Kare Kare is a Filipino beef oxtail stew based on peanut sauce. It is a very traditional dish and often served at parties, festivals, holiday meals, get-togethers with family and friends, and other special occasions. Traditionally, a beef oxtail is stewed to tenderness before creating a savory peanut sauce. Variations include adding other beef's parts like tripe, sirloin, and round. For extreme variation, you can even use the meat of pork, goat, lamb, or chicken.
There are different historical stories as to the origins of kare kare dish. Some say that this unusual yet distinctly traditional Filipino dish was developed by the influences of other dishes from neighboring countries like Indonesia and India. Others say that it was cook up by the Pampangueños in Pampanga using their culinary skills. Another say that once upon a time, this dish was served as a noble dish to the Moro elite who once settled in Manila during the pre-colonial era. But the most convincing historical perspective is that, this dish was fully developed during the Spanish era because it was the Spaniards who introduced the peanut crop.
These various stories about the origins of kare kare only show the diversity of the cultural heritage of the Filipino people. Most likely, this dish evolved through the passage of time. At first, it was only a stewed beef oxtail with salt and pepper until someone added a grounded peanut during the Spanish era and it turns out that the taste is good. It became popular in the place where it originates, and then the popularity of the dish spread out in the whole country.
Kare Kare Ingredients
- 1 package kare kare mix (Mama Sita's, Knorr, Del Monte, or Mccormick)
- 1 lb beef oxtail or pork hocks; cut into chunks 2" length
- 1 eggplant; sliced diagonally 1/4" thick
- 1 cup string beans; cut into 2-inch lengths
- 7 pechay or bok choy leaves; cut in halves
- 1 small onion; minced
- Fish sauce
Kare Kare Cooking Instructions
- In a stockpot, boil meat in low medium heat until it becomes tender.
- Set aside the meat and save the broth.
- Dissolve the kare kare mix in a cup of broth. Set aside.
- In saucepan, saute garlic and onion.
- Add the boiled meat and the "dissolved kare kare mix".
- Simmer for few minutes to allow "kare kare mix" blend with the meat.
- Pour gradually the remaining broth to achieve the amount and thickness consistency of soup you like.
- Add the eggplant and string beans. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the pechay leaves. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Balance seasoning with fish sauce if necessary.
- You can use pressure cooker if you want to boil the meat faster.
- Make sure to read the pressure cooker's manual when opening the pressure cooker to ensure safety.