Kare-Kare: A Very Popular Filipino Food

Photo by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado of http://photos.the-protagonist.net

Photo by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado of http://photos.the-protagonist.net

Filipinos love to celebrate and whenever they do, they always make stringent preparations especially for the food served to guests, and most of the time, guests are pampered with different delectable Filipino dishes. Considered as one of the most popular Filipino food is Kare-Kare. It is present during fiestas, birthdays, reunions, family gatherings or even on an ordinary dining day with families and friends. It is well-liked by Filipinos and even foreigners.

I have read that there was a Filipino abroad who was requested to showcase Filipino cuisine for over 80 guests and the latter applauded her for such great food. They simply loved what was offered to them. It only shows the Filipinos’ ingenuity in cooking.

There are different versions regarding Kare-Kare’s origin. Some people say it is one of the noble dishes that regale Moro elites who were once settlers of Manila during the pre-Spanish period. Moreover, it is quite remarkable to know that until now, people from Sulu and Tawi-Tawi remain as Kare-Kare “lovers”. Another story states that Kare-Kare is from Pampanga which is considered as the Culinary Center of the Philippines. Other folks would declare that this traditional Filipino food is attributed to the Indian curry introduced by Indians who lived in the area of Cainta, Rizal and that it is also comparable to the gado-gado dish prepared by Indonesians.

Due to Kare-Kare’s high demand on various occasions, many websites feature this recipe and here is an informative Kare-Kare recipe taken from recipes.com.ph.


1/2 kilo beef (tender cut from sirloin or round) cut into chunk cubes
2 oxtail
2 pig hocks
7 cups water
Pinch salt & pepper
1/2 cup oil
4 tablespoons atsuete oil
2 heads garlic (minced)
2 medium sized onions (diced)
1/2 cup bagoong alamang
3 cup ground nuts or 4 cups of peanut butter
1/4 cup ground toasted rice
5 pieces eggplant (sliced into rings)
1 banana bud (cut to almost proportional to eggplant slices, blanch in boiling water)
1 bundle sitaw (string beans) cut to 2″ long


1.In a casserole, boil oxtail, hocks, beef. Lower fire and let simmer until all meat is tender and cooked. Remove all scum that rises to the surface.
2. Take out the meat, set aside, keep stock for later.
3. In another casserole, heat oil and atsuete oil and saute garlic, onion and bagoong alamang and toasted rice and nuts (if using nuts)
4. Add oxtail, hocks and beef, pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper and add peanut butter (if using peanut butter)
5. Simmer until all flavors are incorporated, then add the vegetables.
6. Make sure vegetables is well cooked and not soggy.
7. Serve hot with bagoong with calamansi and chili pepper.

Being located in Asia, the Philippines is blessed to have a lot of spices and consequently, Filipinos love to prepare savory food like Kare-Kare. This dish as well as any other Filipino cuisine can be prepared differently from region to region depending on the people’s preferences. Whatever Kare-Kare versions you will make, its distinct Filipino flavorsome taste will always prevail.

Add Comment