Kare Kare

Kare Kare

This is my third time to guest post, I know it is not a lot but there is a popular saying “third time lucky” and indeed that is true as I am invited by Nami at Just One Cookbook, definitely one of my favourite food blog sites around.

For today I will be sharing what I had guest posted at Just One Cookbook, I guess most of you had read it already but in-case not the dish is called Kare-kare, a popular stew in Philippines that is served on special occasions like Feast Days (fiesta), Birthdays and family gatherings. The dish’s defining ingredient is its peanut sauce which is made out of peanut butter, ground toasted rice and annatto seed extract this is then cooked with variety of local vegetables and meat (usually ox tail or ox tripe). It’s a bit pale in taste compared to other rich Philippine dishes that’s why it is often always accompanied with a salty shrimp paste called bagoong.

This dish probably had originated from Pampanga as it is really popular there and every household in the said province offer this as their specialty and have their own better versions that stand out among the others but there are also some suggestions that it originated from the Southern island of Mindanao where this dish is popular as well, it was said that this is one of the regal dishes of the Moro elite who settled in Manila even before the Spanish arrival. Another suggestion says that it has a Japanese influence as the name “Kare-Kare” is derived from the Japanese word “Kare” which is a Japanese word for curry. So where this dish did really came from? Well I don’t really know but most experts say it was from Pampanga also called the culinary capital of the Philippines.

I guess this is not for everyone due a lot of people has allergies over nuts and if you don’t have one you might freak out with the part of beef used. But if you are adventurous in food, this is a must try especially for those who loves peanut butter, you will feel good about this dish.

Ingredients (Stew)

1 kg ox tail
1 cup unsalted peanut butter
1/4 cup ground toasted rice
1 large red onions, diced
1 whole garlic, minced
1/4 cup annatto seeds soaked in 1/2 cup boiling water
3 tbsp brown sugar or any natural sweetener of choice
4 cups beef stock
freshly ground black pepper
bagoong (fermented shrimp paste)

Ingredients (Vegetables)

3 pieces eggplant, sliced
1 bundle string beans, sliced
1 bunch Baby Bok Choy


1. In a pot add oil and sauté onion and garlic, once onions turn translucent remove then set it aside.
2. Now using the same pot add ox tail then brown all sides.
3. Pour the beef stock and a cup of water into the pot then bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1.5 hours or until meat is tender (Add water if needed).
4. Turn of the heat then remove the ox tail from the pot and leaving all the liquid, set ox tail aside.
5. Add sugar, ground toasted rice, peanut butter and water from soaked annatto seeds into the pot then mix thoroughly until it’s even in consistency. Turn on the heat to medium then let it boil
6. Once sauce is boiling, turn heat to low then add the ox tail and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper.
7. Now cook the vegetables separately by blanching string beans, eggplants and bok choy.
8. Pour stew on a deep bowl and add cooked vegetables on the side. Serve with bagoong.

If you can’t find bagoong in your place you can easily order them at Amazon

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30 thoughts on “Kare Kare

  1. Hello Raymond
    I found you via Nami.
    This looks so good!
    Actually oxtail is my favourite part of the cow.
    No kidding!
    I absolutely love oxtail soup.

    Have a joyful day


  2. Hi raymond! i came over from nami’s! brilliant job! I commented there but decided to comment here too as you might check this more often. Thank you for bringing more attention to authentic SOutheast asian cuisine! I have not tried this stew before though, so would really love to! Ingredients list are also quite short, though i probably need to hunt down annato seeds. And oxtail used to be so cheap but now, because everyone knows how delicious it is, it’s actually quite expensive! I read in the comments that you suggested beef neck too, will try that!

  3. Thank you so much for this special guest post Raymund! I’m really happy that readers love your dish! ^_^ I meant a billionaire because you will be a very expensive chef and I know it already!!! I have to win over many people who want you! Hehee. Thanks again!

  4. I just discovered your blog via Nami’s Just One Cookbook and it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m so impressed with the breadth of your cuisine creations across so many cultures and I’m now happily subscribed so I can keep up. I’ve never heard of Kare Kare before, but it sounds fantastic…

  5. How do you make your photos look so darn good, it makes me hungry every time. Sometimes it’s frustrating coz you’re making me crave for something I can’t eat right away. @_@

  6. Pingback: foodipino.com » Kare Kare

  7. Hi Raymund!! Is annatto seeds mandatory for this dish? Is it only used for colouring or does it actually contribute to the taste? Also, where do I find ground toasted rice??

    • Annatto seeds is used for colour, it also contributes to the taste but very minimal to distinguish so you can opt out. For the ground toasted rice you can do on your own but toasting uncooked rice in a pan the grind it in coffee powder. Toast only until light brown not dark or black.

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  11. Hi! Thanks for posting this. Found it from Ono Kine’s re-post. Sorry Ono Kine, I can’t tag you with my non-smart cp. :( This was my grandmother’s favorite dish. She would always cook it if there’s something to celebrate about. That means it would be at least a double/triple/quad of this recipe. :) I remember her telling me to powder-grind some raw rice & some uncooked peanuts (because there was no peanut butter back then in the Philippines). I just can’t remember if she would roast the peanuts first before adding them, but I would always grind them separately. And we would also add the heart of the banana. The shrimp paste is always sauteed with garlic & onions.

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