My Nilaga Recipe (Filipino Pork and Vegetable Soup)

nilaga recipe


A cozy and hearty soup dish featuring tender pork pieces and plenty of vegetables to enjoy on a cold day.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 pounds pork ribs
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 large yellow onion sliced thickly
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 2 green saba bananas
  • 6 pieces Baguio beans or green beans
  • 1-2 bunches pechay or cabbage
  • 1 stalk onion leek or green onion
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  • Place the pork ribs in a large pot and add just enough water to submerge them. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once scum has formed, turn off the heat, discard the water, and give the pork ribs and pot a quick rinse.
  • Return the pork ribs to the pot and add about 8 cups of water, along with the sliced onion, peppercorn, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover and turn the heat to low. Let it simmer until the meat is fork-tender.
  • While the pork is simmering, prepare the vegetables and bananas. Wash and peel the potatoes, then cut them into quarters. Cut off the ends of the bananas, wash thoroughly, and cut each into 3 pieces diagonally (unpeeled). Soak both potatoes and saba bananas in water until ready to use.
  • Cut off the stem of the pechay, wash the leaves thoroughly. Remove the ends of the beans and cut into about 3-inch lengths. Remove the root part of the onion leek and cut it into 2-inch pieces.
  • Add the green bananas and cook for 5 minutes, then add the potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Finally, add the green beans and cook for another 5 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the green onions and pechay. Cover the pot and let it simmer for a minute before turning off the heat.
  • Serve in a large soup pot or individual bowls.

Details About My Nilaga Recipe

Nilaga Recipe – You can find no shortage of soup dishes to try in Filipino cuisine. If you are looking for something hearty that features both a protein and vegetables, you should try nilaga. Nilaga is a traditional Filipino meat stew or soup made with boiled beef (nilagang baka) or pork (nilagang baboy) and a variety of vegetables. Usually paired with steamed rice, Nilagang Baboy is a common and satisfying meal in Filipino homes.

The dish varies by region, using different pork cuts and seasonal vegetables. Some areas even include green plantains, offering a cost-effective meat extender and a regional twist. What makes nilaga different from other Filipino soup dishes is the broth base, crafted from tender meaty and fatty cuts of beef or pork. In contrast, other dishes utilize a stock base made from bone marrow and collagen-rich cuts like beef shank and ham hocks. The term “Nilaga,” meaning “boiled” in Tagalog.

Additional Details About My Nilaga Recipe

If you want to prevent any problems when making the dish, there are a few things to know. To prevent discoloration, soak sliced potatoes and bananas in water when not in use. Ensure a clear broth by parboiling the meat and removing any floating scum during boiling. If pressed for time, use a pressure cooker, cooking pork for 20 to 25 minutes. Choose an appropriately sized pot to allow the broth room to boil.

When dealing with the ingredients, you’ll want to wash leafy greens thoroughly under running water to avoid dirt in the broth. Enhance the soup by adding veggies like corn, kalabasa (squash), and kamote (sweet potato). Besides pechay, consider using cabbage or bok choy. Adjust flavor with fish sauce or a bouillon cube if needed. These simple steps guarantee a delicious and well-prepared Nilaga.

To make the most of your leftovers, store pork nilaga in a tightly sealed container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. To maintain the freshness of the vegetables, consider storing them separately as they can spoil faster. When reheating, use a pot over medium-low heat, and add the vegetables back in to boil for several minutes to prevent them from becoming mushy.

Other Dishes Similar to Nilaga

There are many variations and dishes that are similar to nilaga. If you are interested in another soup dish with meat and vegetables, you should try cansi. Cansí, also known as kansi in Hiligaynon, is a tasty Filipino beef soup originating from Iloilo and popular in the Western Visayas region. The soup involves simmering beef shanks and bone marrow until they become tender. It is enriched with green jackfruit, chili peppers, and the unique flavor of batuan (batwan). The vibrant orange hue is achieved by adding annatto seeds (atsuete).

Another similar dish to try would be Bulalo is a Filipino beef soup made with beef shanks and bone marrow. The ingredients, including leafy vegetables, corn on the cob, scallions, onions, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce, complement the meat as they cook together, creating a flavorful broth enriched with melted collagen and fat. Similar to nilaga, there are different ways to enjoy bulalo and one of them is as sizzling bulalo dish.

Other Meat and Vegetable Soup Dishes

As stated, there is a variety of soup dishes in Filipino cuisine. If you want to try other soup dishes with a protein and vegetables, try out binakol. Binakol is a chicken soup with a base of coconut water, offering a gentle sweetness and delightful aroma. This traditional dish includes coconut meat, providing richness and a noodle-like texture. Additionally, it often features chayote or green papaya and chili leaves, but stands out due to its coconut elements. Another soup dish you should try is tinola. Tinola is a Filipino chicken soup known for its tasty broth made with chicken, leafy greens, papaya, and ginger. The distinctive umami flavor comes from adding fish sauce.

Other Pork Dishes

If you want another type of soup dish that stars pork, you should try batchoy. Batchoy, also known as batsoy, is a tasty noodle soup with a rich chicken stock base, tender pork offal, flavorful crushed pork cracklings, beef loin, and round noodles. This dish features finely chopped and seasoned pork offal wrapped in a banana leaf pouch, resembling a Sikh turban. The pouches are boiled and served with the delicious broth and results in a flavorful dish to enjoy.

Ever tried pork leg? Then you should try pata tim. Pata Tim is a Filipino pork dish where a whole pork leg is slow-cooked in a sweet and savory sauce. The sauce includes soy sauce, black peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, and star anise, sweetened with muscovado sugar. The pork leg is cooked with péchay (Chinese cabbage) and mushrooms. It’s specifically called Pata Tim when made with pork hock.

Overall, there are plenty of hearty dishes to explore and try in Filipino cuisine. Nilaga is just one of many soup dishes to help bring warmth to a cold day.

nilaga recipe

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