Craving something hearty and warming that doesn't take a lot of prep time? Learn how to make this easy Filipino beef bulalo soup made with beef shank.
I live in a small town in Connecticut. There aren't many dining out options in the area. The most ethnic restaurant by me is a Chinese restaurant.
So when I want to taste a recipe that comes from half a world away, do I hop in my car for an hour-plus drive? Nope. I make it myself!
When I'm in the mood for something hearty and warm, I turn to a classic Filipino food, beef bulalo, which is an easy vegetable beef soup.
Basically, this is a beef shank soup. It's very similar to a soup my father makes, but he uses potatoes and regular cabbage instead of the more traditional bok choy or Chinese cabbage.
The recipe is made with basic ingredients in common Southeast Asian homes. But, when you make this for your family or guests, they will think they're being treated like royalty.
Some of the ingredients in this bulalo recipe might be a little hard to find. I encourage you to shop at an Asian or international grocery store. You'll be more likely to find authentic produce and vegetables there.
Keep in mind that the traditional recipe in the Philippines calls for potatoes and sweet corn. However, considering potatoes and corn are a high-starch vegetables, I omit the corn and use radishes for the potato.
I also added in some small Asian eggplant, napa cabbage, and a small onion.
For the beef, you can use your favorite steak or cut, but beef shanks taste the best and the bone marrow makes a flavorful broth.
I prefer beef bone broth in this easy vegetable beef soup because of the benefits that come from the collagen protein.
Add more or less spices to make it taste exactly how you want. I used a combination of garlic powder, ground black pepper, and Himalayan pink salt.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
💭 Quick tips
- Make this recipe at night and let it sit at the high setting while you sleep.
- Cut beef into bite sized pieces to cook faster.
- Look for beef shank with marbling bone marrow which adds flavor to the soup.
All of the exact steps for this beef shank soup are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. First, here is a quick overview of how to make this savory soup.
Prepare The Meat
Pat the meat dry with paper towels and season it with garlic, black pepper, and salt. You'll want to let the beef sit for about a half-hour. (If it's especially hot inside, you can place it in the fridge.)
Place The Food In The Slow Cooker
Don't have a slow cooker? Using a pressure cooker with a slow cooking program works too. I prefer this multi-pot cooker because you can also make yogurt with it as well as pressure cook meals.
At the bottom of the slow cooker, you'll place half of the small chopped onion. (Sorry if you don't like onion, but it's a must-have for this Filipino dish; you can always leave it out or substitute it with another low starch veggie.)
Add two slices of beef to the slow cooker. Top the beef with the rest of the onions.
Next, add the remaining slabs of beef and top with the extra 6 cups of beef broth.
Add The Vegetables
Now, about an hour before it's ready, you'll want to start adding in some of the veggies.
Begin with the radishes. I usually put them in about 30-60 minutes before I turn off the slow cooker. It's up to you to determine how soft/chewy you want the veggies.
I'll usually add in the eggplant and Napa cabbage for about 15-20 minutes before turning off the slow cooker.
🍽️ Serving suggestions
I like to eat this classic Filipino beef shank stew with a side of ensaladang talong (aka Filipino eggplant salad).
Is this some random thing I've come up with, eating roasted eggplant with beef vegetable soup?
No, the eggplant is also a traditional Filipino dish. It's actually more of a salad. The most practical way to make the eggplant in the U.S. is to broil it in the oven. (In the Philippines, it's made by roasting over charcoal.)
Before I get to the recipe card, just a little further below, here are some questions people often ask about this savory vegetable beef soup.
This soup is often served with rice. My favorite alternative for this dish is cauliflower rice.
Yes, this soup is a fantastic source of nutrients that are not just tasty but good for your body too. And, if you use beef bone broth, you'll be consuming an abundant amount of amino acids that provide the building blocks to repair your body's collagen protein.
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
Washing the beef makes it more tender. So yes! I recommend doing this for recipe.
📚 Related recipes
If you enjoyed this keto beef bulalo soup, here are some more low-carb soup recipes you should try next. They are some of my favorites!
- Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Soup has the spicy zest of sausage in a thick and creamy broth.
- Easy Keto Lobster Bisque is a seafood-lover's dream come true, with only 4g net carbs in each serving.
- Keto Ramen Shirataki Noodle Soup is a lighter choice with healthy ingredients and 1.1g net carbs in each serving.
- Unstuffed Cabbage Soup is packed with whole and fresh ingredients in a spicy broth.
- Instant Pot Low-Carb Taco Soup is perfect to feed a crowd.
Beef Shank Bulalo Soup
- 3.7 pounds beef shank 4 slices, 1 inch thick per slice, bone in
- 400 grams red radish cut in half (about 3.5 cups)
- 600 grams napa cabbage (aka wombok) cut in half (about 5.5 cups)
- 300 grams eggplant sliced (3 cups)
- 6 cups beef broth
- 1 small onion chopped
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- Wash beef in cold running water. Pat dry with paper towel.
- Season beef with garlic, salt and black pepper. Let it sit for 30 minutes, either at room temperature or in the fridge.
- Place half of onions at the bottom of the slow cooker. Add 2 slices of beef, top with onions, add the remaining beef and onions. Pour beef broth.
- Cook on high for 7 to 8 hours until beef is tender and falling off the bones.
- Add radishes 30 minutes to one hour plus the eggplants and napa cabbage 15 to 30 minutes before turning off the slow cooker. Length of cooking the vegetables will depend on how soft you want them to be.
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 223 [carbohydrates] => 11 [protein] => 31 [fat] => 5 [saturated_fat] => 1 [cholesterol] => 49 [sodium] => 1112 [potassium] => 984 [fiber] => 3 [sugar] => 6 [vitamin_a] => 245 [vitamin_c] => 34.2 [calcium] => 127 [iron] => 3.8 [serving_unit] => cup )
Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First published on September 20, 2018. Updated on September 14, 2021, with new images and additional recipe information.