With a rich, thick, and unforgettable peanut sauce, kare kare is undoubtedly on the top of the list of all time Filipino stews. It’s a dish that manages to capture all of your senses, somehow all at once: from the bright colors that invite you closer, to the unmistakable smell of peanuts that you just can’t walk away from. But all of this is only the icing on the cake when you take a bite of all the tastiness your kare kare has to offer! The perfect mix of vegetables and tender meat, kare kare is only made better by a serving of bagoong alongside it. Today, we’ll be taking this satisfying favorite and giving it that extra oomph. And we’re doing so the best way we know how: with tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside pork hock. That’s right: we’re making Crispy Pata Kare Kare!
Not many people associate kare kare with crispiness. After all, for the most part your traditional kare kare meat has already soaked in or absorbed the viscous sauce of your stew, rendering it a bit on the tender side. But crispy pata kare kare seeks to break free from the mold. Similar to this crispy kare kare which makes use of crispy pork belly, your pork hocks are tenderized and later added to your stew for a pleasantly surprising crunch at the end of each bite. If you didn’t think this famous peanut stew could get any better, prepared to be blown away! Once you have Crispy Pata Kare Kare, you won’t want any other way to cook this classic!
What does Crispy Pata Kare Kare taste like?
Just like regular kare kare, this dish has it all: the savory flavor of your peanuts mixing with the saltiness and umami bagoong. But with the addition of crispy pata, your classic stew gets an extra layer of texture and flavor! Peppery and distinct, this juicy pork hock brings more life to your dish. And when you pair it with the other subtle but delicious vegetables, too, it’s impossible not to fall in love. From your bok choy to eggplants, string beans to banana blossoms, vegetables abound in your crispy pata kare kare just as much as your meat does! Indeed, kare kare is truly a stew like no other.
Crispy Pata Kare Kare Ingredients
The three main components of your crispy pata kare kare are the crispy pata that you boil, your scrumptious kare kare sauce, and your hearty vegetables.
It’s all too important that you boil your crispy pata first. After all, what makes this dish enjoyable is not only that it’s crunchy on the outside, but also that it’s impossibly soft on the inside. In boiling, you don’t only use water, either! With salt, bay leaves, and peppercorn, your crispy pata is given a life of its own, too. It doesn’t simply rely on your kare kare sauce and is, instead, flavorful to the bone! This is part of what makes a great crispy pata, too.
Speaking of — peanut paste is unsurprisingly the star of your crispy pata kare kare sauce! It should go without saying that this ingredient would have the most amount in this recipe. Most of your stew’s flavors are derived from it, after all! Additional ingredients that form a part of your sauce include a Knorr Pork Cube, onions, and garlic. Annatto powder is also important; this is what gives your kare kare its lively and energetic yellow-orange hue. Altogether, kare kare would be nothing without its trademark tasty sauce that gives it all its fame and renown.
Lastly, but definitely not least, we can’t forget about our vegetables! Bok choy, eggplants, string beans, and banana blossoms are the main veggies that star in this stew. With their own jam packed nutrients and health benefits, your crispy pata kare kare is equal parts hearty and healthy—the perfect meal! What more can you ask for?
How to Cook Crispy Pata Kare Kare
Making your Crispy Pata
Combine all your boiling ingredients in a large cooking pot, where you’ll add your pata. For an hour, let your pata boil, seeping in the subtle flavors of your spices while also tenderizing. Once that hour is up, remove it from the cooking pot and let it cool down. After rubbing salt over the same, air dry your crispy pata for 30 minutes.
Making your kare kare sauce
To start with your crispy pata kare kare’s sauce, sauté garlic and onion in a pan. Add peanut paste after your onions soften, then stir and cook for 1 minute. Then, pour water in and still until your mixture smoothens. Bring your liquid to a boil, then add Knorr Pork Cube and annatto powder. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a simmer until you reach the consistency you prefer. In crispy pata kare kare — or kare kare of any kind, really — a thick sauce makes for the best kind of kare kare! Once it’s as thick or thin as you like, season with salt and ground black pepper before setting your sauce aside.
Fry your crispy pata
In a wide, deep pot, heat oil and fry your pork hock until the bottom part turns golden brown and crispy. Turn over, and do the exact same thing for the opposite side. When your crispy pata is as crispy as you so desire, remove it from the pot and debone it once it cools down.
Steam your vegetables
Meanwhile, arrange your crispy pata kare kare’s vegetables in a steamer. For about 3 to 5 minutes, keep them in the steamer before, again, setting them aside. Once your vegetables are done, this signifies the readiness of all the components of your crispy pata kare kare! It’s time now for the most thrilling part …
Let’s assemble that crispy pata kare kare together!
In a serving bowl, pour half of your kare kare sauce before arranging the vegetables all around it. Then, top it with your gorgeous and irresistible crispy pata, and distribute the remaining sauce over the bowl. Alongside the striking bagoong alamang, your dish is finally ready!
Share and enjoy this crunchy, peanut-y delight with your friends and family! Did you like this crispy pata kare kare recipe? Let us know what you think!
Crispy Pata Kare Kare
- 4 lbs. pork hock pata
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups cooking oil
- 1/2 cup shrimp paste
- 3 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 7 dried bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorn
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Combine all the boiling ingredients in a large cooking pot. Add pork hock. Boil for 1 hour. Remove the pork hock from the cooking pot. Let it cool down and then rub salt all over. Air dry for 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pan. Sauté garlic and onion. Once the onion softens, add the peanut paste. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Pour water and then stir until the mixture becomes smooth. Let the liquid boil. Add Knorr Pork Cube and annatto powder. Cover the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue cooking until your desired consistency is achieved. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a wide and deep pot. Fry the pork hock until the bottom side turns golden brown and crispy. Turn it over and do the same thing on the opposite side. Remove from the pot. Let it cool down. Debone the pork hock. Set aside.
- Arrange the vegetable ingredients on a steamer. Steam for 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Assemble your crispy pata kare-kare by pouring half of the sauce on a serving bowl. Arrange the steamed vegetables all around. Top with crispy pata. Distribute the remaining sauce by pouring onto the bowl. Serve with shrimp paste (bagoong alamang) as a condiment. Share and enjoy!