Seafood Kare kare is a delicious version of our beloved peanut stew using seafood such as shrimp, crab, mussels, and squid. There are no limits as to what types of seafood can be added to this dish; the choice is yours. Vegetables such as string beans and banana blossoms were also used for this recipe.
Although the sauce of seafood kare kare might look the same with our traditional ox stew, it is prepared differently using coconut cream or “kakang gata”. This makes this version richer, flavorful, and it also works well with seafood. The addition of the peanut butter makes it even better. Think of it as ginataan and kare-kare combined. It might sound unusual to some of you, but I am telling you that this marriage is perfect.
Since I just got back from my Philippine vacation, I was able to bring clay pots (palayok) with me. The best way to try it is by cooking something special; this is when the idea of having seafood kare kare for lunch came into my mind. I am glad that I picked this dish because we have not had this for a long time and I also have not featured the recipe here in our blog. Since all of you deserve the best (as always), here it is! The cooking video below will also be a great help in guiding you with the step-by-step procedure.
Here are some suggestions and tips that can help you when sourcing for ingredients:
- You can use either alimasag (such as blue crab) or alimango (mud crab) for this recipe.
- It is better to steam the crab first if you do not plan to cook it on the day of purchase.
- Either shrimp or prawn can be used. The ones with head and shell are preferred
- The size of the squid does not matter, as long as it fits your cooking pot. Using baby octopus (these are really smalll octopus) is not a bad idea. Make sure to tenderize it first before using as it can get tough if not cooked the correct way.
- Coconut milk can be used an alternative ingredient for coconut cream.
- As previously mentioned, do not limit yourself with the seafood ingredients that I used for this recipe. You can add other types of seafood depending on your preference.
How to Cook Seafood Kare kare
The recipe below will give you the details on how to prepare this delicious dish. I also have a cooking video wherein I demonstrated the step-by-step procedures that I underwent to prepare seafood kare kare. I suggest that you refer to both the recipe and video for better guidance. If you have questions, suggestions, or recommendations, please send me a comment using the comment box below.
Watch the cooking video:
- ½ lb. shrimp with head and shell, cleaned
- 2 crabs, steamed
- ½ lb. mussels, boiled in ¾ cup water
- 1 medium squid
- 8 to 10 string beans, tied in knots
- 1 small banana heart, chopped
- 2 cups coconut cream
- 5 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1½ tablespoons annatto powder (astuete) diluted in 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons shrimp paste
- 6 tablespoons cooking oil
- Pour 5 cups of water in a cooking pot. Let boil. Blanch the string beans and banana blossoms by placing these in the pot with boiling water and cook it for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the vegetables and put these on a bowl with cold water and ice. Let it stay in the bowl for 3 minutes. Remove from the bowl and set aside.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a pan. Pan fry the shrimp in medium heat for 2 minutes per side.Remove the shrimp from the pan. Set aside.
- On the same pan, pan fry the squid using the remaining oil for 2 minutes per side. Do not overcook the squid as it will get tough. Remove the squid from the pan and set it aside.
- Pan fry the steamed crabs on the same pan for 2½ minutes per side. Add more oil if needed. Set aside.
- Put the mussels on the same pan and pan fry or stir fry for 4 minutes total. Pour-in the water used to boil the mussels (or if you are using pre-cooked mussels, use the water in the package). Deglaze the pan by gently rubbing your spatula on the surface until bits of seafood are diluted in the liquid. Remove the mussels from the pan and then place the liquid on a separate bowl.
- Using a clay pot (palayok) or regular cooking pot, heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil and then saute the garlic and onion.
- Once the onion turns soft, pour-in the coconut milk. Let boil.
- Add the liquid from the frying pan. Stir.
- Add the peanut butter. Stir and cook until it is completely diluted.
- Add the fish sauce (patis). Stir.
- Pour-in the annatto powder diluted in water. You may add more annatto powder to get your desired color. Cook for 2 to 5 minutes in medium heat while stirring.
Here is how it looked like halfway when we were enjoying it for lunch. Yummy! Don’t forget to FOLLOW me in Instagram :). Thanks in advance.