Recipe: "Nilaga" with a Twist of Coffee-mate

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One of my favorite dishes especially during cold or rainy season here in the Philippines is my mother's “nilaga” (means boiled), either boiled pork (baboy) or boiled beef (baka). Whenever I'm at home, this is the dish I'm looking into. We usually partnered this with rice and it's one of the easiest viands to make. A ll you have to do is prepare your ingredients then just put everything in the pot or casserole and let it cook until tender. You can add any vegetables of your choice.
There are different variations, you can have it as a clear soup or a thick one. It depends upon the vegetables you use and the soup stock or... your own style!
This boiled pork/beef with vegetables can give warmth and even satisfy the tummy in just a few sips. I will share not only how to do it but also my mother's secret ingredient to make it more delicious and creamier.

So let's start!!!


cooking time!

Ingredients :

  • 1 kg of pork or beef cut into serving pieces (usually my mother's using the bony parts and for me spareribs is the best, but you can also use belly and other parts)

  • 5-6 cups or 1L of water

  • 1 onion, quartered

  • 1/2 tsp. pamintang buo (peppercorn)

  • salt to taste

  • 1 piece of ginger

  • 2 potatoes, quartered

  • 2 sayote,quartered

  • 2 medium sized corn (cut into 3 pieces)

  • 3 pechay or cabbage leaves

  • 2 scallions or green onion, sliced about 1”

  • ½ cup of coffee-mate—coffee-mate???? is this a mistake?.. actually this is our secret ingredient,haha! I'm not joking, try it and you'll know..it makes the broth creamier.

Cooking Procedures :

  1. Place the pork/beef in a big pot or casserole and pour the water . Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer until the pork/beef is tender for about an hour. Remove the coagulated blood/scum that accumulates on top of the broth.

  1. Add the sliced onions, ginger, corn, peppercorn and season with salt. Simmer for 2 minutes. Put the potatoes, chayote (sayote). Cook until tender.

  2. Remove from heat. Add pechay or cabbage leaves and the green onions (the remaining heat from the broth will cook them).

  3. Add the coffee-mate/creamer ---(coffee-mate for nilaga??? Again I'm not joking).

  4. Adjust the seasoning depending upon your taste.

  5. Serve hot. Placed patis (fish sauce) with chili or toyo (soy sauce) with calamansi on the side. ENJOY!!! :-)

Other interesting notes.. ^.^!
I observe my mother's putting a spoon or a teaspoon into the pot/caserrole while cooking it, she said it's a technique if you want your tough pork/beef to be tender in no time during boiling. My curiosity grows again so I ask her why and why... she just told me it's a common technique she learned from grandma, because the spoon is metal and as we know, metal is a good conductor of heat, that heat can actually help to speed up the tendering process...somehow it could be!..:-)

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Comments 9 comments

SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines

Interesting . I enjoy cooking for my family and I'm always on the lookout for something new. Instead of a coffee creamer, can I use evaporated milk ? Thank you.


pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 6 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Author

Hello SilentReed! ^.^ hmm.. we haven't tried it before but I think you could also use evaporated milk and the taste will be like "sopas"...^.^ thank you very much for reading! ^.^ Hope you will like it!


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines

You must have ESP. I just cooked "sopas" for the kids "merienda".Will try the "nilaga recipe" this Sunday. I also put "saba" because the kids love it. Like "pochero" without the "kamatis". Are you from the Visayas?


pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 6 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Author

hahaha...oh that will be cool if I have the extra! ^.^... Saba also tastes great and I also love "pochero"... I'm from Luzon, how about you Sir/Ma'am?


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines

I'm from Luzon too. Please, I'm still very young to be called sir......."isip bata kasi" and how about you, Sir/Ma'am? ;)


emievil profile image

emievil 6 years ago from Philippines

Hmmm. coffee-mate huh? I love nilaga and this is certainly a new twist. Can't wait to try it. Thanks :).


pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 6 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Author

@SilentReed- hmmm..I'm a miss and not a ma'am,haha!^.^ thank you once again for reading.

@emievil- thank you very much for dropping by, ^.^! One cold day when my mother served this for lunch, I was surprised when she told us that she put something new, we can't figure it out so we keep on asking...then she just blurted it out..haha...for me it tastes good. Hope you will also like the twist..^.^


naiza1986 6 years ago

This Nilaga recipe sounds new to me! Yes, I really want to try this.. Thanks for sharing. :)


pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 6 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Author

Hello naiza! ^_^ how are you? thanks, hopefully you will also like the taste! ^_^

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