Kare-kare is a Filipino stew with a thick savory peanut sauce. It can be made from a stock made with different types meats and parts of the cow, but it is common to just use oxtail and a mix of vegetables. This stew is flavored with ground roasted peanuts and peanut butter, onions, garlic and shrimp paste(bagoong). It is colored with annatto (extracted from annatto seeds in oil or water) and can be thickened with toasted sticky or plain ground rice. Its name derived from the word “kari” from the word “curry”. However, kare-kare is far different from Indian curry. Kare-kare has a similar flavor to satay because of the peanuts in the sauce.
There are several stories to the origins of kare-kare. The first one is that it came from Pampanga. Kare-kare is a well-known dish in Pampanga, which is often hailed as the culinary capital of the Philippines. Another has it coming from the regal dishes of the Moro (muslims) who settled in Manila pre Spanish colonization. Another is from Sepoy conscripts from Southern India that settled in Philippines during the British occupation of Manila 1762-1764. Longing for their home cooking, they improvised and used available ingredients. They called it kari-kaari, curry, and now, kare-kare.
Some enjoy this with extra shrimp paste on the side. With their spoon they take a spoon full of stew and rice, then a tiny bit of the shrimp paste to give it a bit of umami. To be honest it is a bit too much umami for my taste.
Dinner for 4:
3 lbs oxtail
1 large chopped onion
Water to cover the meat in your pot
2,5 dl peanuts, ground
1 dl sticky rice toasted and ground
1 tsp anatto oil or powder
1 tsp minced garlic
1 banana bud, peel and separate the banana flowers and slice the rest thin
1 tsp shrimp paste(optional)and salt and pepper to taste
4 servings of rice
Brown the meat in a pot, add the onion and cover the oxtail and onions with water. Bring to a boil,urn down the heat and let it simmer for 2.5 to 3 hrs or until tender.
Once the meat is tender, add the ground peanuts, peanut butter, ground sticy rice and annatto simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
In a separate pan, saute the garlic then add the banana flower, bok choi and string beans and cook 5 minutes
Transfer the vegetables to the large pot, add shrimp paste, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot with rice and enjoy this with shrimp paste or not:D