A simple Slow cooked Kare Kare Recipe Version that anyone can do. This is a slow cooker version but you can cook this Kare Kare Recipe Mama Sita in the stove too!
Kare kare is a dish that I discovered late in life. I’m not sure why but I dont have any recollection of it in my childhood. The earliest memory I have of Karekare is sharing it with college friends in the Student Union Building at UPLB in college. Popular as it is as a Pinoy comfort food, it was a dish that I did not really like, as in Like-Like. It was okay, I guess, but the combination of peanut and alamang (shrimp paste) did not appeal to me.
Fast forward to about 10 years ago, my husband took me to Cafe Juanita, a restaurant in Kapitolyo (Pasig City). Cafe Juanita is not a place that I’d arrange to go into, despite the rave reviews because, well, it’s known for their Pinoy food. It’s a place that you’d take expats and balikbayan friends but not go there to eat. What can they possibly prepare that I’d not know how to do? I mean the price alone is a stay away sign. Anyway, as it’s a surprise date and my husband has booked, I was trying to muster gratitude in my heart.
To cut the story short, I ordered Karekare and man! Was I blown away! A decade after, I can still taste that peanut butter creaminess that sort of folds in my tongue. After that, I got obsessed with Karekare. I did it in Pata Version (pork hock), chicken version, beef skin version, in tripe version, even a meatless version. I made it from scratch, I made it with Mama Sita, I made it with ready amde peanut butter, I made it with freshly ground peanuts…unfortunately, I am sad to report that I have never duplicated that taste ever. I don’t know if there’s something wrong with my memory because I went back there just to try and figure out the recipe but never got the same mind blowing taste again.
The closest one I got near was when I used beef skin.
Today though, we’re cooking Karekare without all the hoops and loops. Some mommies they’re afraid to cook it because of all the steps required to make it. I imagine them picturing their Moms and Lola’s grinding peanuts, huffing and puffing over toasted rice. Are you getting that image? Haha!
Today, were using modern gadgets and modern conveniences -my handy dandy slow cooker and … omigosh, dare I say it? Shhhh, the other is Mama Sita’s Kare Kare Mix! It will be our little secret. And if someone calls you out for using a premade mix, tell them to go back to 1960s. ????
If you’re in the United States or some other part of the world, Mama Sita Kare Kare Mix is available at Amazon. There’s shrimp paste too. Though I imagine they’re available at any Asian Store near you.
Don’t have a slow cooker yet? Read here why you should buy one! If you’re a working mom, this is perfect for you. You can set it up in the morning and come home to a wonderfully smelling home with your dinner already cooked!
(See this Vegetarian version of Kare Kare by Mama Sita.)
1 kilo ox tail (buntot ng baka)
1 Maggi Beef Cubes totally optional of course!
1 sachet Mama Sita Kare Kare Mix Diluted in 1/2 cup water. I like to mix these 2 ? together but if there’s no Sauce Packet available, make this 2 sachet
1 sachet Mama Sita Kare Kare Sauce
1 Onion minced
6 cloves garlic minced
1 TBSP Oil
1 TBSP Fish Sauce (patis)
1 cup Peanut Butter Preferably the unsweetened version you can buy in the market
2 cups Meat Stock
Eggplant cut up and blanched
Pechay (or Bokchoy ) cut up and blanched
Banana Heart Blossom cut up and blanched
String Beans cut up and blanched
Boil ox tail for 10 minutes and discard the water. Wash the meat to remove the scum.
Put the ox tail in the slow cooker, add water enough to cover the meat. Add the beef cube. Set on high for 4 hours.
Heat oil in a large pan and saute’ garlic and onion. Add slow cooked oxtail and the Mama Sita’s Kare-Kare Mixes. Add the remaining stock. Add the peanut butter. Stir and simmer for two minutes. Remove meat and arrange in a platter.
Add the pre-boiled veggies and stir gently . Turn off heat immediately. Arrange the veggies on top of the meat. Pour sauce over.
Serve with rice and sauteed shrimp paste.
*I like to grill my banana heart blossom when I have time.
* Alamang from Pangasinan -the brown one from the market tastes a thousand times better than bottled ones. If there’s nothing like this where you live, I recommend Barrio Fiesta Regular -not the sweet one!
*The Eggplant tastes better if fried!
* If using Pata (Pork Hock), its best to fry it first. Lower slow cooking tome to 3 hours.
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