Enjoy the rich taste of beef marrow soup with this Instant Pot Bulalo recipe. Beef so tender it falls off the bone. Pair it with toyomansi and steaming heaps of rice.
What is Bulalo?
It’s a hearty beef soup made with beef shanks and bone marrow. The shanks are cooked until the tendons and collagen are soft like Jello and the bone marrow melts into the soup giving it that distinct rich beef taste. The soup is also infused with nutrients coming from vegetables like cabbage, onions, and corn.
Filipinos love to eat bulalo with a heap of steaming rice and spicy “toyomansi” (soy sauce with calamansi juice and red hot chilies).
How do you tenderize beef shanks?
Bulalo’s main ingredient is beef shanks. This particular cut of meat is notoriously tough and chewy and usually takes 4 to 6 hours of simmering under low heat before it becomes palatable. You may be able to cut the cooking time in half by using a regular pressure cooker or in this recipe, an instant pot.
What’s the difference between Bulalo and Nilaga?
If you’re familiar with beef nilaga, you may find it hard to distinguish the two dishes just by looking at them. The trick is to know the cut of beef used and understand the method it takes to prepare the two dishes.
Beef nilaga uses beef brisket. This cut of meat is already tender and therefore does not take half a day to cook it. Nilaga usually just takes about an hour to cook but the soup is not as flavorful as that of bulalo. The addition of beef broth (usually comes in cubes) gives it that richer taste.
Bulalo on the other hand utilizes the tougher beef shanks and has a richer, “beefier” taste. The rich taste of beef comes as a result of simmering the meat and bone marrow for 4-6 hours.
This dish became so popular all over the Philippines that they came out with a bulalo flavored instant noodle.
The following recipe is a faithful rendition of the Batangas bulalo as I remember it.
- 1 Onion Coarsely Chopped into four parts
- 1 Carrot
- 2 pcs Beef Shanks with Marrow and meat
- 1 Small Head of Cabbage Coarsely Chopped into four parts
- 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 3 Corn Cobs Cut crosswise into 2 inch in thickness
- 4 Cups Beef Broth
- 1 tbsp Whole Black Peppercorns
- Place the onion, carrot, beef shanks, fish sauce, and black pepper in the inner pot.
- Add 4 cups of beef broth or water just enough to submerge the ingredients but not too much that it exceeds the maximum fill line of the instant pot.
- Set mode to pressure cook for 30 minutes.
- After the set time, release the pressure by venting the pot. Open the cover.
- Add the chopped corn and cover.
- Set the pot to pressure cook for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, release the pressure and open the cover. Add in the cabbage.
- Push the cabbage into the soup mixture to cook.
- Press the Sauté button and set the timer to 15 minutes.
- Stir everything and give the soup a taste. This is where you can adjust the salt level by adding the fish sauce.