Pinoy Recipe: Adobong Bulalo (Beef Shank Adobo)

Whether you’re craving something hot and savory on a cold, rainy night or want to cook up something saucy for your Friday family dinner, adobong bulalo or beef shank adobo can be the dish for you. It’s the perfect thing to eat while you’re sharing interesting stories with your loved ones or, if you live alone, while watching your favorite TV series.

Adobong bulalo is essentially a hybrid of bulalo and pork adobo. Its English name is “beef shank adobo.” Whether alone or for sharing, it’s perfect to have with several cups of warm, just-cooked white rice.

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Adobong Bulalo Recipe

Although it looks like your usual adobo, there is more to it than meets the eye. If you like your adobo to be the kind that melts in your mouth, we suggest you get the beef shank parts as the marbled fats make the dish juicier. Take note that you will need some time to tenderize the shank; it will take several hours, so it’s best if you cook this dish when you’re not too pressed for time or if you have the whole day to yourself. But if you don’t have much time, you can still cook this dish provided you use a pressure cooker to fully tenderize the shank. Just pop it in the pressure cooker for about 20 minutes, and it’s good to go.

Beef Shank Adobo

Before you start with the cooking, here’s a few health reminders. Bulalo is not exactly known as a healthy dish because of its fat content, and consuming too much of it too frequently can raise your cholesterol and blood pressure. Limit your food intake when you’re eating this dish, and make sure you remind your family members to do the same, if you’re eating the same. Also, working out for a bit afterward to burn all the calories you consumed can also do you some good.

Try this recipe for yourself and let me know what you and your family think of it.

Adobong Bulalo Recipe


  • 1½ pounds of beef shank
  • 4 pieces of dried bay leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons of whole peppercorn
  • 7 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 3½ teaspoons of white vinegar
  • 6 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated white sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil, for frying


1. Warm the pan; add oil and heat it up.

2. When the oil is hot, add the garlic cloves and saute until they turn a light brown color.

3. Add the beef shanks to the pan and pan-fry on each side for about 1 minute or until they lightly brown.

4. Pour in the water and soy sauce, and add the bay leaves and whole peppercorn. Bring the mixture to a boil.

5. When it begins to boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for about 60 minutes. If it’s still a completely tender after an hour, you can extend the cooking time up to 30 minutes or until the texture of the beef is to your liking.

6. Remove the cover and add the sugar and vinegar. Bring to a light boil first and stir. Let it cook for another 5 minutes more before you turn off the heat.

7. Serve on a plate and enjoy. Don’t forget the warm white rice!


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