Filipino food is known for being simultaneously innovative and invitingly flavorful for its smart usage of seasoning and homegrown ingredients. It is no wonder, then, that the classic Kare-kare is a fan favorite. It ticks all the boxes in what makes a well-loved Filipino dish. And a Pata Kare-Kare recipe might just be the best option for you to try the classic a different way!
Among Kare-kare’s signature traits is its perfect mix of various ingredients. These range from string beans to eggplant to, of course, peanuts. And they give the person dining a one of a kind experience because it feels almost like a feast entirely on its own. But the feast, of course, never fails to taste like home. After all, it is a classic Filipino stew enriched with the flavors of homegrown ingredients.
While the classic Kare-kare recipe often uses beef or more traditionally, oxtail, pata or pork leg also makes for a fitting alternative. It makes use of a comparably more affordable meat. This is also good for anyone who might prefer the mouthwatering flavor of pata fat or taba. And it mixes well with the trademark peanut flavor of the Kare-kare.
Pata Kare-kare is a classic source of protein and other vitamins:
Pork is also known for being one of the richest sources of protein, and it helps you keep your energy up. It is also packed with several important nutrients, such as Vitamin B6, Selenium, Pantothenic Acid and Thiamine. Such contents give you a stronger immune system, and protects you from heart disease. Overall, it gives you improved chemical balance for your body.
This is why alongside many other Filipinos, I developed a recipe for Kare-kare that makes use of pork leg. But if you prefer it cooked the classic way, I’ve also got the perfect Traditional Kare-kare recipe using beef for you.
Looking for other styles of Kare-kare to try out? I’ve got just the list for you:
If red meat isn’t necessarily your cup of tea, my Chicken Kare-kare recipe might also be a good alternative. Chicken thighs, which are used in this recipe, are also a great source of protein. And like most white meat, they help in controlling calorie and fat intake compared to red meat. Chicken is also a good source of fatty acids to reduce bad cholesterol in the body. Other than the change in meat, I utilized other ingredients for a quicker process and easier sourcing, such as peanut butter instead of ground peanuts.
But you could go another route in terms of the main source of protein in your dish. Try integrating the decadent taste of the ocean through this Seafood Kare-kare recipe. Unlike the traditional kare-kare, it makes use of kakang gata or coconut cream for the sauce. This makes for a more flavorful taste alongside shrimp, crabs, mussels and squid. The taste then becomes similar to that of ginataan and kare-kare combined. You’ll end up with a delightful spin to these classic Filipino dishes so this is definitely a must-try!
Here are some options for fellow red meat alternatives that might be a good fit for you:
The Tripe Kare-kare recipe is also another twist to the dish that uses the ox tripe or tuwalya ng baka. The tuwalya easily takes on the rich, peanut flavor of the dish. Also, it is more inexpensive than pork, and has its own set of health benefits for those looking for other sources of protein. This tripe is the lining of the cow’s stomach. And while it might take a while to make tender enough for the dish, it presents some health benefits. The tripe serves a good amount of Zinc, Selenium and Vitamin B12. You might handle this recipe best with the use of a pressure cooker for a faster tenderizing process. And I also recommend adding peanut butter for more flavor.
If you happen to be a fan of the classic Filipino beef stew bulalo, and want to try it another way, I’ve got the recipe for you! This Bulalo Kare-kare recipe takes on the same beef cut– the beef shank– as the well-loved soup dish, bulalo. With this, you get to enjoy the tender, juicy taste of the bulalo cut alongside the savory, nutty flavor of the kare-kare.
But if you’ve still got the craving for pork, try this Pata Kare-kare recipe with me:
We’re gonna start off by boiling our 2.5 pounds of pata for 15 minutes in 4 cups of water. After that, we’ll throw the water away and wait for the meat to cool. Once it is cool enough for holding, we will wash it to rid the pata of any impurities and make sure it is ready for cooking.
Now we’ll set the meat aside and bringing our cooking pot out. Start by heating 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in the pot, then proceed to sauté 5 cloves of chopped garlic. We continue to do this until the onions have turned brown. Once they’ve turned into the right color, we’ll add one piece of chopped onion until it has softened.
Now we can whip out the pata we set aside earlier, and place it into the pot to cook for 2 minutes. After this, pour 4 cups of water into the pot, then place a cover over it. After letting the water boil, add 1 Knorr Pork Cube for flavor, and stir. Now set the heat between low to medium, and then cover the pot as it boils for 1 ½ hours or until the pork is as tender as we would like it to be. If you’re in a rush, use a pressure cooker for quicker results in tenderizing.
Making your peanut paste:
We will move on to making the peanut paste after finishing the boiling process. We will be using peanuts instead of peanut butter for this recipe for a richer taste, and you have the option of using raw peanuts or the roasted kind easily found in the supermarket. With this, place 1 ½ cups of the peanuts in a food processor for blending until you can observe a paste-like consistency. Then we add the peanut paste into the cooking pot containing the tenderized pata.
Blending it all together:
Stir the paste into the pot, and then add annatto water, glutinous rice and water mixture into the mix. Continue the stirring process and the cooking until the sauce turns into the desired Kare-kare consistency, which often means a gravy-like thickness that is still easy to pour.
Then add one sliced eggplant, a cup of sliced banana blossoms, and 2 cups of string beans that have been cut into 2-inch pieces. Use ground black pepper and ½ teaspoon for seasoning, and stir. Then place some bok choy, and cover again for cooking within 1 ½ minutes. After this, we’re good to go!
Enjoy your steaming hot plate of Pata Kare-kare, best served with some warm rice and bagoong alamang. Give me a shout about how you like this recipe!
Pata Kare Kare Recipe
- 2.5 lbs. pork pata
- 1 piece Knorr Pork Cube
- 2 cups string beans cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup banana blossom sliced
- 2 bunches pechay
- 1 1/2 cups peanuts roasted
- 1/4 cup annatto seeds boiled in 3/4 cup water
- 1 piece eggplant sliced
- 2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour diluted in 4 Tbsp water
- 1 piece onion chopped
- 5 cloves garlic chopped
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 8 cups water
- Ground black pepper and shrimp paste bagoong alamang to taste
- Boil pork pata in 4 cups of water for 15 minutes. Discard the water. Let the pata cool down. Wash pata to remove impurities. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a cooking pot. Sauté garlic until it starts to brown. Add onion. Continue cooking until the onion softens.
- Put the boiled pata into the pot. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour 4 cups of water. Cover the pot. Let the water boil.
- Add Knorr Pork Cube. Stir. Set heat between low to medium. Cover and continue boiling for 1 ½ hours or until the pork gets tender.
- Prepare the peanut paste by blending using a food processor until a paste-like consistency is achieved.
- Add peanut paste into the cooking pot once the pata tenderizes. Stir.
- Add annatto water and glutinous rice and water mixture. Stir and continue cooking until sauce reaches desired consistency.
- Add eggplant, banana blossom, and string beans. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Season with ground black pepper and ½ teaspoon of shrimp paste. Stir.
- Add bok choy. Cover and cook for 1 ½ minutes.
- Serve with warm rice and bagoong alamang. Share and enjoy!