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Beef Broth with Bone Marrow

 Bulalo ng Batangas

This dish is one of my favourites! I cook this all year round even in the summer months! It’s so comfy and satisfying that it hugs you inside and out. As my father would say “if it doesn’t make you sweat, it’s not a good soup”. My recipe is inherited from my father ‘Pepe’ who was from Batangas in the Philippines. Bulalo is popular in that area and possibly where it originated from. This dish is originally cooked with beef parts that was not a popular cut such as beef shank, with only a few ingredients and there was no vegetables added at all, this is a modern addition.  Batangeños traditionally cook their Bulalo over wood fire for 3 hours or more.

My family enjoys this dish as much as I do especially in the colder months. My girls bring it for their packed lunches too; I bought a container that keeps it hot so they can have a lovely warm lunch in school. I remember when I was in elementary in the Philippines I always enjoyed hot lunches. Some days my father would drive to our school and bring hot lunches for my sister and I, picking us up in our mini jeepney, driving us to the beach, which was 15 minutes away by car, parking up by the sea. There, we would eat our lunch together inside the car (no windows in this jeep). I loved watching the waves as we eat, the sea breeze and seeing my family eating together just like those scenes you see in movies.  Every time I have this dish it brings me back to that moment.

Most of the ingredients used for this dish are easily accessible, you can buy them from your local grocery store or market. If you don’t have much time and you really want to cook this dish, you can also use a pressure cooker which reduces the time, instead of 1.5 hours you can use the pressure cooker for about 30-45 minutes cooking time.




1kg beef shank or shin with bone marrow

2-3 litres water

1 large onion, chop

3 cloves garlic, chop

10g peppercorn

1 Chinese cabbage

1 tablespoon salt or to taste

2 corn on the cob (optional)



Pour water into a large pot and bring water to boil.


Add onions, garlic, black pepper and beef. Bring it to boil again.


Add salt to the broth, turn the heat low and simmer for about 2 hours with the lid on.


Check if the meat is tender and taste the soup, add more salt to your liking.


Add corn and cook for 10 minutes.


Turn the heat off. Add cabbage put the lid on and let it rest for 5 minutes.


This dish is best served with some rice.

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