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This recipe is sure to get the attention of many readers over in Visayas and Mindanao. Balbacua is a delightful Filipino dish that is most popular in those areas of the Philippines. And so if you are not familiar with this, just imagine a warm, truly delicious mix of Pochero and Kare Kare. Our savory Balbacua also has a bit of a milder flavor that is not too salty, but counts on the richness of the tomato sauce to give it depth.
There are actually plenty of kinds of Balbacua in the country. You may have encountered the one from Cebu, which includes peanuts, making it even more similar to Kare Kare. It can also have a tinge of sweetness from pineapple juice.
But what we have here is a simpler, basic version that you can easily whip up at home. However, be warned that it will really take some time to get our cow trotters, or the feet of the cow, perfectly tender. I have to say that this step, which would take hours, is what makes Balbacua so satisfying, and so you really cannot shortcut it.
If, like me, you wound up making this dish to keep you warm on a cold day, let me suggest more dishes that are perfect for that kind of weather! Here are more soup recipes for you to check out.
More Pinoy Soup Recipes
Like our Balbacua, Nilagang Baka With Kalabasa has a beautiful mix of vegetables and meat. As such, you can expect a hearty meal that will fill you up, and energize you for your activities. They also have similarities in their usage of fish sauce to add a bit more flavor to the dish.
Getting cravings for a meal with a bit of natural heat? We have the answer to that in this Spicy Sotanghon Chicken Soup. Lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and of course, Thai chili pepper, come together to create this savory, appetizing bowl of meaty goodness. You will likely need just about 45 minutes to make this, and so it is perfect for chillier days when you have little time to spare for cooking.
Speaking of dishes that are popular in Visayas, this Cansi recipe is a great dinner dish for the entire family. It makes use of beef shank, and can be likened to Sinigang and Bulalo. It has that nice sharpness from Sinigang seasonings with a bit of spice in our broth as well. There is also a lot of flavor from our unripe jackfruit.
It’s time for us to get back to learning how to create our own Balbacua. Like these recipes above, this delicious stew can provide you a lot of nutrition not just from its mix of vegetables. You can also count on the cow trotters to give you plenty of collagen. This is great for your immune system and your skin.
How to Cook Balbacua
1. Sautéing garlic, ginger and onion together
We’re starting with this step to really get the flavors going from our garlic, ginger and onion. Put 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a pan, and let this get hot. Take the onion you’ve chopped, 2 knobs of ginger you’ve crushed, and 5 cloves of garlic you’ve crushed, and sauté these together. You can set this aside once the onion softens.
2. Getting the cow trotters soft
Place 5 lbs. of cow trotters, 10 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper, and 1 bunch of lemongrass with the white part cut in 4-inch pieces in a cooking pot. Apply heat, and let the mixture boil. Then set the heat to the lowest available setting. Let this simmer for 3 hours, or until the meat and the fibers on the trotters become tender.
3. Adding more seasonings
Take the lemongrass out of the pot. Then sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of annatto powder, and sauteed aromatics, otherwise known as the onion, garlic and ginger you sautéed earlier. Also add 3 tablespoons of salted black beans, and 1 Knorr Beef Cube. Cook this up for 30 minutes.
Then you can incorporate 3 Jalapeno peppers, 1 bell pepper you’ve sliced, and 1 bunch of green onions you cut into 2-inch pieces. Continue cooking the mixture for 10 minutes more. Then just add as much fish sauce as you like. If you are not too keen on the flavor of this, you could substitute the patis with salt. Then just put everything into a serving bowl.
Eat all of this up while it is irresistibly hot! And then you’re done with your very own Balbacua.
Has this recipe inspired you to look into more Filipino dishes? Discover the best and most unique dishes of Pinoy cuisine right here on the website! Feel free to scroll for more Panlasang Pinoy recipes.
- 5 lbs. cow trotters
- 1 Knorr Beef Cube
- 1 bunch lemongrass (white part) cut in 4-inch pieces
- 1 bell pepper sliced
- 3 tablespoons salted black beans
- 1 bunch green onions cut in 2-inch pieces
- 3 Jalapeno pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 10 cups water
- 2 teaspoons annatto powder
- 5 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 knobs ginger crushed
- Fish sauce to taste
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- Heat oil in a pan. Sauté garlic, onion, and ginger until the onion softens. Set aside.
- Combine trotters, 10 cups water, ground black pepper, and lemongrass in a cooking pot. Let it boil. Adjust the stove to the lowest heat setting and then simmer for 3 hours or until the meat and fibers on the trotters soften.
- Remove the lemongrass. Add the annatto powder, sauteed aromatics (onion, garlic, and ginger), salted black beans, and Knorr Beef Cube. Continue cooking for 30 minutes.
- Add jalapeno, bell pepper, and green onions. Cook for 10 minutes.