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beef nilaga in a wooden serving bowl
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4.31 from 26 votes

Nilagang Baka

Nilagang Baka is the ultimate comfort food! Loaded with fork-tender beef shanks, tendon, and vegetables, this Filipino-style boiled soup is hearty and tasty.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Entree, Soup
Cuisine: Filipino
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 346kcal


  • 2 pounds beef shanks, bone-in
  • 1 pound beef tendons
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 corn, husked and cut into halves
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 small cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 12 green beans, ends trimmed
  • salt to taste
  • green onions, optional


  • In a pot, combine beef shanks, beef tendon, and water. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, skimming scum that floats on top.
  • When clear of froth, add onions, peppercorns, and fish sauce.
  • Lower heat, cover and cook at no more than a simmer for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until shanks are tender and tendons are soft. Add more water as needed during cooking to maintain about 6 to 7 cups.
  • Add corn and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until almost tender.
  • Add green beans and cabbage and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender yet crisp.
  • Season with salt to taste. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with chopped green onions, if desired. Serve hot.



Since beef tendons are tough and fibrous connective tissues, they are almost impossible to cut uncooked. Ask butcher to slice tendons into pieces or halfway during cooking and when tendons are soft enough to slice through, remove from pot, cut into serving parts and then return to pot to continue to cook.


Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 642mg | Potassium: 1230mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Vitamin C: 66.2mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 7mg