By Gian Franco 2021-02-25

Beef Pares Recipe for Melt in Your Mouth Comfort Food

This is a popular Filipino street food often sought by hungry souls at ungodly hours. 

Pares literally means “pair” because this all-time favorite Filipino comfort food is always served with a cup of buttery garlic rice and extra broth on the side. It is a braised beef dish made sweet and savory to soothe the soul on cold nights especially during rainy season in the Philippines. This Filipino dish is not difficult to find at all as many pares houses and food carts sell a bowl of pares for a price that masses can afford. This makes pares an economy meal for anytime of the day or even past midnight when call center agents come out of the buildings to look for something warm to get them through early hours of the morning.


A pares house owner would usually get up at around 3 or 4 AM so they can serve steaming bowls of pares with either white rice or egg noodles to customers stopping by on their way to work. At night, food carts come out to sell a bowl of garlic fried rice topped with tender chunks of beef to night-shift workers prowling the streets for midnight snack. Customers can always ask for a refill of broth and happily finish their meal on the cart. Self-service condiments and toppings like soy sauce, toasted garlic bits, finely sliced shallots, calamansi juice, fish sauce, or spicy vinegar are usually available on the side.


Beef pares is a perfect budget meal for Filipinos since it doesn’t require fancy ingredients other than good beef cutlets. To achieve the rich and sweet-savory flavor of the broth, it all boils down to how long the beef is simmered (usually for a couple of hours) to tenderize and produce juices that thicken the broth. Pares usually uses beef cuts with streaks of fat and tendon for a sticky yet tender texture that goes smooth down the palate. This inexpensive meal can feel satiating when garnished with combination of toppings like toasted garlic bits, crispy fried shallots, and finely sliced fresh shallots. Some pares houses offer upgraded bowl of pares that comes with a fatty bone marrow that you can scoop out and slide easily into the rich broth. While that may trigger health problems, this healthy beef pares recipe from that uses brisket is a sure easy dinner winner that you must try.



  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 kilo beef (brisket), cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pc beef cube
  • 2 pcs star anise
  • 3 tbsp green onion, finely chopped
  • salt
  • toasted garlic bits (for toppings, optional)
  • fried shallots (for toppings, optional)


Get these ingredients from My Tindahan here.



  1. In a pot, saute garlic and ginger until brown. Add and cook the onions until limp and translucent.
  2. Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add water, soy sauce, sugar, star anise, and beef cube. Bring to boil and simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat or until meat is tender when forked.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer again until sauce thickens.
  5. Serve on a bowl and garnish with scallions. Top with toasted garlic bits and fried shallots if preferred. Best consumed with rice.


Photo by Majoy Siason from website.


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