kare kare

Kare-Kare, Filipino Oxtail and Peanut Stew Recipe

By Joseph Hernandez | October 31, 2012

Photo by GracinhaMarco Abundo

Photo by Gracinha Marco Abundo

A dish I wrote off as a child but have since rekindled my love for is kare-kare, a stew that is a staple dish in many Filipino households. Made with a thick peanut sauce and featuring meat like goat, tripe or—most commonly—oxtail, it is often made for large family gatherings and the holidays. Many households serve it with bagoong (a salty, dried shrimp paste) on the side for added flavor. As fall ramps up, I begin to crave this hearty stew, rich with eggplant, bok choy and string beans. Like lumpiait is grounding and reminds me of the food traditions on which I was raised: hearty, flavorful fare, lovingly prepared by Mom.

Note: Salt is not traditionally used to flavor this dish, as the bagoong is the delivery agent for this particular flavor note. However, if you are allergic to shellfish, you can opt to use sea salt to your tastes. Also, using a slow cooker is a great time-saving option, as is a pressure cooker.

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