Je Tries to Cook: Kare-kare

I have been absent in the kitchen for quite some time so I decided one weekend to unleash the kitchen diva in me once again. I told my mom (a.k.a KITCHEN QUEEN) if I could borrow her kingdom and cook something I’ve never tried before. I asked her if I could cook a common dish which could challenge my cooking prowess. Naks, puma-prowess na ako! :p

When she asked me if I could cook kare-kare, I immediately panicked. I know that my cooking skills are too advanced to fry eggs, but still raw to cook something as complicated as kare-kare. But my mom assured me that given the right and freshest ingredients (and proper coaching *wink wink*), it would just be as easy as 1-2-3.


DSC_0008 cooking oil, minced garlic
1 medium-sized thinly-sliced onion
5 tbsp fish sauce (patis)
1 kg pork innards
seasoning granules (not in the photo)

DSC_0011 1/2 cup ground peanuts mixed with hot water
150 grams ground rice
atsuete mixed with hot water

DSC_0009 string beans, eggplants, banana blossoms (puso ng saging) cut into bite size


1. Cook the pork innards in a pressure cooker with water for at least 45 minutes. We already did this part the day before. We usually use goto.

Useful Tip: We refrigerate the pork innards and soup in separate containers. Prior to cooking, we remove the excess grease (sebo) from the soup. It’s a good way to remove some unwanted fats from your food. :)

2. Heat oil in a pan. Sauté the onions. Shortly after, add the garlic.

3. Add the fish sauce (patis), followed by the pork innards. Let it cook for at least 5 minutes.

4. While waiting for the pork to cook, reheat the soup you set aside in step #1.

5. When the soup and the pork are both ready, add the pork innards to the soup. Let it simmer for at least 5 minutes.

6. Add the ground rice, followed by the ground peanuts and water mixture. At this point, make sure you don’t stop mixing to prevent lumps from forming. That is why I wasn’t able to take a photo of this step. :p

NOTE: Most people usually use peanut butter to save themselves from an additional visit to the market. But kare-kare has the tendency to become sweet when peanut butter is used. And besides, fresh ingredients are still the best. :)

7. When the soup is already free of lumps, add the atsuete mixture. In cooking, it is true that all your senses are being used. My mom said that in this case, you simply have to adjust the amount of atsuete to be put in your soup to achieve the color that is visually appealing. Cooking is sometimes driven by gut feel. :p

DSC_0023 Not as appealing as I hoped it to be :p

8. This is the part where you taste your kare-kare. As I’ve said countless of times before, even the best chefs taste their food. You may opt to add some more fish sauce, but I decided to simply add a dash of seasoning granules.

9. Add the vegetables. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.

10. Serve with bagoong.

After I finished cooking kare-kare for the first time, I realized that it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The hard part was just the continuous mixing when you add the ground rice and peanuts. My mom was right after all!

So if you haven’t tried cooking kare-kare just because you thought that you need to be a master chef to do so, think again. :)

1 comment :

  1. Uy Winona Rider tong kare-kare mo, Je! Ibang level na ang cooking mo ah, in fairness! Love et'! Keep it up! :)


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