Tag Archives: kare-kare

Tito Greg’s Kare-Kare (oxtail and tripe stew in a peanut-based sauce)

It is quite tempting to cook kare-kare using the ready-made mix at the grocery , but I like cooking from scratch. My first kare-kare dish came from Nora Daza’s recipe book. That’s the only recipe I know. Fortunately, Alessandra Romulo Squillantini, granddaughter of the late statesman Carlos P. Romulo and her husband Enzo Squillantini graciously shared family recipes that date back several generations at a cooking demonstration at The Maya Kitchen . One of this is Tito Greg’s Kare-Kare (oxtail and tripe stew in a peanut-based sauce served with steamed vegetables and Romulo Café’s house bagoong). Here is the recipe.

Tito Greg’s Kare Kare1

750 grams ox tail
80 grams white onions
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
30 grams glutinous rice
100 grams dry, roasted peanuts
150 grams eggplant
150 grams string beans
30 grams annatto oil
10 grams garlic
50 grams shrimp paste
salt, to taste
150 grams banana blossom

1. Wash ox tail very well. Place in a pot with enough water to cover. Boil for 10 minutes and discard the water.

2. Refill the pot with water. Peel and cut the white onions into quarters. Add to the pot along with salt and peppercorns. Bring everything to a boil and immediately reduce heat to simmering temperature (82°C/180°F). Cover and cook for 90 minutes or until the ox tail is tender.

3. Cool in the cooking liquid, cover and refrigerate to bring the fat to the surface. Bring out the ox tail from the cooking liquid and reserve the broth.

4. Toast the glutinous rice in a skillet until golden brown. Once cooled, pulse the glutinous rice in a food processor. Do the same with the roasted peanuts until the peanuts become creamy. Slice the eggplants lengthwise, leaving the stems intact. Cut the string beans into 5-cm long pieces.

5. In another pot, heat the annatto oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic together with the shrimp paste. Add the ox tail and sauté for a few minutes before adding 4 cups of reserved broth. Lower the flame and simmer until the broth has been reduced by half. Add the toasted ground rice and stir continuously until thick and creamy. Add the peanut paste and keep stirring. Turn off heat but keep the pot covered.

6. In a separate pot, boil the remaining water and add salt. Add the string beans and cook but should still be firm and green. Add the banana blossom and eggplant and boil until cooked.

Servings: Good for 3

Healthy Kare Kare (without the Bagoong Alamang)

Let me share a recipe prepared by Lorna Dietz, my sister based in the United States. You might wonder “healthy kare-kare”? Most Pinoy food is greasy and salty which makes it unhealthy. If you have health issues, it cannot be helped that you’d want to indulge with your favorite unhealthy Pinoy dish. My sister decided to cook kare-kare the healthy way for those that need to follow a strict no-salt diet . Lorna’s kare-kare version excludes bagoong but if your family member wants to eat along with you, then serve bagoong as side garnis. Here is her recipe:

kare kare thehealthy way


Cooking Notes: I bought a Cuisinart Slow Cooker as a gift for my sister, Myrna. I love cooking for her. For my maiden cooking experience with this cooker, Myrna requested that I make her beloved Kare Kare (Oxtail in Peanut Stew). There was no Kare Kare ready-mix to be found BUT I had most of the ingredients. So, I made Kare Kare from scratch and finished it off in the slow cooker.

My endocrinologist in the Philippines told me that a person’s daily allowance of sodium is two grams or 2,000 milligrams. One tablespoon of bagoong is equal to 800 mgs. of sodium. That is why there is no bagoong in this recipe at all.

This is an ideal all-day crockpot recipe except that the broth will be quite fatty. I recommend that you boil the oxtail the night before and use a combination of the chicken broth and oxtail broth in the mixture.

Instead of using all of the oxtail broth for this peanut stew, I chose to use 1/2 chicken broth and 1/2 broth, give or take. The taste may not be as rich — but I can assure you that this is a much healthier version.

When I refrigerate the cooled-down oxtail broth tonight, tomorrow I will skim off the solidified fat and use the rest of the broth for another dish.

HEALTHY KARE KARE (without the Bagoong Alamang)


1 kg or 2 lbs. oxtail
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 bulb of garlic, peeled (whole cloves)
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup achuete water
1 cube of Knorr chicken broth
4 tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp toasted powdered rice, or flour (A slurry of 3 tbsps. all-purpose flour, thoroughly mixed with cold water, until lumps disappear; use a fork)
1 tsp. salt (a combination of garlic salt and sea salt, to taste, if you are not eating this with bagoong)
1/2 kilo of 1 lb. green beans, cut
2 medium eggplants, cut crosswise in 1/3’s, then halved horizontally
Chinese cabbage or bok choy, cut, optional


1. Cut the oxtail 2 inches length then put it in a large pot , add enough water and simmer until tender, add more water if necessary. This will take anywhere from two to three hours. (Note: This is a very fatty broth.)

2. Prepare the achuete , soak in water for 30 minutes then press between you fingers until water turn red,then strain and set the red water aside. OR get 1/2 cup of cold water and mix with 1 tbsp. of annatto (achuete) powder until there are no lumps.

3. Drain the meat and set the broth aside.

4. Saute garlic and onions and add the cooked oxtail, saute for 3 minutes then add 1 cup of water. Add chicken broth cube. Add another cup of water, and 1 cup of reserved broth, salt to taste and the achuete water. Simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Then add the peanut butter and toasted rice powder and simmer for another 5 minutes. OR add the all-purpose flour slurry into the mixture and stir until the mixture thickens and looks a little transparent. If I am pressed for time, I mix the slurry first, then cook it on a separate saucepan until it thickens. Then, I transfer it to the mixture.

6. Add green beans and eggplant and cook until tender, not mushy. Sometimes, during the second hour of the oxtail being tenderized in the huge pot, I get about one cup of the broth and simmer the slices of eggplant in a saucepan before mixing it with the dish later on.

I also add a little kasubha (saffron) and some pepper.

Then transfer to a bowl and serve with bagoong alamang (a Filipino shrimp paste)and boiled rice.

Innovated from the recipe: http://www.lutongpangpamilya.com/recipes.php?recipe=Kare-Kare#.UeHkaEFwrng


Before the ready-mix Kare-kare came into the market, I cooked kare-kare the old fashioned way. Of course, busy homemakers prefer that method. Wikipedia notes that the kare-kare is made from Oxtail, with the skin on and cut into 2-inch lengths, and ox tripe are boiled until tender. Sometimes pieces of ox feet or shins are added. In some varieties, other types of meat are used, such as pork or (rarely) chicken (there is an instance of one version omitting the meat altogether and using vegetables). When the meat is tender, the soup becomes glutinous and to this is added ground roasted peanuts (or peanut butter), ground roasted glutinous rice to make the soup thicker. Atsuete (annatto) is added to give color. The basic vegetables for kare-kare include young banana flower bud or “heart” (puso ng saging), eggplant, string beans, and Chinese cabbage (pechay). Kare-kare is often served hot with special bagoong alamang (sauteed salted shrimp paste)..

Now for those that want the old, traditional way, here is how I do it.


1 buntot ng baka (ox tail) roughly 1 1/2 kilos
1 pata (ox leg) – Note: (You can always substitute the ox tail and ox leg with beef brisket)
6 cups water
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 head garlic, crushed
2 medium-sized onions, chopped
1/2 cup atsuete seeds for coloring
1/2 cup water (for atsuete)
4 eggplants, cut in 1/2 inch slices
1 banana heart, sliced crosswise
2 bundles stringbeans, cut in 2 inches length
1 bundle Chinese Cabbage (Pechay)
Optional vegetables (ampalaya, celery)
1/2 cup bagoong alamang
1 cup ground peanuts (if you prefer, substitute with peanut butter)
1 cup toasted to light brown, ground rice (if using peanut butter, reduce to 1/4 cup toasted ground rice)
Juice of 5 calamansi
salt and pepper
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