Pata Kare Kare is a hearty Filipino stew that makes for great comfort food! The creamy, thick peanut sauce has incredible rich, deep flavor, and the pork hock is fall-apart tender.
While it takes time to cook this classic Filipino dish, it’s very straight forward to make and definitely worth it. Like caldereta, you know that anything simmered for hours is going to be special.
This kare kare recipe is one of my best! It’s what I make for friends and family when I want to impress. Probably one of best stew out there with it’s flavorful peanut sauce, medley of vegetables and fall of the bone pork hock.
What is Kare Kare?
This is the Filipino version of curry where the word “kare” was derived from. Usually made with oxtail, tripe and vegetables stewed in savory peanut sauce. Other recipes of kare-kare makes use of pork but retains staple ingredients like eggplant, pechay, and string beans.
Considered before as a stew dish reserved for special occasions due to its cooking process. The customary way of preparing the dish is to simmer the meat for some hours until tender. Vegetables like banana blossom, string beans and eggplant are blanched separately. Everything comes together in a stew of ground peanuts, annatto and ground rice.
Nowadays, you can enjoy this classic stew without going through the complex process like grinding peanuts. You’ll be able to make it creamy and tasty by using peanut butter. Rice flour also replaces ground rice to make the stew sauce thick . I did not use rice flour or any thickening agent for this recipe because the creamy peanut butter do the job perfectly.
Choosing the right peanut butter
When choosing the type of peanut butter to make a thick and creamy pata kare kare, use the fine and creamy kind and not the coarse or salty one. Local brands in the Philippines works great for this recipe. If you live abroad, try to snatch a bottle or two at Asian stores near you.
Tips for an amiable experience
- You can also use pork belly for this recipe. If you want oxtail or beef, remember to simmer the meat until desired tenderness is reached.
- You can boil the vegetables separately or add them when cooking the stew. It really depends on your preference.
- Add water as needed when simmering the pork to soften. Same with the pork broth when cooking the stew.
- PRO TIP: Adding the achuete powder and peanut butter after sautéing the garlic and onions will make the dish flavorful and vibrant.
The secret ingredient is always LOVE
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Crispy pata is boiled pork (leg or knuckle) then baked until the rind is puffed and crisp while the meat stays soft and moist.
Pata Tim is pork hock or leg cooked slowly as it simmers with both sweet and salty seasonings.
Pata Kare Kare
- 1 ½ kilo pork hock (cut into small sizes)
- 8 cups water (for boiling pork)
- 1 tbsp salt (fir boiling pork)
- 4 tbsp cooking oil
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 medium onion (sliced)
- 10 gr or 2 tsp achuete powder
- 4 – 5 tbsp peanut butter (fine and creamy)
- 1 pc banana blossom (sliced)
- 4 medium egg plant (sliced )
- 3 bundles bok choy (bottom part removed)
- 2 cups string beans (cut approx. 2-3 inches long)
- Place pork hock cuts in a large bowl and add water and salt. Simmer in medium heat for an hour or until fork tender. Set aside (NOTE: Save pork broth)
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large deep pan or skillet. When oil is hot enough, sauté onions until translucent then cook sauté garlic until fragrant.
- Turn heat to low then add achuete powder. Cook and stir for a minute until incorporated.
- Add creamy peanut butter then carefully mix-in until it melts and fully incorporates with the other ingredients.
- Add pork hock then stir-in until pork pieces are fully coated with the sauce. Let it cook for 1 minute for the meat to absorb some of the sauce.
- Pour 8-10 cups of pork broth then stir. Cover with lid and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Tip-in heart blossom, green beans, and egg plant. Mix to incorporate then cover with lid. Simmer for 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- Add bok choy and push them down to submerge in sauce using a ladle. Cover and simmer for 2 more minutes or until bok choy are soft.
- Remove from heat and transfer in serving dish. Serve and enjoy. Bon appetit!