How To Cook Kare-Kare (Oxtail Stew)

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Kare Kare is a popular dish in the Philippines that is mostly served during special occasions. The main ingredient used is the Oxtail, tail of a cow. There are several versions of how to cook Kare-Kare: Beef Kare-Kare, Seafood Kare-Kare and Pata Kare-Kare. The only difference between the versions is the meat being used. Oxtails are simmered for hours until tender mixing it with vegetables such as bananas, long beans and eggplant. Adding to the stew some ground peanuts for its flavor, ground rice is toasted to thicken the sauce and a little bit of annatto for coloring.

I personally like Oxtail Kare Kare than the rest simply because of the oxtail itself. Not only it is not a common ingredient, but I think perhaps because of the meat that I find so tasty and delicious. I considered this dish as one of the Top 10 delicious foods that you must try in the Philippines.

I am sharing with you the recipe on how to cook Kare-Kare using Oxtail. In this recipe, it involves 3 simple preparation before the cooking process:

Tenderize the meat: Boil the meat mixed with chopped onion to make it tender at the same time give flavor to the meat. It usually takes at least 3 hours to make tender oxtail. I usually use pressure cooker to hasten the process of making meat tender. If you have a pressure cooker at home, you can use it but if not you can use the traditional method.

Make the sauce: in making peanut sauce you have to make sure to use the correct ratio of ingredients, the sauce should neither be too thick nor too thin. On the other hand, Annatto seeds are used to make the sauce reddish in color. This is done by soaking the seeds in lukewarm water for about 10 minutes, then once desired color is achieved, throw away the seeds and use Annatto water.

Prepare the vegetables: Ideally, the vegetables that are added: heart of the Bananas, long beans and eggplant. Make sure to prepare then ahead of time.


Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 4 hours

Total: 4 hours and 20 minutes

Serving size:


    • 2 lbs oxtail; cut into serving sizes
    • 6 cups of water
    • 1 heart of the banana; sliced
    • 1 bundle pechay; separate the leaves and trimmed the ends
    • 1 bundle long beans, cut into 3 inches in length
    • � cup rice flour
    • 1/2 cup of ground rice; toasted
    • 2 medium sized eggplants, cut into at least 1-inches thick.
    • � cup annatto seeds, soaked in lukewarm water on a separate bowl
    • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    • 1 medium sized onions, minced
    • 4 cloves of garlic, minced and peeled.
    • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
    • � cup shrimp paste
    • Salt and Pepper seasoning to taste


  1. In a cold running water, properly rinse oxtail. Then trim its excess fat using a knife. Place Oxtail onto a deep pot with 6 cups of water. Bring to boil over a medium heat. This time, scum appears at the top, remove it. Next, cover the pot and simmer over low heat for at least 3 hours. To know if Oxtail is tender enough, pierced it with a fork. If the fork goes through Oxtail easily, then it�s already tender. Remove Oxtail from pot, set aside 6 cups of broth for later on.
  2. For the heart of the banana, peel the layer of heart skin until reaching the lighter and softer portion or core. Remove stem and throw away the stem. Now, cut into half and then into fourth cuts. In a separate bowl, add a pinch of salt. Put sliced banana and allow to soak for 15-20 minutes. With the use of clean hands, gently squeeze banana heart for that bitter taste to be released. Remove Banana cuts and rinse with water. properly discard
  3. In a separate pot, bring to medium heat, add 4 cups of water and allow to boil. Then add cuts of banana heart. Blanch mixture for a minute. Then remove banana heart from liquid, set it aside. Next, add eggplant and again blach for a minute, then remove eggplant from liquid and set it aside. Next add pechay and blanch again for at least 30 seconds.remove pechay from liquid and set aside. This step requires a slotted spoon that is to be used to remove ingredients.
  4. In a frying pan on a medium heat, add rice flour. Constantly stirring until it turns to brown and somewhat toasted. In a separate bowl, mix toasted rice flour and the broth. Stir gradually until the texture is smooth.
  5. In a small bowl: pour annatto seeds and add to the � cup of reserved broth. Stir continuously until color is attained.
  6. Combine peanut butter and � cup reserved broth, in a separate bowl. Stir to blend.
  7. Saute onion and garlic over medium heat in a large pot. Add Oxtail, stir continuously. Add fish sauce, cook for 2 minutes. Add the remaining cups of reserved broth. On a low heat, simmer. Add annatto water, and mixtures of annatto water, rice flour and peanut butter. Stir to completely mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Then add blanched vegetables, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  8. The best way to eat Oxtail stew is to add Bagoong (shrimp paste) on top.
  9. Serve hot and enjoy!

Interested in other recipes? Feel free to comment below. Also, let me what you think about this recipe. I look forward to hearing from you.

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