Balbacua (Oxtail Soup)- Pinoy Recipe

This Cebuano dish was inherited from the Spaniards a long time ago. But there are also other versions in other provinces like Cagayan de Oro, Bohol and Davao. Imagine, cooking a dish for almost a day makes you wonder what kind of dish that took so long to cook. The average cooking time for this dish is about seven hours. The name of this dish “balbacua” came from the Spanish word “barbacoa” which means cooking meat very slowly on an open fire for several hours. Maybe our ancestors named it balbacua because of the length of time involved in cooking.

Serves: 12 servings


1-kilo oxtail, cut into serving size
½ kilo beef brisket, cut into serving size
100 grams raw ground peanuts (peeled)
1/2 of the small can black salted beans (drain and rinsed)
2 red onion
2 Red belle Peppers (Atsal)
2 small size ginger sliced into strips
2 cloves star anise
4 pcs chilli (sili)
2 Tbsp. annatto powder (Atchuete)

2 Tbsp. Pinoy Soy Sauce (Silver Swan)
Fish sauce to taste

Tomatoes, Ginger slices and Chinese Cabbage to Garnish


Boil oxtail in salt and water for 10 minutes, drain.

oxtail balbacua

Boil oxtail again in water with ginger, anise and onion then simmer for about 2 hours, or until semi-tender.
Add beef briskets and peanuts then continue boiling over low fire for another 2 hours.

When tail and briskets are almost tender, add chilli (sili), soy sauce, salted black beans, red bell pepper and annatto powder.

Cook for another 1 hour and season with patis to taste.


Tomatoes, Ginger slices and Chinese Cabbage to Garnish

Serve hot.



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