Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Short Cut Kare-Kare

Kare-Kare is one of those uniquely Filipino dishes. A rich stew of oxtail, ground rice, ground peanuts and vegetables, eaten with shrimp paste...it doesn't sound like much, but every special occasion back home would be incomplete without this family favorite.

Normally, when this dish is made, it takes almost a whole day. The meat needs to be boiled until tender, the rice needs to be toasted then ground, the peanuts need to be ground finely into a paste, etc, etc. In this busy world, having that much time to make a single dish would truly be a luxury. Thankfully, there are ready-mix packets of sauce that one could easily tweak. With a bit of adjusting here and there, a more than adequate kare-kare is mere minutes away.

Short Cut Kare-Kare

3 lbs. oxtail, cut into 2-inch pieces
6 cups water
1 onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp. salt
1 1/2 packs Mama Sita's Kare-Kare mix
2 cups long beans/sitaw, cut into 2 inch pieces
10-12 pcs. okra
3 cups bok choy
1 cup smooth/creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
fish sauce to taste

1. Boil oxtail in water with onion, garlic and salt until tender. I used a pressure cooker for 20 minutes. Set aside meat. Drain and skim fat from stock.
2. In a bowl, mix 2 cups of stock with the kare-kare mix and peanut butter. Set aside
3. In a heavy pot, simmer rest of stock and cook okra and long beans until almost tender.
4. Add the kare-kare mix/peanut butter mixture and the meat.
5. Add sugar and fish sauce to taste.
6. Put in the bok choy last.
7. Simmer for a few minutes until bok choy is done and sauce has thickened.
8. Serve with bagoong/shrimp paste.

Other veggies that normally go into kare-kare include eggplants and banana hearts. Tripe and other internal organs can be used too. But my kids just like the oxtail, so oxtail it is.


Anonymous said...

I always cooked kare-kare the " easy" way with peanut butter and toasted rice flour though I did skip the achuete bec I hated getting the stains under my fingernails. Instant orange manicure!
Kare-kare = ultimate comfort food (2nd only to inihaw na liempo)

- Aphrodite A

ctl said...

Inihaw na liempo is the best!!!

TtaM said...

chinky, your short cut kare-kare is the best! beats those i tried from commercially available recipe books.

i'll have to try if i can make the callos ala madrilena as tasty as what you brought for mama's 96th.

Tanya Regala said...


Your kare kare looks really delicious!

I'm collecting a list of the best kare kare recipes in my blog, and I included your kare kare recipe (just a link though, hope you don't mind). You can see it at

Keep in touch!