Kare-Kare!

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I’d eat kare-kare at any given time of the day.  The awesome teamwork of its ingredients that come perfectly into play just blows me away. I’m like, as the gay lingo goes, eating like a “PG” (Patay gutom!), when I’m served with a good dish of Kare-Kare.

My mom, to me, is the kare-kare diva of my life! She does kare-kare as easily as she does her scrambled eggs! Yeah, that easy. Of course, I do like, too, the other Kare-kare dishes I’ve sampled over the years. Top of mind faves are the ones I tried from Abe, Fely J’s, Alex III, Serye and my all time fave, Aristocrat.

The clincher as to how I can tell whether it’s a good kare-kare creation or not is decided usually by how the sauce is done. I’m usually not too fond of some too sweet Kare-kare sauces. I tend to like it more on the ‘peanut-y’ side. That’s why your choice of peanut butter is very crucial. Oh and the bagoong just has to be the perfect alamang, juicy-salty but certainly not sharp on the palate.

Always remember, too, that the meats that go with it SHOULD be tender. Hard and almost rubbery meats in Kare-kare is a no-no, in fact, NEVER! It bums out the entire kare-kare dining experience!

Okay, this is how to do it.

1/2 beef tripe (twalya ng baka) 1/2 kilo bituka ng baka

1/2 kilo oxtail, cut 2 inch long

2 cups of peanut butter

2 cups ground peanuts (available in wet markets, sold by the plastic)

1/2 cup grounded toasted rice

1/2 cup cooked bagoong alamang

3 pcs onions, diced

2 heads of garlic, minced

4 tbsps atsuete water

3 pieces eggplant, sliced 1 inch thick

1 bundle of sitaw (string beans) cut to 2″ long

1 banana bud (puso ng saging), cut similar to eggplant slices, blanch in boiling water

3/4 cup oil

9 cups of water

Salt to taste

In a stock pot, boil beef tripe, bituka  and oxtails in water for an 2 hours or until tender or pressure cook for 45 minutes. Strain and keep the stock.

In a big pan or wok, heat oil and atsuete oil.

Sauté garlic, onions until golden brown, then add the stock, toasted rice, beef tripe, bituka, oxtail and peanut butter. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Salt very, very lightly. Remember you will have to eat this with your bagoong that’s salty already.

Add the eggplant, string beans, pechay and banana bud. Cook the vegetables for a few minutes – Do not overcook the vegetables.

Serve with bagoong on the side and hot plain rice.

 

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