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Kare-kare is a dish that you either hate or love because of its bland flavor. The type of peanut butter that you use would also make or break the dish. The stew is always served with bagoong (shrimp paste), a pungent and salty condiment of fermented shrimps. It’s unimaginable to have this dish without bagoong. It is usually made of oxtail or pork hocks but I used pork belly for this recipe since it’s more meaty. It can also be made with seafood (prawns, squid, and mussels) or exclusively vegetables. This pork and peanut stew is normally served in fiestas or special occasions. But with this easy recipe you can have it every week!

kare-kare with a thick savory peanut sauce
Kare-kare with a thick savory peanut sauce and shrimp paste.

This dish seems complicated to do. But if you compare this with other stews, it’s not too difficult at all.

kare-kare with bagoong

The secret ingredient is always LOVE

Tips for Kare-kare

  • Boil the vegetables separately in the stock where the meat was cooked.


The stew is flavored with ground roasted peanuts or peanut butter, onions, and garlic. It is colored with annatto.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: kare-kare, peanut, pork belly, stew
Author: Bebs Lott


  • 1 kilo pork belly washed and cut in cubes approx. 2 inches
  • 5 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp annatto powder
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 cup string beans
  • 1 aubergine/eggplant
  • 4 cups water add more if needed
  • 1 tbsp salt


  • In a pot, boil water with salt and add the cut pork bellies until half-way tender. Remove meat from water and set aside.
  • Scoop 3 cups of the stock where the meat was boiled and set aside. Boil the string beans and aubergine until soft then remove from the water and set aside.
  • In another cooking pot. Saute garlic and onion until translucent. Lower heat and add peanut butter stir for 5 seconds then add the annatto powder and stir until incorporated.
  • Add the pork belly cubes and mix until the meat absorbs the sauce. Pour in the 3 cups stock and cover the pot. After 10 minutes check the meat if fully cooked.
  • Add the vegetables and mix until coated with sauce. Serve with shrimp paste as condiment and rice. Bon Appetit!

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