Instant Pot Pork Nilaga is a Filipino clear pork soup boiled in onion and peppercorn along with vegetables. A delicious simple soup that you can easily make in an instant pot.
Pork Nilaga is an ultimate comfort food especially on chilly days. It is easy to prepare and a breeze to cook in a pressure cooker.
This soup is very similar to Beef Nilaga instead I am using pork.
My grandmother will be proud. I am serving this Pork Nilaga using her ancient soup bowl. This antic soup bowl is probably over 100 years old.
I requested my Mom years ago to bring some of my grandmothers kitchen stuff and I have 2 of this bowl. It doesn’t look perfect but I love it!
Using An Instant Pot
Here are a few things to note before using your instant pot. At first, it can be intimidating to use with all its features. After cooking a few dishes, you’ll get the hang of it.
It is a very safe cookware compared to the classic pressure cooker.
1. Please read the manual before using your new instant pot. My instructions, although detailed does not replace the owner’s manual.
2. Wash the inner pot with hot water and dish soap. The inner pot is where food is placed and not in the cooker base.
3. Before plugin the instant pot, install the condensation collector behind the cooker.
4. When using the PRESSURE COOK or other programs, once lid is close, turn the Steam Release Handle to “SEALING”. This allows pressure to build while cooking food.
5. Adjust the cooking time.
6. Once pressurized, the float valve rises. The display will show cooking time count down.
7. When the program ends the display will show L000, L001 and so on. Press “CANCEL”.
8. Wait while the cooker depressurizes. This is known as Natural Release (NR). Once completely depressurized, the float valve will drop into the lid. Turn the Steam Release Handle to “VENTING”. Now, it is safe to open the instant pot lid.
9. You can do a QUICK RELEASE (QR) to manually release the steam through the top of the Steam Release Handle.
Use a kitchen towel placed on top of the steam release handle as a stream of steam will be released. Turn the knob to “VENTING”. Be very careful as it is very hot and you can burn or scald yourself.
Now it is safe to open the instant pot lid.
What Pork to Use?
Typically pork belly is used when cooking this soup. Pork shoulder or pork butt can be used too. Pork belly is delicious but not as lean and we tend to pick only the meat & discard the fat when eating.
But cooking with bones render a more flavorful broth. I prefer to use neck bones with meat (of course) or spare ribs.
How Long to Cook Pork?
I cannot give you a specific time if using a different cut of meat and amount. The cooking time I set is for a 3.24 pounds neck bones.
Learning and setting cooking time on an instant pot is trial and error. I normally set the time at a lower setting first.
I have cooked with neck bones before so I can estimate the cooking time.
The trick is to set it at a lower cooking time then check if tender, if not repeat the process and adjust the time.
Setting a higher time can overcook the meat. I don’t like my meat too tender and falling apart.
This is an estimate PRESSURE COOK cooking time based on my other Instant Pot recipes.
3.5 to 4 pounds ribs = 25 minutes
2 pounds pork belly = 20 to 25 minutes
1 pound country ribs, pork shoulder or pork butt = 12 minutes
What Vegetables to Use?
Bok choy, Cabbage, Napa Cabbage, Green Beans, Pechay, Carrots and Potatoes are normally used when making nilaga.
But I’m not a very traditional person especially when it comes to food. Add whatever vegetable you like. I don’t see why not. I’ve added Kale, Spinach, Brussel Sprouts to this soup and it is still very delicious.
I usually add the vegetables when the PRESSURE COOK program ends. Set to Saute, then add all the vegetables.
Note: Huge Russet potatoes can be added if PRESSURE COOKING pork for less than 20 minutes. I usually add whole potatoes to cook with the meat. Unfortunately, I forgot to do it on this one.
If set for longer cooking time, I normally don’t add the potatoes. It will be overcooked and will break into pieces.
How to Cook Instant Pot Pork Nilaga Recipe and Video
Instant Pot Pork Nilaga
- 3.24 pounds pork neck bone or country ribs, pork belly, spare ribs, pork shoulder or butt
- 1 big yellow onion quartered
- 15 - 20 pieces peppercorn
- 2 russet potatoes whole
- 1 big carrot cut in half
- handful of bok choy
- fish sauce or salt to taste
- 5 to 6 cups water
- My instructions are very detailed, intended for first time users of instant pot. If you are familiar with your instant pot just pay attention to numbers 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 20 and 21.
- Add water in the inner pot and add meat.
- Place inner pot in the instant pot cooker base.
- Install the condensation collector behind the cooker and plug the instant pot.
- Press “SAUTE” and adjust time to 30 minutes. Note: Thirty minutes is just a time I chose to assign. When done, you can cancel this program at any time. You can assign any time you prefer.
- After a few minutes, display will show “HOT”.
- Bring to a boil and remove scum that will arise. Once broth is clear. Cancel program.
- Add onion and peppercorn.
- Note: If using large russet potatoes, add it whole. If you want carrots soft, you may add it too.
- If using smaller potatoes, add it during the SAUTE program at the very end. Carrots can be cooked in this program as well.
- Place and close lid and turn the steam release handle to "SEALING".
- Press "PRESSURE COOK".
- Adjust time to 20 minutes. Leave it alone until done.
- Note: Cooking time will vary depending on the cut & amount of meat. Experiment is key! I tend to set it for less time and repeat the process again. If you believe you have set the time longer than it should be – you may cancel the program at any time.
- Float valve will rise & countdown begins.
- When "PRESSURE COOK" is done, display will show the elasped time. Example: L000, L001 etc.
- Press "CANCEL".
- Wait for FLOAT VALVE to drop (Natural Release) before opening lid.
- Once float valve is down, turn steam release handle to "VENTING". Open lid.
- Check if meat is already tender, if not repeat the process for lower time. Otherwise remove meat, potatoes and carrots.
- Press SAUTE, bring broth to a boil, add potatoes and carrots if you didn’t add it during PRESSURE COOK. When both are almost done, add bok choy or napa cabbage. Season with fish sauce or salt.
- Cancel program. Enjoy!
- There are a few different ways of cooking Nilaga in the instant pot.
- Instead of SAUTE, you can also use SOUP.
- You can set PRESSURE COOK 2X. Cook meat with potatoes and carrots at a lower cooking time of 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cooked potatoes and carrots. Set PRESSURE COOK again to continue tenderizing the meat.
Again, experiment is key.
- Note: I normally add the potatoes and carrots whole when using PRESSURE COOK. I forgot to do it this time.