Instant Pot Beef Nilaga in Lemongrass is a Filipino beef soup with vegetables. Depending on the cut of beef used, this soup takes hours to cook. Beef is boiled in water with onion and peppercorn until it becomes tender. This is how I learned to make nilaga.
My niece one time send me a picture of nilaga that looked so scrumptious with beef looking so tender, broth so clear and yellowish and loaded with colorful vegetables. Just looking at the image, I can tell it is delicious. Every time they have this soup, they bragged about it. Until finally, they admitted that their neighbor made it.
What’s so funny, they know when she’s off on Wednesday and making soup. They can tell from the condensation on her kitchen window. They look forward on her day off since she brings them a big bowl of this nourishing soup.
When I visited my brother, he dragged me to his neighbor’s house so I can watch her make it. I was so embarrassed as I watched her cook. She maintains the broth in a rolling boil with a bundle of lemongrass and she replenishes the water from time to time. I swear it was boiling like lava. When I was in her kitchen, it reminded me of a Chinese restaurant where you see steam coming out of the kitchen.
Anyway, the way she makes soup is in contrast to how I was taught. Normally, once it boils, we lower the heat so it simmers until meat is tender. It is a good example when cooking a dish it can be prepared different ways with an equally delicious outcome. There’s no such thing as one correct way of doing it.
Today, I am making her version of Nilaga using beef shank in lemongrass but I am using an instant pot. When making this soup, I usually use beef short ribs which is so flavorful too. To make it special, I also add smoked pork hock for a tastier yummy broth. The lemongrass I use to flavor this soup was from my very own vegetable garden.
Tips in Making Soup in an Instant Pot
- Prepare all the ingredients. Once pressure cooker program is set and you forgot something, you can cancel and manually release the pressure but if not comfortable doing it, you have to wait when float valve goes down.
- I prefer removing the scum or impurities when making soup. To do this, I have experimented using Saute, Soup Broth & Meat Stew program. Add meat and water and it will come to a boil and you can remove the impurities. Once you are done, cancel the program. Don’t get confuse if you compare recipes and you see I use Soup while others use Saute. It will render the same outcome.
Check out my Instant Pot Sinigang na Baboy, I used “SOUP BROTH” and “SAUTE” program cooking it. But for this post, I am using the “PRESSURE COOKER” program to show that you can use this too.
- Also, while using these programs, do not put lid until you are ready to use the pressure cooker mode.
- When using pressure cooker mode, cooking time will vary depending on the cut of meat. It is a trial and error. I have used my instant pot a few times and I am already confident in setting the cooking time. Start with a lower cook time. If meat is not tender, you can set it again instead of having a very tender meat that falls apart.
- Read the manual, if you decide to manually release the steam. Be careful as steam can burn you. When I do, I cover the valve with a towel and use a tong to turn the knob from Sealing to Venting. But, it is safer to wait till the Float Valve goes down by itself. Then you can open the lid.
- You can cover the pot using your regular cookware lid when cooking vegetables. I use a bigger lid, bigger than the instant pot so condensation or liquid does not drop inside the instant pot cooker.
For your safety, read the manual to familiarize yourself with your new instant pot.
I am amaze how much time I save when using an instant pot and safe to use. It took me awhile to get it and it took me sometime to use it. I was intimidated because of the many functions but after using it twice, I got the hang of it.
This instant pot beef nilaga with lemongrass took under an hour to cook. Every time I use my instant pot, the more I appreciate it. In no time, I can have this comfort food. Nilaga is versatile, use any cut of meat and vegetable. Meat with bones and tendons makes this soup so flavorful.
I am not one who buys just about any cookware. If I buy something, it will be used many times. This instant pot has many uses and it is a good kitchen investment.
More Delicious Instant Pot Recipes
Check out this Yummy Instant Pot Beef Nilaga with Lemongrass Video and Recipe
My recipe instruction is detailed, so someone not familiar with their new device can easily make it.
- 2 pounds beef shank
- 1 big onion quartered
- 1/2 tablespoon peppercorn
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 6 cups water
- 2 big potatoes
- 2 carrots
- ½ small cabbage
- Handful of green beans
- 2 to 3 stalks of lemongrass (for a subtle flavor 2 stalks will do)
Add beef and water in inner pot.
Install condensation collector behind cooker and plug the instant pot.
Press “SOUP BROTH” to normal and low pressure. Adjust time to 20 minutes. Do not cover with lid. If I cover it, I use my regular cookware lid.
Note: I made Sinigang na Baboy using the “SOUP BROTH” program which you can also use to make Nilaga but I want to show that “PRESSURE COOKER” program will also work to make this soup.
- Let it boil and remove the impurities. When done “CANCEL” the program.
- Add onion, peppercorn, fish sauce or salt and lemongrass to beef mixture.
Pour more water if you need to, but pay attention to Instant Pot maximum level.
Cover with lid and you will hear a continues beeping, then turn the steam release handle to "SEALING".
- Press “PRESSURE COOKER” to normal and high pressure. Adjust the time to 25 minutes.
- Once it is pressurize, the FLOAT VALVE will pop-up, and cooking time begins.
- When cooking time is done, " PRESSURE COOKER " program will no longer be lit. The display will show the elasped time. Example: L000
- Press "CANCEL".
Wait a few minutes for FLOAT VALVE to go down before opening lid. Note: You can also do a quick pressure release but be very careful when doing this. Refer to the manual for detailed instructions.
- Turn the steam release handle to "VENTING".
- Open lid.
Press “SOUP BROTH” program and set time to 20 minutes. You can set whatever time you want and cancel once veggies are tender. Add potatoes and carrots. After a few minutes, toss-in green beans then cabbage. Once vegetables are tender, taste broth if you need more salt or fish sauce.
Note: Remove meat while vegetables are cooking, if you think they will get too tender.
- That’s it. Enjoy this yummy soup!
Note: Don’t eat lemongrass. It is use to flavor broth.