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Auckland’s temperature gets cooler and cooler each day and how I miss Daddy’s bulalo (bone marrow soup) to get warmed from the inside out. Browsing through tons of food pics in my hard drive, I found these photos of my bulalo cooked back in Beijing. Probably during one of those terrible cold winter days.

Serving portions of beef shank
Oxtail (optional)
Onion cut in halves
Potatoes cut into chunks
Baguio beans
Salt and peppercorns

Simmer beef shank and oxtail in a pot of boiling water. Skim off scum that floats. Add peppercorns and onion and continue simmering until meat is tender and soup is flavorful. At this point, it’s better to refrigerate for half a day or overnight.

Remove all of the frozen fat from top of the broth if you’re concern about cholesterol and all that stuff or maybe just half of the frozen fat as it adds that distinct bulalo flavor. Bring to boil then season with salt. Add potatoes and simmer until cooked. Throw in petchay and Baguio beans and cook until crisp. Serve immediately. You may also try sprinkling fried golden brown garlic on your bowl of soup. The marrow? Mix with soup… yum! Sawsawan? Soy sauce with kalamansi!

Whew! I miss Batangas, too.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

6 thoughts on “Bulalo

  1. AKo ay dapat mag cocomment para sa LP4 pero napukaw ang mata ko ng masarap na larawang ito…yummmm as in hehehehe…kaso sinful sinful…

    parang gusto ko tuloy magluto nyan sa weekend para sa ke hubz… :)

  2. haha oo nga… sinful talaga! but twice a year isn’t bad naman di ba? love it but i also can’t eat so much. parang nahilo na ako sa bone marrow hehehe

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