Bulalo – Beef Shank Soup

Bulalo is a soup made with beef shanks and is named for the bone marrow found inside the shank. It takes a slow cooking method to transform the meat and marrow into a rich flavorful broth.


3 lb | 1.36 kg of beef shanks cut through the bone in 2 inch pieces
½ cup | 125 ml of fish sauce (patis)
2 onions
2 potatoes
2 corn cobs
½ cabbage
2 bok choy


  1. Peel and coarsely chop onions.
  2. Cut potato into quarters.
  3. Cut corn cobs into thirds.
  4. Core cabbage and cut into 6 wedges.
  5. Trim bok choy and cut in half.


  1. Rinse beef shanks under cold water, pat dry, then tightly wrap each piece in foil.
  2. Place beef shanks into a dutch oven filled with enough water to cover the beef by 2 icnhes (5 cm).
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat and skim any scum that forms at the surface.
  4. Add the onions, cover the dutch oven and reduce the heat to low and allow the beef to cook for between 2 to 3 hours or until the beef is tender and almost falling off the bone. (Check this by removing one foil wrapped packet and testing with a fork; if it is still not ready continue cooking.)
  5. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes, then add the corn and cabbage and cook for 7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Add the bok choy and cook for 1 minute or until wilted.
  7. Remove the dutch oven from the heat.
  8. Remove the beef from the soup and unwrap it from the foil and then return it to the dutch oven.
  9. Stir in the patis (fish sauce) and season with salf flakes and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.


  1. Divide the soup among the bowls and serve with steamed rice, soy sauce, and kalamansi or lemon wedges on the side.