Bulalô is beef shank soup that is a very popular food in the Philippines.
This stew is made by boiling beef shanks and marrow bones for hours until the fat melts into the clear broth and produces a light-colored soup that is made more flavorful by various seasonings. Vegetables add to the flavor and color of the soup. Popular vegetables that go with bulalo are included corn, chayote, baby bok choy, Chinese cabbage (pechay), green beans, carrots, but also plantain, onions, and ginger, and kangkong leaves.
There are several versions as to where the Bulalo first started. Some say is is native to the Southern Luzon region of the Philippines, but some believe it started in the province of Batangas. Still, others say it originated in Tagaytay, but wherever it originated, it has become a favorite all over the country and is very common is restaurants everywhere. Expect huge steaming cauldrons of bulalo especially on small eateries by the roadsides.
Everyone who cooks has their own choices of seasoning. Others are simple and only use salt and pepper but others add patis or fish sauce, peppercorns, bay leaves, and even a dash of hot pepper, making the taste incredibly more delicious.
Bulalo is a bit similar to the beef nilaga or beef stew but the only difference is you can use any part of the beef for the nilaga, but bulalo is specifically using beef shanks and beef marrow bones.
Nothing beats enjoying a hot bowl of bulalo especially on a cold rainy day, or just any day when you are hungry. I love bulalo although I never could eat the sticky fat inside the bones, a prize that many always dig out and fight out for. I always want to ask for an extra bowl of free soup. Don’t worry, asking for an extra free soup is common is a common practice especially in the roadside eateries.