Batangas Bulalo is probably the most basic and simplest version of bulalo. If you are not familiar with this dish, it is a type of Filipino beef shank soup in clear broth. Vegetables such as cabbage and bok choy are also added to the dish, while there are versions that even use sweet corn (such as my previous bulalo recipe).
Chances are that you might doubt me if I tell you that this bulalo version is very tasty. I was somewhat pessimistic too when I first tried to cook this dish several years ago. How could a dish with limited ingredients be that tasty? I asked myself. All my doubts went away the moment I tasted it. It seems that having a combination of meat and bones (especially the shanks) cooked in low heat for several hours makes a big difference. The onions, salt, and fish sauce made it taste even better. The meat was super tender too.
The recipe below will guide you on how to cook Batangas bulalo. While it is straightforward and simple, I have a few tips or pointers that you should consider in order to achieve the best results. The first thing is to make sure to scoop out the scums and oil that you see floating over the soup as much as you can. Do this after boiling the meat for the first hour. You can also continue doing it towards the end, before serving. It will also be great if you use low heat when boiling the beef. This method will extract most of the flavor from the bones while making the meat very tender. If you want to save on gas or propane, try to use charcoal and cook it outside when you have the opportunity. I did not have this chance, so I used the stovetop all throughout. The last thing is to control yourself. I know that the bone marrow is very tempting. However, it is not the best for your health. Eat in moderation so that you can enjoy more delicious dishes in the future. Cheers!
Try this Batangas Bulalo Recipe. Let me know what you think.
- 3 to 4 lbs. beef shank (with extra bones)
- 4 pieces medium red onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorn
- 1 ½ tablespoons rock salt or coarse sea salt
- 4 to 5 tablespoons fish sauce
- 8 to 10 cups water
- 1 small cabbage
- 3 bunches of baby bok choy
- 5 to 7 pieces chili peppers
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 piece lemon or 3 pieces calamansi
- Boil water in a cooking pot.
- Add the beef shank and bones. Cover and then continue to boil in low to medium heat for 1 hour.
- Scoop away the floating scums and oil from the water. Add the onion, whole peppercorn, salt, and fish sauce. Cover and continue to boil for 3 hours.
- Arrange the cabbage and bok choy leaves on a large serving bowl. Put the bones and meat over the vegetables. Scoop the hot soup over the meat.
- Serve with a dipping sauce composed of chili peppers, fish sauce, and lemon or calamansi.
- Share and enjoy!