Friday, 1 October 2010

ate vangie's kare kare

I miss you.

Kare kare is a Philippine stew with a thick peanut-based sauce usually made with oxtail / beef / tripe and veggies like aubergine, green beans and pak choi. It's normally served with bagoong alamang (shrimp paste) and steamed rice.

This is probably my second favourite Philippine dish (coming close to the one and only laing).

Possibly the best kare kare I've ever tasted is Ate Vangie's. Ate Vangie joined our Manila household in 2004 and took charge of our kitchen. After about 18 months of drama and bland dishes from our previous cook she was an absolute breath of fresh air. She hails from Pampanga (home of the stew!) and claims that she's been cooking since she was 7 so you can imagine how enjoyable our meals have become. She has an amazing repertoire of Pinoy, Asian and international dishes but her kare kare is absolutely top class.

She made kare-kare when we visited Manila last April and if I'm being honest, it was one of the best meals I've had in years. I came for third helpings. Unforch, I can't find a photo of Ate Vangie. But here's a recipe for kare-kare I got from this site:

What you'll need:
  • 1/2 kilo lean beef cut into cubes
  • 1/2 kilo oxtail, cut 2 inch long
  • 3 cups of peanut butter
  • 2 pieces onions, diced
  • 2 heads of garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons atsuete oil
  • 4 pieces eggplant, sliced 1 inch thick
  • 1 bundle pak choi cut into 2 pieces
  • 1 bundle of string beans cut to 2″ long
  • 1 banana bud, cut similar to eggplant slices, blanched in boiling water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 8 cups of water
  • Salt to taste

How to:
  1. In a stock pot, boil beef and oxtails in water for an hour or until cooked. Strain and keep the stock.
  2. In a big pan or wok, heat oil and atsuete oil.
  3. Sauté garlic, onions until golden brown, then add the stock, toasted rice, beef, oxtail and peanut butter. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Salt to taste.
  4. Add the eggplant, string beans, pechay and banana bud. Cook the vegetables for a few minutes – Do not overcook the vegetables.
  5. Serve with bagoong on the side and hot plain rice.

Ate Vangie actually puts more beef than oxtail as we all like our stew meaty. As for the peanut butter, she uses either Lily's or Skippy. And everytime we have kare-kare she also makes sure to serve it with garlic fried rice (another one of her specialties).

Ahh. the thought of this is making my mouth water... and I really miss having proper homecooked meals by Ate Vangie! Definitely going to request her to cook this when I'm back in December, and definitely taking a photo of Ate Vangie too! =)


  1. kare kare is one of favorite dish, i miss my tita rose's swabeng kare kare...hope she'll teach me secret one day

  2. and hopefully you'll share it with us too =)