Nilagang Baka (Filipino Beef and Vegetable Soup) Instant Pot Recipe

Nilagang Baka (Filipino Beef and Vegetable Soup) Instant Pot Recipe

Lou and I exchanged Christmas gifts early this year. He got me a new Instant Pot — the one with WiFi! That’s right people, I am super high tech now! I decided to use it tonight to make my favorite cold weather dish: Nilagang Baka.

Nilagang Baka (often simply called ‘Nilaga’) is a boiled beef and vegetable soup. You can use any cut of beef but it’s best to use something with bones to develop a rich bone broth. I often use beef shank or ribs since they are affordable, but, every now and then I splurge and use short ribs (my favorite). This dish traditionally takes all day to make but with an Instant Pot it can be done in 1 hour!

Keep reading to see how to make this yummy dish. 

Nilagang Baka (Filipino Beef and Vegetable Soup) Instant Pot Recipe

Recipe by Felice TakamatsuCourse: Food


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 4 pounds (about 8) short ribs

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 1 beef boullion cube

  • 4 cups of water

  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce

  • 1 small head of cabbage

  • 1 bunch of bok choy

  • 1 pound of potatoes (about 2-3 yukon gold or 1-2 russet)


  • Generously salt meat, at least 1 hour before cooking (preferably overnight). Refrigerate meat uncovered, this will help season the meat and help it brown nicely.
    Slice 1 medium onion, chop 1 small head of cabbage and 1 bunch of bok choy (remember to rinse the bok choy too!).
  • Peel and and chop potatoes, soak chopped potatoes in a bowl of water so they don’t turn brown.
  • Set Instant Pot to Sauté, add in about 2 tbsp of neutral oil. Brown the short ribs. Make sure to do this step in batches so each piece has time to develop color which is flavor.
  • Once each short rib is browned, add all the pieces back into the pot. 
  • Next add water. Put the lid on, seal the valve and set the pressure cooker to the the Meat/Stew mode and set the time for 45 minutes.
  • Once the timer goes off, release the steam by moving the valve to the venting position. Uncover the pot and select the sauté mode. Once the pot has come to a simmer, add the onions and boil until soft. This will be about 5-6 minutes. 
  • Next add in 1 beef bouillon cube and potatoes (make sure to drain potatoes from the water they had been soaking in before adding them into the pot, discard soaking water). Boil potatoes until they are soft and tender.
  • Add in fish sauce. Taste and add more fish sauce if you’d prefer.
  • Lastly, add the cabbage and bok choy next and allow the leaves to wilt.
  • Serve soup warm. You can eat the nilaga on it’s own or enjoy it the Filipino way with fresh steamed rice. 

Use the sauté mode (normal) and brown each piece of short rib. 

7 thoughts on “Nilagang Baka (Filipino Beef and Vegetable Soup) Instant Pot Recipe”

  • Hi, thank you for posting this recipe. Am I suppose to cover
    The Instapot after adding the potatoes? Thanks

    • Hello Theresa, I leave the instant pot uncovered after adding the potatoes. At this point you are just looking to boil the nilaga until the potatoes have cooked thoroughly. Enjoy!

  • Do you brown the meat on a different pot first? Can I just use the saute function to brown the meat? Thank you.

    • Hi Nadia. Yes, save yourself the trouble of washing another pot and use the sauté function on the Instant Pot to brown the meat. Hope you enjoy making and eating this!

  • Absolutely LOVE the recipe! Quick note – I noticed the written instructions are different from the video in a few significant ways – amount of water to add, when to add the onions and beef cube, etc. I recommend following the video instead of the written instructions. Thanks again for the great recipe!!

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