Spicy Beef Bulalo Recipe

This spicy beef bone soup gets amped in flavor from the chilis.

IMAGE Majoy Siason

What is Bulalo?

This hearty soup recipe is a super comforting meal, especially when served on rainy days. Bulalo is made by stewing beef shanks with garlic, onion, corn, and leafy greens such as cabbage. What makes this such a popular Filipino beef soup dish is its incredibly tasty broth. This is created by tenderizing the beef shanks over a long period of time, thereby infusing the broth with its flavor as well as that of the other ingredients.

It is best served with hot rice with fish sauce as an optional dip.

Tips To Making Spicy Beef Bulalo

The recipe below adds a spicy twist to the classic beef bulalo where we added green finger chilis or siling haba to the flavorful beefy and aromatic broth: 

1 Clean the beef shanks thoroughly before cooking. 

In order to make a clear broth, the beef shanks should be cleaned thoroughly under running water. When you begin to boil the broth, scum from the meat will float to the top. Use a spoon to remove these impurities from the broth. These particles are just protein from the meat and are completely safe and edible even if you do not remove them completely. The purpose of removing these impurities is simply to make a clear broth.


2 Don't have a big enough pot? Use sliced or cross-cut beef shanks. 

This spicy beef bulalo recipe uses bone-in beef shanks, which can either be bought whole or sliced. Whole bone-in beef shanks are the big cuts of bone, while the cross-cut beef shanks are from the same part, just cut up into smaller sections. While both will yield a delicious bulalo, the difference can be seen in how much bone marrow can be consumed when the beef is tender. Sometimes, when cross-cut beef shanks are boiled for long periods of time, the marrow may melt into the broth.

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3 You can control how spicy your bulalo will be with the sili

Aside from adjusting how many pieces of sili to add, you can adjust the spiciness of the bulalo by adding or removing the sili seeds. The seeds contain most of the chemical that makes the sili spicy, so removing the seeds before adding them into a dish can reduce the spiciness as well. Alternatively, the longer you leave the sili in the soup, the spicier it will be! If you have leftovers and are happy with how spicy your bulalo is already, we suggest removing the sili before storing it in the refrigerator or you might find your bulalo spicier than you intended. 

Prep Time
15 mins 
Cooking Time
3 hrs 
Ready In
3 hrs 15 mins 
Cooking Method

Spicy Beef Bulalo Ingredients

How to make Spicy Beef Bulalo

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