How to cook: Kare-Kare (Beef Stew with Peanut Sauce)

Is Kare-Kare your favorite but seems so complicated to cook? Sometimes experimenting in the kitchen can be a little scary. Okay, maybe a lot scary. Well, we can’t all live on Nilaga and Adobo forever, but thankfully, all it takes to homecook one of our favorite Filipino dishes is a helping hand. Thank you for trusting me to help you. 😊



Beef chunks
Bok Choy Tagalog (pechay)
String beans (sitaw)
Eggplant (talong)
Creamy peanut butter
Atsuete seeds with lye water or lihiya* + water for orange color
Fish sauce (patis)
Soy sauce (toyo)
Black pepper


In a stock pot, boil together beef chunks (I used Kalitiran), water enough to cover the meat, one onion cut into half, season with patis and pepper. Simmer until tender. Reserve broth. You may add ox tripe (twalya), boil them separately with water, vinegar, salt and pepper until tender. Discard broth of tripe.

Steam pechay and sitaw separately. I use a shallow non stick pan with water just on its floor, add salt, then put veggies. Cook until green color becomes vibrant. Do not overcook. Set aside. Fry sliced eggplants in a small amount of olive oil to bring out it’s natural taste. Set aside. You may add banana flower/ blossom (puso ng saging), steam them separately as well.

Saute garlic and onion. Add atsuete water, fish sauce, pepper and reserved beef broth. Add peanut butter, stir well because sauce will become thick. Adjust taste according to your preference. You may add sugar if you used unsweetened peanut butter. Toss in beef. Add veggies just before serving to maintain color and texture.

Serve with shrimp paste (bagoong) available in grocery stores or you can make your own too. Wash and drain alamang. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil. Add alamang, season with a few drops of soy sauce, sugar and pepper flakes or sili labuyo, if you want it spicy. Saute until slightly toasted then drizzle with more olive oil.

You can also use the same peanut sauce recipe for other Kare-kare variations: Seafood (clams, squid, mussles, crab, shrimp), Pork leg (pata), Bagnet or Lechon Kawali.

This recipe is just something to help you build up your culinary powers. See, wasn’t that easy?

I hope you and your family will like it. Happy weekend!


*Asians use lye water in dessert making such as the Filipino rice cake suman sa lihiya. Using it will extract color from atsuete seeds giving a red orange color. It is available in bottles like that of vanilla extracts in supermarkets or local wet markets.


If you enjoy this recipe and this test kitchen, please be sure to share your good news with us and others. I welcome your comments, as well as your own recipes and kitchen tips. As our test kitchen grows and reaches a lot of households, I hope to provide an even stronger community of support, reflection, and shared blessings. Greetings of peace and love to you all.💋💞