Kare-Kare (Filipino Oxtail and Vegetable Stew)

It’s been a long while since I haven’t posted my recipes, but it doesn’t mean I have refrained from cooking. Never will it happen otherwise my family will also stop from eating, it’s just that I got so busy of a lot more significant things than sitting in front of my tablet for a longer time. For today I have done the recipe of Kare-Kare, I should say  this is one of my best, easy and affordable recipe ever.

Kare-kare is a rich and meaty Filipino stew of oxtails, green beans, eggplant and bokchoy or pechay in a sauce thickened with peanut butter. Served on special occasions or as a weekend meal, kare-kare is always accompanied by white rice and a bit of sautéed shrimp paste called bagoong alamang.



  • 1 kg. beef oxtail, chopped into serving pieces
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tbsp. fish sauce or patis
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil or any cooking oil will do
  • 1 big onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper  to taste
  • 1 pound string beans, trimmed
  • 3 pcs. large eggplant, cut diagonally
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (i usually use Lily’s brand)
  • 1 pack Mama Sita’s Kare-kare mix

Cooking Instructions

  1. Add the oxtails, water and salt to a large pot and set over medium flame. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the oxtails are tender. Skim any scum that rises to the surface. Remove the oxtails to a plate and reserve the stock. You can also use a pressure cooker and it will only take you 30 minutes to tenderize the oxtail.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Pat the oxtails dry and brown them on all sides in the oil. Remove the oxtails and add the sliced onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion is wilted.
  3. Add back the browned oxtails and reserved stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add fish sauce and pepper to taste.
  4. Stir in the green beans and eggplant and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. In a bowl with a cup of stew liquid dissolve in the  Mama Sita’s kare kare mix together with the peanut butter, beat until smooth and then stir it into the stew. Simmer for another 10 minutes or so until the stew has thickened. Then add pechay and simmer for a minute or two.
  6. Adjust seasoning and serve with white rice and some sautéed bagoong alamang on the side.


  • Other meat can be added to the stew to “beef” it up a bit. Add beef stew meat, beef or pork shanks or ox tripe. You can even use chicken pieces for a lighter version. If you do, cut down the time in Step 1 to about 30 minutes.
  • You can also fry some of the eggplant for garnishing when done, as I did.
  • Kare-kare often has a reddish color from annatto seeds. You can either use atsuete oil as your sautéing oil, or you can make atsuete water. Soak 1 tablespoon annatto seeds in 1/2 cup hot water for 30 minutes. Pulse in a blender and strain the atsuete water through a sieve into the simmering stew.

One thought on “Kare-Kare (Filipino Oxtail and Vegetable Stew)

  1. Pingback: Getting to Know the People 1.0- Rico Ruiz, The Philippines « Getting to Know the World

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