A meat and vegetable stew in peanut sauce, kare-kare is a Filipino dish. Crispy pork belly kare-kare is a modern take on this all-time favorite.
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Crispy Pork Belly Kare-kare

Course Main Course
Cuisine Modern Filipino
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 3 people
Author Connie Veneracion

Ingredients

  • 400 to 500 grams pork belly cut into slices anywhere from 1/2 to 1 inch thick
  • 4 to 6 cups bone broth preferably well- seasoned
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour (NOT glutinous)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons annatto seeds
  • 1 small bunch sitaw (yard-long beans) cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 small white cabbage cut into wedges
  • 1 small banana heart trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch rings
  • 1 large eggplant (preferably the long Asian variety), diced
  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
  • cooking oil for deep frying

Instructions

  • Arrange the pork belly slices in a wide shallow pan. Cover with water. Boil for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the pork belly and rinse well to remove scum. Discard the water.
  • Clean out the pan (or use another wide shallow pan) and spread the pork belly slices on the bottom. Pour in the broth and bring to the boil. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or until tender. Halfway through the cooking time, taste the broth and add salt, if needed.
  • While the pork cooks, toast the rice flour in an oil-free frying pan over medium heat until lightly browned and nutty in aroma. Set aside.
  • Scoop out the pork belly slices, move to a rack and allow to cool.
  • Pour the broth into a pot and reheat. Dump in the annatto seeds and boil until the broth turns reddish. Scoop out the annatto seeds and discard.
  • Reheat the broth. Throw in the sitaw and cabbage wedges. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Scoop out, transfer to a plate and set aside. Do not turn off the heat.
  • Add the banana heart and eggplant to the boiling broth. Cook just until done, about 10 minutes. Scoop out, move to a plate and set aside.
  • Make the peanut sauce. Take out half a cup of the broth from the pan and pour into a heat proof bowl. Add the peanut butter and rice flour; stir until smooth.
  • Pour the peanut butter mixture into the hot broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until smooth and thickened. Set aside.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan. Fry the pork belly slices until browned and crisp. Do this in batches, if necessary, so that the pork slices do not touch one another during frying to ensure even cooking and browning.
  • Reheat the sauce. Add all the cooked vegetables, stirring gently. Cook just until simmering.
  • Pour the sauce and vegetables into a bowl. Top with the crispy pork belly. Serve immediately.

Notes

Click on the links in the ingredients list for more details about bone broth, annatto seeds and banana heart.