Updated on August 11, 2023 by Camille Georgia Uy.
What Is Beef Kare-Kare?
Kare-kare is a classic Filipino dish that’s made super hearty by the use of meaty beef chunks and beef tripe (or tuwalya), all cooked in a unique peanut sauce that is nutty, savory, and quite irresistible. While it is usually made with beef, as in this recipe, it can also be made with pork or chicken. It’s a popular Filipino ulam dish, especially in big family reunions and celebrations, and is most often served with bagoong.
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How to Serve Beef Kare-Kare
Beef kare-kare is traditionally served with bagoong, which provides a salty, umami-filled contrast to the slightly sweet, nutty, and creamy sauce. Here are other ways you can enjoy beef kare-kare:
Pair it with bagoong rice: If you love bagoong, you can actually make bagoong fried rice instead of serving the bagoong on the side with plain steamed rice to make your meal more interesting and garlicky!
Serve it with grilled veggies: the recipe below blanches the veggies, but you can also roast the eggplants instead of letting it soften in the broth to add a smokier flavor.
How To Cook Beef Kare-Kare
Begin by heating oil in a sizable pot, then sauté garlic and onions until they become translucent. Then, introduce the beef and add the annatto water (water strained from soaked annatto or atsuete seeds) into the mixture. Add water and peanut butter.
Add the veggies: puso ng saging, talong, and sitaw – and allow them to simmer for around 30 minutes until they attain the desired tenderness. Upon reaching this stage, carefully remove the vegetables and set them aside for later.
Shift your focus to the sauce’s consistency by adding ground peanuts and ground rice. Stir the mixture and maintain a steady simmer until the sauce thickens. Simmer until beef is fork-tender.
Add the bok choy when the beef is tender. Then, add the blanched vegetables back in to reheat.
Serve warm, with bagoong on the side, and preferably with lots of rice!
Tips to Make The Best Beef Kare-Kare
1 Select quality beef cuts.
The savory flavor of kare-kare comes from the beef, and this flavor comes from the beef fat. Opt for fresh, well-marbled beef cuts to ensure tenderness and depth of flavor.
2 Adjust the kare-kare sauce to your taste.
In this recipe, we used a combination of peanut butter and ground peanuts to control how sweet, creamy, and nutty the kare-kare sauce will be. You can tdo the same! Add more peanut butter to make the sauce creamier and to add a hint of sweetness. Or, if you want to add more depth or texture to the sauce, add more ground toasted peanuts.
3 Don’t like bagoong? Season your kare-kare with patis.
Some people dislike the strong smell and taste of bagoong, and that’s okay! You can still get a delicious balance of flavors in your kare-kare by replacing it with fish sauce or patis as a condiment, or by using patis to season the sauce. Using patis to season the sauce gives it that subtle umami flavor and saltiness you usually get from bagoong, only you don’t have to add it as you eat.
4 Mix and match your favorite vegetables.
Aside from the vegetables we use in this recipe, you could also add kalabasa, cabbage, and other kinds of string beans to kare-kare. It’s a very versatile dish that works well with lots of other vegetables.
How to Store Beef Kare-kare
1 Refrigerate beef kare-kare for up to 3 days.
Beef kare-kare can keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and longer if the vegetables are separated. Vegetables will spoil faster than the sauce or the meat, so if you think you won’t be able to finish the whole serving, serve the blanched veggies separately or add just enough veggies for one serving so that it will be easy to store them after the meal.
2 Beef kare-kare can be frozen indefinitely.
Beef kare-kare is one of those Filipino ulam dishes that can be made in big batches, portioned, and then frozen until it’s needed! The only difference when you’re preparing beef kare-kare to meal prep is that you’ll need to skip the veggies when you first prepare the dish. Only when you’re reheating the frozen kare-kare should you blanch veggies and add it in, so that your vegetables will stay crisp and fresh when you finally heat up your kare-kare to eat.
Beef Kare-Kare Recipe
Beef Kare-Kare Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon Garlic minced
- 1 Small red onion chopped
- 1/2 kilo beef cubes
- 1/4 Cup Atsuete Seeds (annatto seeds) soaked in 1 cup water
- 1/4 Cup peanut butter
- 2 cups water
- 1 Small puso ng saging (banana blossom) sliced
- 1 piece talong (eggplant) sliced
- 1 bundle sitaw (string beans) cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 Cup peanuts ground into a paste
- 1/4 Cup rice flour
- 1 bundle bok choy leaves
- Salt to taste
- ground pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large pot. Sauté garlic and onions until translucent.
- Add beef. Strain annatto seeds from the water, discard the seeds, and add the annatto water to the pot. Add water and peanut butter to the pot.
- Add the vegetables: puso ng saging, talong, and sitaw. Simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove vegetables from the pot and set aside.
- Add ground peanuts and ground rice. Stir and simmer until the sauce has thickened.
- Continue to simmer until the beef cubes are tender. Once the beef cubes are tender, add bok choy. Return the vegetables to the pot and simmer until reheated. Season to taste.