Our best kare-kare recipe mostly sticks to tradition; it's not a hack to get you the dish in an hour. Instead, it follows the usual slow-cook method. But, in our effort to make sure that all the time spent in the kitchen is worth it, we've developed it to so that every step taken is one towards a kare-kare that trumps even your mom's.
- 7–8 cups hot water
- ¾ cup annatto seeds
Homemade Peanut Butter
- 2 cups raw peanuts
- 6 tbsp neutral oil
- pinch of salt, to taste
Rice Flour Slurry
- 5 tbsp rice flour
- 5 tbsp cold water
- 500g tripe
- 400g beef shank
- 500g oxtail
- rock salt, to taste
- 3 ½ tbsp oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 6-7 cloves garlic, minced
- salt, to taste
- 1 banana heart
- 1 ½ eggplant, sliced diagonally
- 2 bundles pechay
- 7 string beans
Make annatto water: Boil water in a pot or kettle. Add annatto seeds and steep for 20 minutes. Strain through a sieve and set aside.
Make peanut butter: Add raw peanuts to a pan over medium-high heat. Toss and toast until the peanuts' edges are brown. Transfer peanuts to the bowl of a food processor and blend until gritty. Add oil and a pinch of salt, and blend again until smooth. Set aside.
Toast rice flour: Add rice flour to the same pan. Toast flour over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Set aside.
Cook the Meat
Prepare tripe: Scrub tripe with rock salt. Soak tripe, then rinse thoroughly with cold water until the water runs clear. Place the tripe in a medium-sized pot filled with cold water. Set pot over medium-high heat and boil for 10–15 minutes. Drain water and set aside.
Sear shank and oxtail: Heat large pot over high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom. Once the oil starts to smoke, add beef shank and oxtail. (Work in batches if using a small pot.) Sear until a crust forms, about 2 minutes, then flip meat to brown the other side, another 2 minutes. Remove meat from pot and set aside.
Make the Kare-Kare
Cook meat: Lower heat to medium and add onions. Cook, stirring constantly, until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2–4 minutes total. Add annatto water to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add shank, oxtail, and tripe. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low until simmering. Let meat soften for 2 ½ hours.
Prepare banana heart: 30 minutes before the meat is done, prepare the banana heart by peeling off the outer layer. Continue peeling until you reach the tender, yellow-colored part. Slice the banana heart into quarters and gently pull it apart. Soak banana heart in a bowl with salted cold water for 10–15 minutes.
Add peanut butter: Once meat is fork-tender, add homemade peanut butter. Season with salt to taste.
Add slurry: Combine rice flour and 5 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Mix until well combined to create a slurry. Stir in slurry into the pot.
Cook vegetables: Add banana heart and cook for 7–10 minutes. Add eggplant, string beans, and pechay just before finishing to prevent overcooking. Season to taste before serving hot.
If not making your own peanut butter, use homemade peanut butter—you can find local purveyors around Metro Manila. Otherwise, we recommend using Lily's.
Ox tripe is optional.