Food - Drink
Kare Kare: The Comforting Filipino Peanut Stew
Anywhere you go in the Philippines, you're sure to find kare kare or Filipino curry; kare kare essentially translates to faux curry because, although it resembles the Indian sauce in appearance, the taste and components do not. The origins of kare kare and its relationship to curry are a subject of dispute, but there’s no denying its taste.
The ingredients in kare kare are generally agreed upon; the base of the stew is always made with peanuts, traditionally roasted and ground into a paste, but nowadays, people often use peanut butter. Ground rice is also added to enhance the viscosity, achiote seeds for the signature reddish hue, and tenderized beef, usually oxtail or shank, as the main protein.
Thanks to the use of peanut butter and ground rice, kare kare is a creamy stew, but there's another version that's even creamier — kare kare sa gata. Kare kare sa gata uses coconut milk from fresh matured coconut meat, which results in it being extra rich and slightly sweet; this version is likely developed due to the regional availability of coconut.
Kare kare can be easily made in a large pot or a dutch oven, but a palayok — a large clay pot used to both cook and serve certain Filipino dishes — is the traditional cooking medium. Kare kare can be served directly in the palayok, or in a bowl, with rice and a condiment called bagoong, a sauteed fermented fish paste for the perfect touch of saltiness.