Kare Kare

Kare kare (kari-kari as others called it) is one of my favorite Filipino foods. Every Filipino family do have their own version of Kare-kare, wheter its kare kareng baka, kare kareng baboy or kare kareng manok (beef, pork and chicken Kare kare).

But one thing is common, this Filipino dish is a rich and heavy meal served with rice. An ideal lunch dish during special occasions like fiestas, family gatherings and even for simple family outings.

The most popular Filipino version is the beef stew flavored and thickened in a peanut – based sauce, with a variety of vegetables. The most common cuts of beef used are tail, shank or face. A combination of the three may be used and most cooks preferred to add tripe.

Kare Kare With Peanuts And Bagoong
Kare Kare With Peanuts And Bagoong

Kare Kare Cooking and Serving Overview

The meat is first tenderized, then sauteed in garlic, bagoong, annatto seeds, and vegetables. Peanut butter is added during the last stages of cooking to thicken the sauce and give the characteristic flavour of the kari-kari.

Most common vegetables used are string beans or snake beans, pechay or baby bachoy, eggplant and banana buds from the banana heart, (optional ).

Kare-kare is always serve with white boil rice and bagoong alamang on the side. Bagoong Alamang is a paste of salted and fermented shrimp fingerlings, it is like a shrimp paste. Bagoong has a strong taste for some people but for me kare – kare is not kare kare if not serve with bagoong.

If green mangoes are available, it will be nice to serve it as a salad.

Kare Kare Basic Ingredients


* 1 oxtail
* 1 ox leg
* 1 ox tripe


* 2 medium sized eggplant cut in small pieces
* 1 banana heart sliced diagonally (optional)
* 1 bunch of pechay or baby bok choy
* 1 bunch of sitaw (snake/string beans)
* 1/2 head of cabbage

Other Ingredients :

* 1 cup peanut butter
* 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
* 1 big onion sliced thinly
* 3 tablespoon cooking oil

Kare Kare Cooking Procedures

1). Wash the ox tail, legs and beef. Cut into serving pieces. Place in a heavy saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, remove the scums as it rises, cover, add more water if you need to. Kare kare is better if the meat is tender. Let simmer until the meat is tender this will take about 1-2 hours.

2). Transfer the meat into a plate or a bowl and let it cool, set aside the stock.

3). In a large caserrole put the cooking oil to saute the garlic and onion in about 30 seconds.

4). Put the meat in the skillet and continue mixing.

5). Pour in the stock and bring to a boil for another 10 minutes.

6). Add the vegetables.

7). In a small bowl, stir the peanut butter with about 1/2 cup of stock and pour it in the caserrole. Stir to blend well. Cook for another 5-10 minutes until the sauce is thick.

8). Serve hot with bagoong alamang and boil rice.

Note: The image above may differ from the end result of this recipe.

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18 thoughts on “Kare Kare

  1. Matt Kay

    Most Americans aren't familiar with Oxtail but I love it. I'm not experienced with Filipino cooking yet though. Great explanation of the dish. I appreciate that.

    Matt Kay

  2. Ness

    I didn't like kare-kare and didn't even know how to cook it. But when I got married, unfortunately, my husband loves it. And is always asking me to cook kare-kare for him. Got no choice but to learn it. Haha! Now I am loving it too!!

  3. Nickle love

    When I was younger I didn't like kare-kare, I don't eat bagoong kasi so kare-kare tastes bland for me. But when I got older, someone told me I could use fish sauce (patis, tama? LOL), then I ate kare-kare na. Then there was a time that I was fortunate to eat kare-kare that was so good, it didn't need bagoong or patis. Nomnom.

    I'll bookmark this recipe for when I try to cook kare-kare. Hehehehe. Nagutom ako bigla. XD

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