Nilagang baboy (boiled pork ribs with vegetables) |

Nilagang baboy (boiled pork ribs with vegetables)

Every culture has its version of boiled meat and vegetables. So I said in my Dublin coddle post. In the Philippines, the generic nilaga (literally, boiled) can refer to boiled beef and vegetables, boiled chicken and vegetables or boiled pork and vegetables. What the vegetables are vary. But, almost always, there is a combination of leafy and non-leafy vegetables.

This is an updated version of the old nilagang baboy post. I have found the perfect way to ward off the formation of scum during the first few minutes of boiling and I want to share that with you.

But a foreword, however. Don’t ever think that you’ll be able to come up with a good broth if you boil meat with no bones. Truth be told, it is the bones that flavor the broth and give it a richness that no amount of meat-only boiling will yield. When I cook nilagang baboy, I often choose the ribs. Not spare ribs but the chunkier cut with the larger bones. If you’re on good terms with your butcher, the ribs can be very, very meaty.

You can use whatever combination of vegetables you like. This recipe uses white cabbage, potatoes and carrots.


  • 1 kg. of pork ribs, cut into serving size pieces
    1 whole onion, unpeeled
    1 whole garlic
    1 tbsp. of peppercorns

    For the vegetables:

    half of a large head of white cabbage (or a whole small one)
    200 g. of potatoes
    200 g. of carrots


  1. Preheat the broiler to 475F.

    Arrange the pork ribs on a rack in a single layer. Place a tray beneath the rack to catch the dripping. Broil the pork ribs for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, pour about eight cups of water in a pot. Add the whole onion, garlic and peppercorns. Bring to the boil.

    After 15 to 20 minutes in the broiler, take out the pork ribs. With the liquid in the pot boiling profusely, drop the pork ribs one at a time. Season with salt. When the liquid is boiling once more, turn down the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer the pork for an hour to an hour and a half. Trust me, no scum will form on the broth.

    When the pork is almost done, or about 20 minutes before cooking time is up, peel the carrots and potatoes and cut into wedges. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage. Without cutting off the core, cut the cabbage vertically into quarters.

    Drop the vegetables into the pot, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste the broth, add more salt if necessary, simmer for another five minutes or until the vegetables are done.

    Ladle the pork and vegetables into soup bowls and serve hot.

Cooking time (duration): about 2 hours

Number of servings (yield): 4 to 5

Meal type: supper

The old nilagang baboy entry is on page two.


  1. says

    Nilaga is always a favorite in our house. Haven’t tried pork though. We do our nilagang manok whole, i guess we got used to that. Hmmm, pwede yun for dinner.

    Connie, using beef knee caps will skyrocket the flavor….and the fat. Litid, oh yes….you just need to pick the ones that have a lot. I cooked a dish which uses, knee caps and marrows….and of course beef. hehe

    We really don’t have a name for it, but we fondly call it “tuhod” for obvious reasons. :)

    The broth becomes incredibly rich when using knee caps, i just don’t use it often due to health reasons.

  2. says

    Oh my gosh, I just saw your entry. I love litiiiiid!!!! Used to buy litid in trays at Cherry’s. Will look for tuhod next time we buy meat. Thanks to you and Wyatt. :)

  3. mel says

    i like nilaga too as i deem it healthy food as oil or other
    fatty substances are not used. im also pursuing variations of my own using other vegies, particulary ampalaya, cauliflower and broccoli. im still on the process of getting the right mixtures to come up with
    a delicious taste.

  4. says

    perfect soup for the chilly days :-)
    I keep forgetting to add kamote in my nilaga! You just gave me an idea on what I should cook tonite for tomorrow’s meal.

  5. says

    Puwede pala ang kalabasa sa nilagang karne. I use carrots though and sometimes add in Baguio beans but I will try kalabasa next time.

    Is it advisable to use those Knorr cubes with nilaga to enhance the taste? My concern with these cubes is their sodium content, so I don’t use them often.

  6. says

    rhodora, naku wag na Knorr cubes. Lasang vetsin. As long as your beef has enough bones, the broth will taste wonderful. And don’t forget to add spices while simmering.

  7. beng says

    wow! namis ko tuloy ang nilaga. i’m now living on my own kya ang dalang ko ng mgluto. comfort food sa min ang nilaga at sinigang sa bahay ng parents ko. hayy… i mis home…

  8. peter says

    im food lover help know more about food.ricepes..coz im planning to make my own bussenness.thamk you..

  9. may mendoza says

    we never get tired of having nilaga at home.. basta every weekend we only have 3 choices–nilaga, sinigang or tinola. with our nilaga, we love adding saging na saba and sweet potato (kamote).

  10. Carla of Dubai UAE says

    my daughter called Nilaga “sabay na puti” shes five. everything that has a clear soup in it like sinigang ang tinola are all sabay na puti for her. We find it very cute of her to call it that way, she only knew the vegetables in it that how i can guess what she wants. Tonight I will make sabay na puti…she want the one with potatoes so its gonna be nilaga. lol

  11. haidee says

    i love this ms cons! we add kalabasa and gabi and pechay, sometimes i also add okra added nutrients na rin. so good lalo pag rainy days. =)

  12. linda says

    Ms Connie i just love your site .Do you also broil the beef like you suggested with pork? also, do you have a recipe for the old fashioned Chinese beef mami and the chinese pork hock stew with star anise, dried banana blossoms as some of the ingredients? these 2 are so good and been wanting to know how to cook them. God bless you and your family and all your endeavors.