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Kare-kare is a Philippine stew / curry complemented with a thick savory peanut sauce. Derived from the word Kare means curry, Kare-kare which translates curd and curry. It is made from a variation base of stewed oxtail, beef tripe, pork hocks, calves feet, pig's feet or trotters, various cuts of pork, beef stew meat, and occasionally offal or oxtripe. Kare-kare can also be made with seafood (prawns, squid, and mussels) or vegetables (sometimes exclusively vegetables, becoming Kare-kareng gulay or Guleng Kare-kare in kampangan). Vegetables, which include eggplant, Chinese cabbage, or other greens, daikon, green beans, okra, and asparagus beans are added—usually equaling or exceeding the amount of meat. The stew is flavored with ground roasted peanuts or peanut butter, onions, and garlic. It is colored with annatto and can be thickened with toasted or plain ground rice.[1][2]

Condiments and other flavorings are usually added. It is often eaten with bagoong (shrimp paste), sometimes spiced with chili, bagoong guisado (spiced and sautéed shrimp paste), and sprinkled with calamansi juice. Other seasonings are added at the table. Variants may include goat meat or (rarely) chicken.

Traditionally, any Filipino fiesta is not complete without kare-kare.[3]


Kare-kare's storied history as a Filipino food goes back hundreds of years. There are three stories as to the origins of kare-kare. The first one is that it came from Pampanga (the province which became known all over the country as the "culinary capital of the Philippines").[4] The Kapampangan people often have a reputation for cooking to their hearts’ content and coming up with deliciously rich fare. The second comes from the regal dishes of the Moro elite who settled in Manila before the Spanish arrival (in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, kare-kare remains a popular dish).[5] The third story is from Sepoy conscripts from Southern India that settled in Philippines during the British occupation of Manila. Homesick, they improvised their own cuisine with available materials. They called it kari-kaari, curry, and now, kare-kare. Its name derived from the word "kari" from the word "curry". Kare-kare has a similar flavor to satay because of the peanuts in the sauce.[6]


Kare-kare, lengua with white sauce and pancit canton-bihon

The Oxtail (with the skin on) is cut into 2-inch lengths. The ox tripe is boiled until tender. Sometimes pieces of ox feet or shins are added. When the meat is tender, the soup becomes gelatinous. Ground roasted peanuts (or peanut butter) and ground roasted glutinous rice are added to make the soup thicker. Annatto is added to give color. The vegetables used 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).

See also