The first time I saw this I was confused, they call it Pochero but it looks like Bulalo but when you taste it then it’s a totally different dish. The subtle differences form both mentioned dishes just gives it an edge in terms of flavour complexity. The lemongrass gives it freshness, the garlic adds more savoury aspect to the dish, the sweet corn and saba bananas give it a bit of sweetness while the bamboo shoots give it an interesting texture.
Overall, it’s a different soup, a better one? well this can be subject to debate as it all boils down to your preferences. For me I find Pochero, Bulalo and Pocherong Bisaya equally satisfying and they have their best times to consume it. Bulalo will be perfect for a cold wet night, Pocherong Bisaya will be good at any day, due to its freshness factor it can be eaten on a summer day like Tom Yam and for Pochero is reserved if you want something saucy but not too soupy.
- 1.5 kg beef shanks, cut into sections
- 4 pcs saba bananas, sliced
- 1 cup bamboo shoots
- 2 ears fresh sweet corn, cut into 3 sections
- 2 bunches bok choy
- 1 cabbage, quartered
- 4 stalks lemongrass, white parts pounded
- 6 stalks spring onions, sliced
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- fish sauce
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a pot boil beef shanks for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse and remove any scum.
- In a clean pot, add oil then sauté garlic, ginger and onions.
- Add the beef shanks, corn, bamboo shoots, lemongrass and salt. Pour enough water to cover the meat then bring it to a boil. Simmer for 1½ hours or until beef is tender.
- Add the saba bananas, continue to cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the cabbage, continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the bok choy and spring onions, continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper then serve.