You can easily prepare this Beef Papaitan or papaitan baka recipe at home. You can now enjoy this famous Ilocano soup dish even without bile!
It’s one of my husband’s favorite soup back in college. According to him, it’s a great as hang-over remedy after a night of drinking. He’s been asking me for as long as I remember to make one but I can’t find bile or “apdo” that gives the dish its bitter taste. Luckily, I discovered a secret ingredient as a substitue.
I personally haven’t tasted it but heard that it’s really good. So, for this recipe I had to rely on my husband to taste and make sure I get it right. After a few tries and a seal of approval from my hubby, ladies and gentlemen, I give you my No-bile Beef Papaitan recipe! Enjoy!
What Is Papaitan?
Papaitan is a Filipino soup dish that is a specialty in the northern part of the Philippines. The name papaitan describes one of the dish’s prominent flavors: bitter or “pait”. The stew or soup mainly consist beef innards or goat innards like liver, pancreas, small intestines, kidney, and tripe.
The bile juice or apdo is a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. This gives the dish its pleasant bitter flavor along with a bit of sourness and heat from the chili.
What Does It Taste Like?
Papaitan of the Ilocos region is rich and flavorful. It’s has a savory broth and gamey taste because of the beef or goat innards. The soup is bitter and sour with some spice coming from the peppers. Personally, I would say it’s an acquired taste because it gets better the more you try it.
Making Papaitan Without Bile
Bile or apdo is one of the ingredients that you can’t easily find especially if living abroad. That being said, this should not discourage you from making beef papaitan especially if your craving for it. This recipe will guide you make papaitan that is quick and easy without using bile.
I used lime peel and zest as the bittering agent for the dish to replace bile. You can also use lemon peel if you have some already. Other recipes use bitter gourd but this adds more steps because you need to boil, blend and lastly extract the juice from the bitter gourd.
How To Serve And Store
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- 200 grams beef tripe (cut into 1 inch strips)
- 200 grams beef intestines (boiled whole then cut into bite-sized pcs)
- 100 grams beef kidney (cut into cubes)
- 1 thumb-sized ginger (sliced)
- 1 stalk lemon grass
- 4 pcs bay leaves
- 1 tbsp rock salt
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 150 grams beef liver (cut into 1 inch strips)
- 1 thumb-sized ginger (julienned)
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 medium onion (sliced)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 whole lime peel or skin
- 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
- 3 green chilis (1 pc sliced, 2 whole)
- 6 cups water
Boiling beef innards
- Scrape skin of lime with a fine grater, cut in half and extract 1 1/2 tbsp of lime juice.1 whole lime peel or skin, 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
- Extract remaining juice from lime then cut the peel into small pieces. Set lime zest, juice, and peel aside for later use.
- In a large pot, pour enough water and tip in rock salt, ginger, lemon grass, and bay leaves.1 thumb-sized ginger, 1 stalk lemon grass, 1 tbsp rock salt, 4 pcs bay leaves
- Add beef tripe, intestines, kidney. Cover with lid and boil for 50-60 minutes or until soft and tender. Skim off scum that rises on top of the pot occasionally.200 grams beef tripe, 200 grams beef intestines, 100 grams beef kidney
- Remove from heat then cut beef intestines into bite-sized pieces.
Making the dish
- Heat oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Sauté ginger until fragrant then sauté onion and garlic until onion is wilted.2 tbsp cooking oil, 1 thumb-sized ginger, 3 cloves garlic, 1 medium onion
- Mix-in boiled beef innards then add lime peel and zest. Stir to incorporate ingredients.
- Add fish sauce, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Mix until fully incorporated.1/4 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Add beef liver and cook while occasionally stirring for 4-5 minutes or until livers or browned.150 grams beef liver
- Pour-in water and stir-in green chilis. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until soup is slightly reduced and lime peel is tender.6 cups water, 3 green chilis
- Remove from heat and transfer in a serving bowl. Enjoy while warm. Bon appetit