Kare-kare

A rich stew of ox tail, face, leg, tripe or all of them together, and a variety of vegetables in a sauce flavored and thickened with roasted ground peanuts (peanut butter is just as good!) and toasted rice flour.

Another way to prepare kare-kare is to cook the vegetables separately in the stock in which the meat has cooked. The cooked vegetables are arranged in the serving bowl with the meat and the peanut sauce is poured in. This is my preferred method because I have better control over the texture of the vegetables to prevent overcooking them.

Traditionally, as in during my grandparents’ time, kare-kare was cooked with freshly ground roasted peanuts and rice. Well, there’s nothing like cooking it that way, but I find the procedure too much for today’s busy lifestyle. The easiest option is, of course, to get one of those ready mixes that are abundant in supermarkets. I’ve tried a couple brands. The problem was I didn’t have much control over the taste of the cooked kare-kare. The mix determined the final thickness, flavor and color of the dish. If you’re as particular as I am, well, you look for another option.

So, one time I bought “peanut butter” from the wet market. This “peanut butter” is coarser than the bottled variety and unsweetened. It is not made for sandwiches but is sold particularly for cooking kare-kare. Well, the grains were pretty obvious in the sauce and I didn’t like that either.

It was so frustrating that I actually stopped cooking kare-kare for more than a year. Until one day when my mother-in-law asked if we wanted a huge jar of peanut butter that she didn’t know what to do with. My husband, who’s a real peanut butter fan, gladly accepted. The jar was so huge (2 k.) that after a few weeks, it was just sitting, forgotten, way inside the refrigerator. Now this was sandwich peanut butter. Sweet and smooth. I debated for a while then decided to use it for kare-kare. Guess what? I finally found the perfect peanut butter for my kare-kare. The slightly sweet flavor of the sauce was reaallllyyy great especially because I season my kare-kare sufficiently. Kare-kare is usually under-seasoned because it is traditionally served with bagoong (shrimp paste) and the necessary saltiness comes from the bagoong. But I am allergic to it along with other crustaceans — shrimps, lobsters, crabs, prawns… So, I don’t touch the stuff. That’s why I always season my kare-kare well. And that’s why sweetened peanut butter is so perfect.

As to the ground roasted rice, well, I don’t particularly feel like grinding rice with a mortar and pestle. I have a supply of rice flour in the pantry. I toasted half a quarter of a cup in the skillet, mixed it with stock and it did the trick — color, thickness, flavor. I’ve been using this little trick for a long time now.

casaveneracion.com kare-kare2

Recipe: Kare-kare

Ingredients

  • about 1.25 kg. of ox tail, tripe, leg or face (or a combination of two or more of these)
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 1 whole onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt
  • 1/8 c. of annato seeds (or 1 tbsp. of annatto powder)
    1/2 head of white cabbage
    1 bunch of pechay (pei tsai or bok choy)
    1 bunch of sitaw (yard-long beans)
    2 eggplant
    1 small puso ng saging (heart of banana plant)
    1/2 c. of peanut butter
    1/4 c. of rice flour
    6-8 c. of stock

Instructions

  1. Rinse the ox tripe, face, tail or leg well. Place in a large casserole and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a boil, removing scum as it rises. Season with salt. Add the bay leaves, garlic and onion. Cover and simmer until tender, about 4 to 6 hours. Alternatively, use a pressure cooker or a slow cooker. If using a different parts of the animal, chances are they won’t cook to the desired tenderness at the same time (the tripe will cook faster than the rest). Inspect the progress of the meat, scoop out the parts that are done, continue cooking the rest, and so on. When all meat is done, scoop out and transfer to a covered bowl. Set aside and keep hot.
  2. Strain stock and measure 6 cups (you may need less but it’s better to be prepared).
  3. If using annatto seeds, add them to the stock while still hot. Leave to allow the seeds to expel its beautiful color. Skip this step is using annatto powder.
  4. Cut the cabbage half into 2 and remove core. Cut off the roots and 1/2 inch of stalks of pechay and discard. Cut of the roots of sitaw and cut into 2″ lengths. Discard the tough outer layers of puso ng saging and cut inner layers into 2″ x 2″ pieces (see banana heart: how to trim and prepare). Cut the eggplants into 2″ x 2″ cubes.
  5. Place the rice flour in a skillet and toast over medium-high heat until lightly browned and nutty in aroma. Set aside.
  6. Strain the stock and discard the annatto seeds. Bring to the boil (if using annatto powder, add it now) and add the vegetables in the following order with a 2-minute interval : sitaw, eggplant, puso ng saging, white cabbage and pechay. Scoop out the vegetables and arrange in the serving bowl alongside the meat.
  7. Meanwhile, mix roasted rice flour with 1/2 c. of stock. Mix the peanut butter with another 1/2 c. of stock.
  8. Reheat the stock in the pan. Pour in the rice flour mixture, stirring as your pour. Cook until a bit thickened, about three minutes. Stir in the diluted peanut butter. Simmer for about five minutes. Adjust the seasonings, if you like.
  9. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Stir. Serve hot with bagoong alamang, if you like.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: about 6 hours and 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4 to 6

casaveneracion.com kare-kare3

*Updated on January 29, 2014



Comments

    • mrs myers says

      Hey i wanna thank you for your website and now i can be able to try to cook for my husband something different.Thanks and more power…God bless

      • kat says

        finally, a filipino recipe website that is well thought of. thanks, connie :) most pinoy websites are poorly worded, displaying typical pinoy mediocrity…i hate to be another pinoy saying it but it’s true. so yup, i had to let you know that your site is really good, showing concern for the readers by giving exact measurements, time intervals, etc. oh, and the recipes are good and innovative too. all the best to you!

      • Ana says

        hi connie, to be honest, i have been ur avid fan for almost 3 yrs now. I started searching for recipe when i was in Iraq, yes I was in Iraq for 3 yrs and presently in Qatar for over a year now. I was an assistant camp manager in Iraq before and taking care of the restaurant and the accommodation for our 91 clients. Mostly americans, british, irish and Indians. we were just 3 Filipinos there. Every weekend we were having a special night like mexican night, hawaiian bbq night, arabian night and lot more. One day, they asked me to prepare filipino dishes for Filipino night and I couldnt find a recipe though I can cook. I went to my computer and email my mom but seems its hard to estimate the quantity of spices and meat for 91 guests. so i browsed in the internet and i found your website. I cooked kare kare, chicken adobo and pansit. it was a hit and was surprised that they all love our food. I got an applause from them after the dinner. Since then, i regularly check ur web and tried most of your recipe. the only sad thing in middle east is that we dont have pork. but i really like your article about your food hunting as it gives me idea where to go when i go home for vacation soon. thanks a lot and keep up the good work. more good places and good food to look forward to.

  1. jes h. says

    thanks for this delicious kare kare recipe, my wife just went crazy about it telling friends.more power!

  2. ana says

    yah, i was touched and was happy that they like our food. after that, i tried the siopao and i got it right first time i tried it. and when we had our karaoke night in our bar in time for the farewell party of one of our colleagues who were relocated to another country, i made a mini siopao with the italian sausage as the filling. it was a hit again and the spring roll.

    Im proud of our food bec even here in Qatar, im so amazed how foreigners knows our adobo, pansit and even the sinigang na baka at hipon. and they love it.

    • Rjfortyfive says

      Great recipe! I tried cooking this one, and all they can say is – DELICIOUS! Matagal na akong nag hahanap ng recipe ng kare-kare na kugn saan pareho talga sya sa mga natikaman ko sa mga restaurants, only Ms. Connie’s recipe pala can answer…thanks!

  3. eireen says

    hi connie,
    i just want to ask, have you ever tried seafood kare-kare? i know how to cook the traditional kare-kare and my husband loves it! but it’s lenten season now and he is requesting for the seafood version. how is it different from the usual? do i need to use ginger or something? thanks. would love to hear from you soon.
    oh by the way, it’s my first time to visit your site and i find it very interesting for you did not only feature traditional filipino recipes but have added some twist on it as well. will be trying some of it real soon.

    • Renato says

      regarding sea food kare-kare:

      I have tried several different versions of sea food kare-kare, all versions require that some if not all the sea foods be cooked separately.

      One simple version uses tilapia or boneless bangus fillet both of which are pre-fried before adding to the traditional peanut sauce just before serving.

      One of my favorite versions uses squid, fish fillet shrimp and mussles. All the sea foods except for the mussles were first pre-fried with a thin coating of batter before adding to the sauce.

      May everybody have a blessed lenten season!!!

    • Katrina says

      Hi Connie,
      Everytime i crave for filipino food and want to cook it with some guidance (ratio and proportion of ingredients), i always visit your website. You are very thorough, you know what you’re talking about and you are innovative. My husband is american, he likes most filipino food like sinigang (he always mispronounces it and calls it chinigang), bistek, mechado, adobo, kinda…but believe it or not, he loooooves BAGOONG! He eats it with almost anything, even Doritos. And he likes them home cooked, not the bottled ones you buy in stores. I love your recipes and the different takes you come up with to make use of what is available and using substitutes if one ingredient is not very desirable to you. PLUS, and this is a BIG PLUS…i think you are the only Filipino with a food website that is very detailed and thorough. Most filipino food websites are either incomplete, and copied from each other, are not well-thought out and sorry to say, i am proud of my heritage, but typical filipino, they are made half-ass (sorry for the crude term), just like some producst we make, there is no quality control. All i can say is you stand out and so, more power to you, your family and keep up the good work.

  4. says

    Hi Katrina. Your hubby sounds like a very open-minded food adventurer. Most whites balk at the kind of food we eat. You should read one of the comments in a fish head soup recipe I have in the archive LOL

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I know exactly what you mean by half-ass websites (blogs included), the product of the “pwede na” mentality. Most websites owners don’t care about quality so long as they can insert the proper keywords to enable them to make money with Adsense.

  5. ShaCho says

    Hi Connie,

    I tried cooking kare-kare before using the pre-mix but it was a terrible soggy kare-kare. Then, I never tried it again until me and my husband’s dinner last night. He just had a small operation in his neck yesterday that after the operation, I wanted to pamper him with his favorite food. Unfortunately, that is kare-kare and he does not want me to cook another one after that first try I did before. When I was about to cook dinner, he asked me to boil the lamb meat from the fridge but he did not know what to do with it. He was asking me to experiment with it implicitly. Hehehe! So I browse the internet and look for a kare-kare recipe and hoping I could make it right this time. And then, I saw your recipe. I followed it using the lamb meat of course, and he even thought I was cooking curry. When we were eating our dinner, he was not saying anything but his actions speaks more than his mouth could relish. After the dinner, he even said that it was the best tasting kare-kare ever. I was so happy with the outcome and after dinner, I could not wait to post this comment to share with you how great your recipe is. I even add your website in my favorites!!!

    I’ll be visiting your site more often, I swear.
    I have been looking for a Filipino cuisine recipe website that are easy and ingredients are accessable from the market.

    Thanks so much Connie!

  6. brian says

    The traditional crushed roasted peanut is really good, but I always cook it using peanut butter. Those pre-mix flavoring is not good at all in my opinion. I follow my aunt’s recipe and her secret indregient coconut milk or gata, not really a secret since i know a couple people use them too. Kare kare is easy to cook it just take a long time to prepare. Simmer the tripe and tendon the night before to save time!

  7. Eric says

    Atty Connie,
    Hi Atty… Its me once again…i was the one who cooked your “Not Mcdonalds Chicken& Spaghetti” meal last week. This time I tried this Kare-Kare recipe of yours….
    I used toasted rice& I grinded the peanut myself… The outcome was great & my mother-in-law was very happy with my kare-kare…
    Thank you Atty for this great recipe…God bless…

    Eric

  8. Kristina says

    Hi connie, thanks for sharing this recipe, it’s great to find kare kare recipe without using the ready mix as I can’t find one where I live :)

  9. Rose says

    Hi Ms. Connie,

    Ok lang po bang laman ng baka ang gamitin (hnd buntot, binti saka twalya)? Makakaapekto po ba yun sa kalalabasang lasa?

    Thanks po :)

  10. Maila C. Rico says

    Hello po. I really love kare-kare but dont know how to cook it. Thanks for this recipe. I will try this and you’ll know.

    • TRose says

      Hi Connie! Just want to thank you for this recipe. Like you, I didn’t want to grind rice, so when I read this recipe I was encouraged to cook kare-kare. I don’t particularly like to use the mix. So, although I like kare-kare the only time I eat it is when I go to the Filipino store. My hubby doesn’t like ox tail or tripe so I used beef short ribs and it came out really good.

      • Connie says

        Yes, short ribs are good. :) Actually, any meat is good in kare-kare — it’s just traditional to use tripe, tail, face…

  11. says

    Hello again Ms Connie!

    Tried this recipe for tonight’s dinner (used pata, instead of ox) … OH SO YUMMY! kahit maputla, kasi wala akong annatto seeds, it’s the lasa that counts. thanks!

  12. Grace says

    Hi Connie,

    I’m planning to cook Karekare for a birthday meal. Can you suggest a side dish or another viand na mapapansin pa din kahit sobrang sarap ng karekare? Thanks in advance po and more power :)

  13. ayen says

    hi,

    i just wanted to say hi and that i am an avid fan of you and your recipes. everytime i look for recipes, i always go to your site because for sure, it will be a hit! :) please continue posting recipes and sharing it to us. wish you well as always. thanks for sharing your talent. by the way, the first recipe that i tried from your site is puto (tastes like cake) and the paksiw na pata and my family loves it, super!!! :)

  14. Rem says

    Ate Connie,. First time ko po magluluto ng kare kare for my hubby. Ask ko lng po me ingredient na bay leaf kaso di ko nabasa ung instruction when po siya isasama sa pagluluto. Clueless lng po. Thanks

  15. Omar says

    Hi!
    I was led to your site by a friend of mine recommended I try your Bistek recipe. It continues to be a hit everytime I serve it – last time being Noche Buena.

    Now, am writing because am supposed to host dinner for a few friends. Am sure I want to do Kare Kare. I would like to know what other dish I should cook to complement Kare Kare or provide a good contrast to it.

    Thanks.

  16. says

    hi Connie! what brand of peanut butter did u use? i’m gonna attempt my first ever Kare-Kare with ur recipe, and i don’t really want to fail because of bad peanut butter hehehe!

  17. m. forrest says

    Hi! You’re recipes are interesting. I find them useful to my everyday research on food styles. Thanks!

  18. says

    I’m not particular with the brand, geWi. Even the cheap ones work so long as the proportions are right. Just keep tasting the sauce as you add peanut butter.

  19. gg says

    i will try to follow the kare kare recipe as my husband loves it. my question is, where can i buy the rice flour? what is it in filipino? if i cant find it, what the alternative? thanks

  20. says

    you’re welcome, m. forrest. :)

    gg, toast 1/2 c. of uncooked rice (bigas) in a pan. Cool then ground to a powder (in a blender or food processor). Then use that. More authentic. :) I only use rice flour to save time and effort. :razz:

  21. says

    Ay naku! I have not had this dish in such a long time. My lola use to cook kare-kare alot. She used to add beef tripe, beef honeycomb and lots of sili too.

  22. pogi man says

    i love it you i can’t recipes of kare-kare i love it ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

  23. says

    Hi Ana. You said, “it was a hit and was surprised that they all love our food. I got an applause from them after the dinner.”

    Josme, nakaka-touch siguro, ano, when they showed their appreciation? See, we just need to introduce foreigners to our food… Kainis yung mga Pinoy na nagsasabing wala kwenta food natin.

  24. Omar says

    I love Kre kare. My favorite food besides lechon. Kaya mataas ang cholesterol ko dahil sa kare kare eh!

  25. says

    hi im bujoy i love to cook… as i searches the web i saw this site and its really cool… i havnt tried this kare-kare so its a challenge for me to try this recipe! i have to go now coz ill buy some ingredient for this! i know my family will love it… ill let you know how it goes… hehehe!

  26. jean bytheway says

    hi im jean ilove to cook even im not dat good dats why im here to learn and iknow my husband goin to love it!!

  27. Jersey Miguel says

    hi,
    it’s my birthday on the 30th ds month, and my family requested for a special kare-kare. I think they will love this one.. I’ll get back to you for their reactions..tnx.

  28. says

    Hi,

    I cooked kare kare last night and what a frustation it was to find that I have no recipe for it at home.arrgh!I had half the mind to go out and find internet connection so I can find this. By then it was almost dinnertime, so I didn’t. My mistake was I added tomatoes and I added the peanut butter before the veggies, kaya pala ang tagal nilang maluto.

    With this recipe safely in my notebook, I’ll definitely cook kare kare with more confidence next time.

    Thanks, Ms. Connie.

  29. lani rivera says

    kare2 is one of my specialty,,, my unica iha, my friends and relatives is always requesting me to cook this kind of menu…a tail of cow, with creamy peanut butter. Yummy daw pag buntot ng baka ang karne ng kare2.

  30. I am Bunny says

    what are annato seeds? cuz my mom’s coming home tonight, and the only thing left in the fridge to cook is the pig tails. Which type of peanut butter best advised to be used?

  31. ces venancio says

    I want to cook something special for my husband for Easter and one of my close friends said that her specialty is kare-kare. I have not cooked kare-kare ever in my life but I thought I could try. I tried to find the recipe in this website and I did!

    I tried your recipe and my husband liked it so much. Last Christams I also went to this website to look for baked macaroni recipe. I cooked it and it was well received as well by my famiy and relatives. I cooked it again in our 1st wedding anniversary when my parents came and visited us in the house. They love it.

    Thanks for sharing your recipes. You have helped a lot of people especially newly married ones like me. It’s such a joy to be able to cook great food for our loved ones.

    Thanks Conie and God bless you and your endeavors.

    Ces

  32. Deng says

    Connie,

    Thanks for putting together this website. It gives me a place to check if I’m doing my cooking right.

    I’ve been living in New Jersey since 2000, and recently got married to an Irish-Italian woman. She told me before that she might not like our cuisine, but boy, did she eat her words (pardon the pun) many times over!

    Her favorite food now is tortang giniling na baka, although I kept telling her it’s not really a big thing. I also have done stir-fried vegetables for her, along with chicken sopas and some other stuff. She didn’t like pork sinigang, mainly because of the tanginess. Oh well, more for me!

    I read your thing on kare-kare, and was really struck with your issues with peanuts and rice. When my grandmother used to make it, she’d boil the tripe the night before the party, and as it boiled, would set her clay stove outside and I would then transfer the pot of tripe on the stove so it would boil overnight. The next morning, she would wake me up and I’d move the pot back on the stove, and she’d have me grind the peanuts and rice. As you may surmise, that was not an enjoyable thing to do. My reward, though, is I got to eat the kare-kare ahead of others: the dish would be done by 10 am, way before the start of our party at noon.

    In one of those times she woke me up to do the peanuts and rice, I figured, why not try grinding them? So, I go her hand-cranked meat grinder and did it there. It worked quite well for the peanuts; the rice wasn’t ground well enough, but it made it easier to do it with the mortar and pestle.

    A couple of years later, I tried the blender. The rice turned up really good, as it was a powder-like consistency. The peanuts turned into a paste, something like peanut butter, although a bit chunkier. That actually tasted good. So, everytime she’d make it from then on, I’d be using the blender. Even she liked it. The thing is, she’s not into such modern stuff, so she still woke me up. And I still enjoyed the perks.

    Here in the US, I’d go to the supermarket, and they would have those peanut butter that’s unsweetened, which is the same consistency as the one I’d put in the blender. I still do the rice with the blender. The challenge here, though, is finding tripe, or even ox tail: the regular supernarkets don’t usually carry them. So, my search usually turns into adventures, and now I have a couple of Asian supermarkets that I’d go to to get them. I also get my bagoong there (Kamayan and/or Barrio Fiesta brands).

    So, try the blender for the peanuts and rice. Just do the rice first, then the peanuts. And before doing so, put the rice into a skillet or frying pan WITHOUT OIL; same with the peanuts. My grandmother tells me, “Kailangan habusin muna ang bigas at mani bago gilingin.” Heat them without burning them (i.e., tunring them brown). Then put them in the blender, one after the other.

  33. Chowqueen says

    Hi Connie,

    Thanks for your thorough kare-kare recipe. I’m going to attempt to make it sometime this week for my hubby who is also a peanut butter fan. A question about the annatto seeds – do you think I can use the powdered version instead of cooking the seeds in oil and discarding? On the package it says I can add the annatto powder to corn oil to make annatto oil. I’m assuming I should make 2 tbsp of annatto oil for your recipe, in which I should cook my onions, garlic and meat.

    Any suggestions, or should I just go out and buy the annatto seeds and follow your recipe exactly? :)

    Thanks for your help!

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