August 27, 2021
Beef Nilaga Cabbage Stew

Time needed: 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Makes: 4 – 6 servings

1 piece large whole cabbage head
6-8 cups beef broth
1 bundle Baguio beans
½ kilo pork belly bacon slice
2 pieces corn, cut into pieces
2 pieces large potato, cut into large chunks
½ tablespoon black peppercorns
2 pieces bay leaf
Patis, to taste

½ kilo ground beef
6 pieces garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons oil
1 piece large white onion, minced
1 piece large carrot, minced
1 cup napa cabbage finely minced
1 piece large egg
2 teaspoons patis
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare cabbage

    Using a sharp knife, remove the cabbage’s core from the bottom. Remove the cabbage’s first layer of leaves as they are dirty.

  2. Boil cabbage

    In a pot over medium heat, bring water to a boil and place the cabbage, bottom-side first. Simmer over medium heat until the leaves start to peel away with ease.

  3. Separate leaves

    Remove from the water and rinse with cold water. Separate each leaf, taking care not to tear. Set aside.

  4. Saute aromatics

    In a pot over medium-low heat, saute the onions and garlic in oil until the onions are tender and golden. Season with salt and transfer to a bowl.

  5. Make Filling

    To the bowl of cooked onions and garlic, add the carrot, minced napa cabbage, ground beef, egg, patis, cornstarch, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper then mix well until everything is well combined and comes together.

  6. Stuff cabbage leaves

    Place about 2 – 3 tablespoons of the beef filling into the cooked cabbage and roll each up tightly, folding in all the edges. Secure the edges together using a toothpick.

  7. Wrap in bacon

    Wrap a piece of pork belly bacon slice around each cabbage roll and secure everything together with a toothpick. Repeat for all.

  8. Simmer in broth

    To the same pot as the onions and garlic, add the beef broth and bring to a simmer. Add the cabbage rolls, Baguio beans, potato chunks, corn pieces, black peppercorns, bay leaf, and patis. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes while occasionally bathing the rolls in the soup until the rolls are cooked through.