Ilonggo Kansi Recipe Pinoy Food Guide

Ilonggo Beef Kansi Recipe

Have you heard of the yummy Ilonggo Beef Kansi?

If you want warm and comforting food on a rainy weeknight or a cold day, try this dish from Iloilo, the Kansi (or Cansi).

This is a perfect dinner to serve to your family from a hard day’s work and it will satisfy you with its flavorful soup. Aside from it being something you can cook on a regular day, it is also a nice choice for serving on some special occasions, if you want to let the people taste something unique and really delicious.

Continue to read this recipe article and learn more about the kansi and see some tips when cooking this dish.

What is Kansi?

Kansi is a type of soup dish which originated from the Ilonggo people in the Western Visayas region.

It is well-known all over the Philippines. This sour dish is made of beef shank partnered with jackfruit, batuan or kamias, tomatoes, garlic, among other seasonings. The soup is made of the beef broth, annatto powder, and tamarind flavoring. 

This flavorful dish is usually associated with bulalo or sinigang because of its similarities. You can see our recipe of the bulalo and sinigang if you also want to learn how to make them.

How to Cook Kansi?

Cooking the kansi is similar to cooking the popular dishes such as bulalo and sinigang, as mentioned earlier. To start with this, let us break down the process into the three parts of the cooking procedure, in order for you to visualize it more easily.

First, if you’re going to use fresh tamarind pods, you have to extract the juice from it. Second, you have to prepare all the other ingredients. The last step is to cook them all in a large cooking pot. It is a straightforward process and all you have to do is to keep an eye on the ingredients to avoid overcooking.

Kansi Tips:

  • Use a pressure cooker, if it is available with you. If you want the kansi to cook much faster, you are going to need this. Instead of the normal simmering for about 2 hours, the time it will need for the beef to be cooked and to be tender will take only 30 minutes.

Notes on Ingredients


Some other recipes of the kansi use a native fruit in the Western Visayas region called the batuan.

It is a great idea to add this in the ingredients, but since it is not always available especially in other parts of the Philippines and other parts of the world, it can be deemed as an optional ingredient, and you can simply add other alternative ingredients which adds a rich sour flavor to the dish.


Aside from the annatto powder, you can use annatto oil instead. It is made from a combination of fresh ingredients, namely, annatto seeds and some chicken skin or chicken fat, garlic, and bay leaf. For instructions on how to make annatto oil you can follow the procedure from our Chicken Inasal recipe.

For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:

Ilonggo Kansi Recipe Pinoy Food Guide
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Ilonggo Beef Kansi Recipe

A western Visayan beef shank soup dish
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 15 mins
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: Beef
Servings: 4
Calories: 691kcal


  • Cooking Pot


  • 1 kg beef shank
  • 1 pc medium-sized onion, cut into wedges
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pc tomato, cut into wedges
  • 2 pcs lemongrass, tanglad, peeled and thick end pounded
  • 500 g green jackfruit, sliced
  • 4 pcs kamias
  • 2 pcs chili pepper, siling labuyo
  • 2 tbsp annatto powder
  • 15 pcs tamarind pods
  • 8 cups water, or as needed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil


  • Fill a cooking pot with water, add-in the tamarind pods and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender and skin begin to burst.
  • Transfer to another plate and mash the tamarind with a fork or any other hard object.
  • Pour-in the tamarind liquid in another bowl while using a strainer. Repeat this process until all of the juice of the tamarind is extracted. Set aside.
  • In a deep cooking pot, pour-in and heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add-in the minced garlic. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until limp and aromatic.
  • Add-in the beef shank. Cook and turn every now and then until lightly seared.
  • Pour-in the water and bring to a boil.
  • Add-in the onion wedges, and tomato wedges. Set to low heat then cover and simmer for 2 hours or until beef is tender.
  • In a bowl, dilute annatto powder in 1 cup of broth from the pot. Add into the pot and then add-in the tamarind juice. Stir until well dispersed.
  • Add-in the lemongrass, green jackfruit, kamias, and chili peppers. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve and enjoy!


Don't forget to check out more information like cooking tips, suggestions, and notes on the sections above in case you jumped to this recipe.


Nutrition Facts
Ilonggo Beef Kansi Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 691 Calories from Fat 236
% Daily Value*
Fat 26.2g40%
Saturated Fat 7.5g47%
Cholesterol 223mg74%
Sodium 170mg7%
Potassium 1452mg41%
Carbohydrates 34.3g11%
Fiber 2.7g11%
Sugar 1.4g2%
Protein 78.3g157%
Calcium 60mg6%
Iron 48mg267%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Ilonggo Kansi Recipe Pinoy Food Guide


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