Angelo Comsti Makes Bicol’s Kinalas from His New Cookbook “Also Filipino”

December 14, 2019

Like many of us, food writer Angelo Comsti‘s idea of Filipino cuisine was limited to adobosinigangkaldereta, etc. But after traveling to 22 provinces, he challenged this definition. In his new cookbook “Also Filipino,” Angelo chronicles “75 regional recipes [he] never had growing up;” proving that Filipino food went beyond what our moms made us at home. He illustrates that just because these recipes weren’t as familiar, that didn’t make them any less Filipino.

“Kinalas” comes from the Bicolano word “kalas,” which describes how meat falls off the bone.

On this episode of Cooking With, Angelo tells us about kinalas, a noodle soup from the Bicol region. It’s like a cross between mami and bulalo (it also reminded us of nilaga), plus gravy. The dish started in Dayangdang in Naga City. Local tricycle drivers would prepare it before their shift starts. Then, at the end of the day, they’d fix up a bowl as a sort of reward. And we get why—that bowl of kinalas was probably one of the best things we’ve had in the studio.

“Also Filipino” is available here.

  • Serves: 4 people
  • Active time: 30 mins
  • Total time: 2 hrs
  • Difficulty: Easy



  • 1 kg beef shank
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • Water, as needed
  • 500 g egg noodles
  • Hard boiled eggs, peeled, for garnish
  • Spring onion, chopped, for garnish
  • Chicharon, crumbled for garnish


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a pot, place beef shank. Pour enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain.
  2. In the same pot, return beef shank. Pour enough water to cover the beef shank. Add whole black peppercorns, onion, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until beef is tender, about 1 ½ hours.
  3. Remove beef and reserve broth. When cool to handle, chop beef into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  4. To make the kinalas gravy: In a pan, add flour and stir until light brown. Remove from pan. Set aside. In the same pan, pour soy sauce, fish sauce, and reserved broth. Stir. When simmering, gently add flour; stirring constantly. Cook until thick. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble the dish: In a pot, boil reserved broth. Cook egg noodles. When egg noodles are almost tender, divide noodles, and chopped beef shank into bowls. Pour 3 tablespoons of the gravy into each bowl. Top with reserved broth. Garnish with hard boiled egg, spring onion, and chicharon. Serve.
Jica Simpas Jica Simpas

Jica hopes that by writing about food she'll actually learn how to cook. But for now, she'll happily just eat everything—especially cookies.

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