While I’m visiting my family in Japan, I have asked several blogger friends to blog-sit for me and today’s sitter is Raymund from Ang Sarap (A Tagalog word for “It’s Delicious”). He’s my last guest blogger during my trip.
I told Raymund once that if I ever become a billionaire (not a millionaire haha), I would want to hire him as my private chef. The main reason why I said that is because he posts delicious food almost every day, and they are not just Filipino dishes but include many other international recipes as well. When you visit his blog and see the category list on the right-hand side, you will immediately see the cuisine’s names there. As of today, he has made dishes from 55 different countries. Me? Maybe less than 8-10 if “non-authentic” recipes count!
Since I started blogging, I learned that my Filipino food blogger friends (male and female) are passionate about food, just like Ray whom I introduced to you last week. That’s probably the reason why we don’t see too many Filipino restaurants even in a big city; they are all cooking at home for the family!
Now please welcome Raymund with a popular Filipino stew called Kare Kare.
This is my third time to guest post, I know it is not a lot but there is a popular saying which is “third time lucky” and indeed that true as I am invited in this blog, definitely one of my favorite food blog sites around. So let me first tell something about me before the recipe that I will be sharing.
Well my name is Raymund and I am the person behind the blog called Ang Sarap (A Tagalog word for “It’s Delicious”) , I am a Software Developer / Architect by profession and my passion is to cook, travel, and take photographs (isn’t that the best combination). I’ve been cooking since I was 7 years old and since then I have been cooking my family dinners. I’ve traveled a bit and lived in different countries due to my profession hence I have a good grasp of local the different cuisines which is very evident on my blog.
The blog is nearly two years now and it has a good reception in the food blog circle as well as Filipino communities around the world. It showcases dishes basically from everywhere but with Filipino, Spanish and Chinese twists which are the primary influence in Philippine cuisine. The goal of my blog is to educate people about what the Philippines has to offer in terms of culinary arts and as I said in my past posts why the Philippines is the only Asian country without an identity or even representation, what I mean by that is you have the Malaysian, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese and Thai but where are the Philippines, it is even known? That’s what I want to change, and I hope I can start with this blog. Now I guess that’s enough about me and if you want to know further please follow my blog and start learning about what you are missing if you haven’t tried Filipino dishes yet.
For this guest post, I was thinking of introducing something very uniquely Filipino and it was hard choosing it as I don’t want to present something that might be already popular like the Adobo or a dish that might be Filipino but tastes something similar in other neighboring countries like Sinigang. So after several sleepless nights, I think Kare-Kare might be a good dish to showcase as I never had tasted or seen something like this elsewhere.
Kare-Kare is a popular stew in the Philippines that is served on special occasions like Feast Days (fiesta), Birthdays, and family gatherings. The dish’s defining ingredient is its peanut sauce which is made out of peanut butter, ground toasted rice and annatto seed extract this is then cooked with a variety of local vegetables and meat (usually oxtail or ox tripe). It’s a bit pale in taste compared to other rich Philippine dishes that’s why it is often always accompanied with a salty shrimp paste called bagoong.
This dish probably had originated from Pampanga as it is really popular there and every household in the said province offer this as their specialty and have their own better versions that stand out among the others but there are also some suggestions that it originated from the Southern island of Mindanao where this dish is popular as well, it was said that this is one of the regal dishes of the Moro elite who settled in Manila even before the Spanish arrival. Another suggestion says that it has a Japanese influence as the name “Kare-Kare” is derived from the Japanese word “Kare” which is a Japanese word for a curry. So where this dish did really came from? Well, I don’t really know but most experts say it was from Pampanga also called the culinary capital of the Philippines.
I guess this is not for everyone due to a lot of people have allergies to nuts and if you don’t have one you might freak out with the part of beef used. But if you are adventurous in food, this is a must-try especially for those who love peanut butter, you will feel good about this dish.
- 2.2 lbs oxtails
- 1 cup unsalted peanut butter
- ¼ cup ground toasted rice
- 1 red onions (diced)
- 1 whole garlic (minced)
- ¼ cup annatto seeds (soaked in ½ cup boiling water)
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 4 cups beef stock
- kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc)
- freshly ground black pepper
- bagoong (fermented shrimp paste)
- 3 pieces eggplant (sliced)
- 1 bundle string beans (sliced)
- 1 bunch baby bok choy
- In a pot add oil and sauté onion and garlic, once onions turn translucent remove then set it aside.
- Now using the same pot add ox tail then brown all sides.
- Add the sauteed onion and garlic back to the pot. Then pour the beef stock and a cup of water into the pot then bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1.5 hours or until meat is tender (Add water if needed).
- Turn of the heat then remove the ox tail from the pot and leaving all the liquid, set ox tail aside.
- Add sugar, ground toasted rice, peanut butter and water from soaked annatto seeds into the pot then mix thoroughly until it’s even in consistency. Turn on the heat to medium then let it boil.
- Once sauce is boiling, turn heat to low then add the ox tail and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Now cook the vegetables separately by blanching string beans, eggplants and bok choy.
- Pour stew on a deep bowl and add cooked vegetables on the side. Serve with bagoong.