As rains threaten to flood Luzon and tempers flare (thank goodness, we’re not badly affected in Ilocos!), I asked Lynne to make her best kare-kare.
Kare-kare, originally from the province of Pampanga in Central Luzon is a well-liked stew made of oxtail (sometimes with tripe and beef), local vegetables like sitaw, puso ng saging (banana heart) pechay (bokchoy), eggplant, rich peanut sauce, ground rice, and normally goes with sautéed bagoong alamang (fermented baby shrimps) and hot rice.
Oxtail can be substituted with chicken to make chicken kare-kare; or mussels, shrimps and alimasag (blue crabs) to make seafood kare-kare. Keep all other ingredients and tweak to suit your taste. Something I’ve tried before, kare-kare and spaghetti noodles complement each other.
You might want to try this neat kare-kare recipe from Panlasang Pinoy.
- 3 lbs oxtail (cut in 2 inch slices)
- banana flower heart (sliced)
- 1 large pechay (bokchoy) head
- 1 bundle of string beans (cut into 2 inch slices)
- 4 pcs eggplants (sliced)
- 1 cup ground peanuts
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup shrimp paste
- 1 L water
- 1/2 cup annatto, or achuete seeds (soaked in a cup of water)
- 1/2 cup toasted ground rice
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- salt and pepper
- In a large pot, bring the water to a boil.
- Put in the oxtail followed by the onions and simmer for 2.5 to 3 hrs or until tender (35 minutes if using a pressure cooker).
- Once the meat is tender, add the ground peanuts, peanut butter, and coloring (water from the annatto seed mixture) and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the toasted ground rice and simmer for 5 minutes.
- On a separate pan, saute the garlic then add the banana flower, eggplant, and string beans and cook for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked vegetables to the large pot (where the rest of the ingredients are).
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot with sautéed bagoong alamang and rice.
Here’s a good quote from John Ruskin — Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. Smile, everyone!