Filipino Beef Shank Soup

Active Time: 40 MINTotal Time3 HR 20 MIN
Yield: Serves : 6

Bulalo, a brothy stew from the Philippines, is enriched by the marrow and collagen from meaty beef shanks. Corn, green beans, and cabbage added near the end of cooking deliver a contrasting fresh crunch.


  • 7 pounds meaty beef shanks, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium-size (9 ounce) sweet onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 quarts beef stock or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (such as Megachef or Red Boat), plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 Thai chile, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked and cut into thirds
  • 24 green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)

How to Make It

Step 1    

Place beef shanks in a large stockpot, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes. Skim and discard any scum and fat that come to surface. Remove beef shanks, and set aside. Discard cooking liquid. Clean pot. (This step guarantees a clean and clear broth.)

Step 2    

Heat oil in pot over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and mixture is aromatic, about 3 minutes.

Step 3    

Return beef shanks to pot; add stock. Bring to a boil over high; reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Skim and discard any scum that surfaces. Add fish sauce and black pepper; simmer until beef is tender, 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Step 4    

Add chile slices, if using, and simmer 3 minutes. Add corn; simmer 6 minutes. Add green beans; simmer 3 minutes. Add cabbage, and simmer until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add fish sauce and black pepper to taste.

Make Ahead

Suggested Pairing

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