Kare-kare is a traditional Filipino ox tail stew in a peanut-based sauce. Because the recipe varies from family to family and person to person, what follows is a version of how this dish is made in my family.
NOTE: This recipe is time intensive. If you need it for a party, function, or family gathering, it would be wise to cook it (or begin cooking it) a day in advance.
Also, if your Nanay or Lola or Tita Gi make it better, feel free to contribute, comment, or, you know...criticize. You know you want to.
This instructible, the first in a series on Filipino food, is dedicated to my sweet mother (and unofficial collaborator), Rosvida, who took the time to teach her cooking-impaired, multi-culti, half-breed baby how to make this delicacy. Those matronly Filipina hands that you see in most of the photographs and video files belong to her. Maraming salamat po!
Step 1: Gather Ingredients.
You will need the following:
-3 packages ox tail (2 lbs.) - 6lbs. total
-4 Asian ('Oriental') purple eggplant (the Chinese Ma-Zu and Ping Tung varieties work well)
-one fistful (aprox. 14 pieces) of long string beans (sitaw)
-4 small bok choy
-1 large onion
-(approx.) 1/4 cup (or less) uncooked rice
-1 package Mama Sita's Stew Base Mix (Pang Kare-Kare)
-1 jar peanut butter
-salt (2 tsp. or to taste)
-pepper (2 tsp. or to taste)
ESSENTIAL COOKING GEAR:
-1 8 qt. pot (if you have an extra one, plan on using it. if not, don't worry.)
-1 collander or strainer big enough to hold 6lbs. of ox tail, and, later, your vegetables
This recipe yields a family-size portion.
Also, this recipe contains more vegetables than usually used in the stew. If you prefer it with less, reduce the number of eggplant and bok choy.