Finding Your Perfect Pares

Pares is one of those unsung comfort food dishes that doesn’t get featured much, but that every Filipino loves.  While some recipes such as Tinola and Embutido trace their origins back centuries, pares is relatively new. 

According to Chef Day Salonga, owner of Ted’s Kitchen and author of “The Malunggay Book,” pares was invented around the 1970s in Quezon City. Since then, it has been embraced by all. From restaurants to carinderias, to carts on the side of the street, next to major transportation hubs. It’s quick, usually cheap and always heartwarming.

You can also find it served with mami noodles. At first bite, you will find similarities between this and other chinese beef noddle soups or the much loved Taiwanese version of the dish.  

To get the scoop on pares, we visited Cocoy’s Pares along Visayas Ave., Quezon City. The eatery hasbeen operating for 29 years starting in 1994. Since then, some customers have been coming back to try Cocoy’s signature pares as the eatery goes through around 200-300 bowls a day!

One group even told us that they had been coming back to the spot since the early 90s while other customers gave lots of praise to the taste and quality of the pares bowls. While Cocoy’s is just one of many places to get a good bowl of pares,  You can also make it at home. We recreated pares in the kitchen, both in a classic way and in some more modern approaches.

As a side note, pares soups can either be runny or somewhat thick and slurpy. If you want to go for the latter, be sure to add cornstarch to your stew. Soy sauce is a given but added after reducing the heat. Before leaving it to stew, you’ll be adding bay leaves and brown sugar.

Our Taiwanese Beef Noodle influenced soup has a very similar process but with the addition of tomatoes and gochujang as well as roasted bone marrow if you want to go full “putok batok” with your dish (just watch your cholesterol) and to top it all off, it can be paired with mami noodles.

Overall, pares is a simple yet iconic dish meant for all walks of life due to its deep, savory, and rich flavors that make for quite the culinary adventure. If you’re on a budget and you live around Metro Manila, look no further than pares. 



Classic Pares


3 tbsp oil

1 pc onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 pc thumb-sized ginger, minced

½ kg beef shank, bone-in cut into 2 inch chunks

½ cup cornstarch

½ cup Marca Piña soy sauce

3 cups water

1 pc cinnamon stick

2 pc star anise

2 pc bay leaves

¼ cup brown sugar

⅓ cup chopped green onions

¼ cup fried garlic (optional)

1 pc chopped bird’s eye chilies



1. In a pot with hot oil, saute onions, garlic, and ginger. Dredge the beef in cornstarch, shaking off the excess and cook until all sides have browned.

2. Add soy sauce and transfer into a pressure cooker adding in enough water to cover the beef. Toast your cinnamon stick and anise until fragrant then add into the pressure cooker with bay leaves and brown sugar. Cook for 45 minutes or until tender.

3. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, water, star anise, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes or until the meat is tender. Serve topped with green onions, chopped garlic, and birds eye chilies. Makes 4 servings.


Taiwanese-inspired Pares


6 pc star anise

1 pc cinnamon stick

3 tbsp oil

1 pc onion, sliced

1 inch pc ginger, sliced

3 cloves garlic, sliced

½ tsp salt

3 pc tomatoes, sliced

½ kg beef shanks cut into 2 pc chunks

¼ cup Marca Piña soy sauce

2 cups beef broth

¼ cup tapuy/rice wine

2 tbsp gochujang

¼ cup brown sugar

2 pc bay leaves

¼ tsp white pepper

½ tsp five spice

3 cups beef broth

2 pcs bone marrows, split- horizontally

¼ kg miki/egg noodles, cooked according to package directions

4 pc boiled eggs

¼ cup chopped spring onions



1. Toast your spices and set aside. Saute your onions, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes. Season with salt and add beef shanks.

2. Add soy sauce and tapuy. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add gochujang and transfer into a pressure cooker. Add sugar, bay leaves, white pepper, five spice, and beef broth. Cook for 45 minutes.

3. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Place bone marrow in a pan and season with salt on top. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Serve with beef and rice. Makes 4 servings.


Pares Mami


Pre-made pares

pre-broiled bone marrow split horizontally

¼ kg miki/egg noodles, cooked according to package directions

4 pc boiled eggs

¼ cup chopped green onions

¼ cup fried garlic



1. In a bowl, add noodles, pares, bone marrow, boiled eggs then top with green onions and garlic. Makes 4 servings.



Salonga, Chef Day, and Chef Day Salonga. “Beef Pares Noodle Soup • Chef Day Salonga.” Beef Pares Noodle Soup • Chef Day Salonga, 30 Aug. 2018,

Written by: Miguel Lindog

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