This is one of my family’s favorite comfort dishes (next to Sinigang – Pork in Sour Tamarind Broth). I used pork ribs in this one but you can definitely substitute beef ribs or even chicken. Regardless of the type of meat you prefer, the process is the same. Just keep in mind that the essence of Nilaga is its full-flavored broth, so using bone-in cuts of meat is a must.
Nilaga means something boiled. Cooking this dish is not complicated at all. It’s literally just boiling the meat in water until tender then adding some vegetables afterwards. What you’ll end up with is a delectable broth with impeccably tender meat. What’s even better is that this is a complete meal by itself. But for us Filipinos, rice always completes every meal.
Nilagang Baboy (Pork Ribs Soup)
- 2-3 lbs Pork Ribs cut into individual bones
- 1 large onion peeled and quartered
- 1 ½ teaspoons whole peppercorns
- 3 yellow potatoes peeled and quartered
- 1 pack bok choy 4-5pcs, cleaned and quartered** (see notes)
- 8 cups water plus more for pre boiling
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoons patis fish sauce
- Sawsawan Dipping Sauce, Optional
- Juice of half a lemon 2 tablespoons or calamansi
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce I use Three Crabs Brand
- 1 Thai chili chopped (optional)
- For a clearer (and cleaner) broth, pre boil the meat. Here’s how: Fill a big pot ⅔ full of water and bring to a boil. Slowly drop the meat, stir and let boil (uncovered) for 5-8 minutes. Drain and rinse the meat a few times until clean. You can skip this step if you want but I recommend it for a clearer broth.
- In a large pot, place the cleaned meat, onion, peppercorns, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon patis (if using). Fill with 8 cups of water then bring to a boil. Skim off the scum that floats to the top as it boils. Simmer on low for an hour or until ribs are tender.
- Add the potatoes and simmer until cooked. Then add the bok choy and cook for 2 more minutes. Taste and add salt or patis, if needed.
- Serve with rice and calamansi-patis dipping sauce, if desired (recipe above).