Nilagang Baka (Filipino Beef Soup) – The quick and easy way

This is one of the popular Filipino recipes called Nilagang Baka (literally translates to “boiled beef”). Traditionally, the beef and veggies are simmered in an hour or so, but this can be done quickly. The quickest way to enjoy this soup is to cut the beef and veggies smaller. This turned out pretty delicious and so perfect with a cup or two of white rice.

Nilagang Baka

If you know me well, you know I can do meal planning for the whole day. Even I have other work to do, or my mind is very busy with something else, I could still a space for meal planning.

It was a not-so-busy day at work and I had all day for meal planning for the entire week. I have listed down all the ingredients I needed to buy. On my way home, ready to pass by the grocery store, I’ve thought of a different meal to prepare for dinner – this quick and easy nilagang baka, which is kind of Filipino beef soup. What happened to the plan? Scheduled for another time. 😀

I have posted a recipe of this before using a pressure cooker, but I want something else that’s faster than the pressure cooker. I know that the traditional way of cooking this is by using a large cut of meat (yeah, 1.5 inch cube is large for me) and boil until tender for about an hour or so. I don’t think I can wait that long. Cooking after doing the groceries on a work day? I think that’s too exhausting. So I’ve thought of making everything smaller – from the cut of beef to the veggies. Instead of using a larger cut of veggies, I cut them smaller and even used corn kernels instead of corn on the cob. This resulted in about 20 minutes meal (cutting of beef and veggies not included, but you know you can buy pre-cut beef & veggies if you’d like).

Nilagang Baka 2

I am very much delighted to share this with my friends at Fiesta Friday # 183. Our hosts this week are Sarah and Shinta. Thanks ladies and Angie.

Nilagang Baka (Filipino Beef Soup) - The quick and easy way


  • cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 3/4 cup onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 250g beef, cut into small cubes (about 3/4 inch)
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes, cut into cubes (about 3/4 inch)
  • 2 long green chili
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn, drained
  • 3 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 1/2 – 2 beef cubes*
  • 3-4 cups (750 ml – 1 liter water)*
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Fish sauce, optional


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add in cooking oil until hot.
  2. Add in onions and tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add in ginger and beef cubes (start with 1 cube, then you can add more later)
  4. Add in beef and cook until no longer pink.
  5. Add sweet potatoes, green chili and 3 cups water. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. (The time sweet potatoes are cooked, the beef will be cooked as well if you get a tender cut of beef)
  6. Do a taste test and check if the water is enough for you. Add a half or another whole beef cube and water, if necessary. Also, it’s time to season your soup with salt and pepper.
  7. Add corn kernels and cook for about 2 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat and add spinach and put the lid on until the spinach is wilted.
  9. Serve while hot with fish sauce or with freshly squeezed lime/lemon/calamansi.

Note: Depending on your liking, you can control how many beef cubes you’d like or  how many ml water. You can also use beef broth instead of beef cubes and water.



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21 thoughts on “Nilagang Baka (Filipino Beef Soup) – The quick and easy way

  1. Oh I’ve never had this before, sounds so delicious. I’ve tried many other Filipino soups (sinigang, tinola) and they’re all very good! Filipino food is mostly simple but so tasty 😋 Do more Filipino recipes, Jhuls!

    1. Yes, Filipino foods mostly require few basic ingredients. My cousin told me that you had the best comment.😂 Coz she likes Filipino foods and I don’t know much recipes, so I just have very few recipes that I usually make. Now that you’ve said that, I think I might explore my country’s dishes.😂 Thanks, Angie!

  2. Oh yum! Sweet potato, corn, beef in a soup is just what I need. You’ve put together some great flavors – ones that I love. I’ll be bookmarking this for my weeknight meals. Thank you for sharing this at Fiesta Friday, Jhuls!

  3. This is my kind of comfort food. I love the addition of sweet potatoe in the soup and you’re right, I would totally enjoy this with a bowl of rice – yum!

  4. This sounds so wonderful! I use a pressure cooker pretty often, but not usually for beef – but I love that you cut everything thinly instead – it’s like a Philipino Pho!

    1. The pressure cooker is kinda hidden since I don’t use it much and my space is small. So one of the reasons why I made this is that I am just too lazy to bring that pressure cooker out. 😀 Thanks, Mollie. Have a great week!

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