These Are The Other Ways To Cook Beef Shank Or The Bulalo

Do you like it in a soup or saucy and on a sizzling plate?

IMAGE Miguel Nacianceno

The beef shank or the bulalo is one of those beef cuts that are more affordable than the meatier, boneless cuts. 

Despite the major bone of this meat cut, it remains a meaty cut. Take a look at the cross-cut of the leg bone, and you'll see the calf muscle is marbled with sinew and tendon. Don't worry though! Braise or simmer this meat cut long enough and these parts will melt and tenderize, resulting in a succulent cut of meat that's one of the most flavorful beef cuts you'll ever find on the steer.   

There is another mouth-watering aspect of this beef cut that makes it so appetizing. The cross-section of the bulalo bone is the prize many look for in every bowl: the bone marrow. Because of the size of the leg bone, there's more of it than on other meat cuts. It's fantastic when roasted but it's just as delicious swimming in the broth of your typical bulalo when dining in Tagaytay. 


The beef shank can be prepared in a number of ways, including braised, baked, and fried, but the most popular has to be the soup. Whether you like it in a soup or saucy on a sizzling plate, here are beef bulalo or shank recipes to try: 

Photo by Bianca Laxamana
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1 Classic Bulalo Recipe 

The classic bulalo is what you'll find in many Tagaytay restaurants: a beef soup slow-cooked and simmered for hours until tender with corn on the cob, with either pechay or cabbage wedges (or both), and a good sprinkling of black pepper. Serve it with patis or fish sauce, calamansi, and siling labuyo. It doesn't get any simpler or more flavorful than that! 

Skip the chili on the side and add it straight to the broth for a spicy version that's still simply satisfying. 

Photo by Michael Angelo Chua

2 Bulalo with Lemongrass Recipe 

This version is a leveled-up bulalo soup recipe that married a nilaga and became more flavorful, chunkier, and overall more hearty. It's got the classic bulalo ingredients: the beef shank, corn, black peppercorns, and the pechay. It's also got classic beef nilaga ingredients, too: beef cubes including beef short rib pieces, onion, potatoes, and the cabbage wedge.

These two dishes are made to meld into one giant soup pot with a delicious twist on both recipes: it is simmered with lemongrass or tanglad. The grass is citrusy with a hint of mint that amazingly is fabulous with beef. Try it for a different take on two classic recipes made into one.      

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Photo by Bianca Laxamana

3 Kansi Recipe 

Speaking of two dishes in one, this recipe called the kansi is a mashup of bulalo and sinigang. Popular in the southern Philippines, the sinigang part of this dish is commonly made with tomatoes and either batuan or batwan. This green fruit that looks like a hard tomato or dark green guava fruit is sour just like sampaloc or tamarind, but are lighter in its sourness. Batuan is common in Negros, so you can use kamias or sampaloc instead.  

This is simmered with a young jackfruit or green langka and big slices of bulalo for a hearty meal that's sour like sinigang but using the bulalo meat cut instead.  


4 Sizzling Beef Bulalo Recipe 

The bulalo needs to be braised or simmered first until tender before it can be used for other recipes. One popular way of serving the bulalo when not in a soup is sizzling hot on a hot plate. (A cast iron pan will work, too, if that's what you have.) A creamy mushroom sauce is the classic choice for pouring over the tender beef cuts. Top it off with crispy garlic chips for a truly appetizing meal that will have anyone eager to eat. 

Photo by Majoy Siason

5 Bulalo Lugaw Recipe  

Lugaw that's made with beef instead of chicken or pork innards is what this is! It's made just like any lugaw but with an added beefiness to its flavor. It's meatier, too, and the fantastic news is that you won't need much else when served a bowl of this hearty porridge!  

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Sep 13, 2019

Photo by Majoy Siason

6 Braised Beef Bulalo with Chorizo and Mushrooms Recipe 

Braised beef is a common dish around the region, but you won't find one that's more loaded with umami. This braised beef doesn't just have beef, but it's got the flavorful addition of chorizo, too, for that burst of spice from the paprika and the meaty flavor that's extracted from the shiitake mushrooms.

Photo by Majoy Siason

7 Crispy Beef Bulalo Flakes Recipe  

A breakfast with adobo flakes is one of those meals that make having leftovers a good thing. Make your bulalo just as super delicious and a meal to look forward to when you flake and crisp up the meaty pieces that came from your leftover bulalo meal the other night. 

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Simmered bulalo may be the affordable beef cut you are looking for. Make the best of this beef cut using any of these hearty recipes. 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here!

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