can make each version of Nilaga Beef unique and special.

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