Chicken Kare-Kare with moist chicken and vegetables in a thick peanut sauce. Hearty and tasty, it’s perfect with steamed rice!
Guys, allow me to get emotional for a quick minute.
A few days ago, I shared on Facebook that Kawaling Pinoy is now an LLC (Limited Liability Company) and it was truly heartening to read the flood of good wishes from family and friends. When I think of how this blog has grown and how it has changed my path in the process, I get overwhelmed with gratitude. I have so many cheerleaders in my life, and I can’t be more thankful!
I am so grateful for the people who rally behind me and are always on the lookout for me. I might be working for myself, but this blog is not a one-woman show. A good friend of mine, for instance, sent me a photo of the chicken kare-kare he had for lunch at a Filipino restaurant. He said it was delicious and I should post it on my blog and make sure I tell my readers the idea came from him.
How can I say no to such a sweet gesture? Besides, the kare-kareng manok did turn out delicious as he said. Not only is it quicker and easier to make than other versions of kare-kare, it’s also more economical and perfect for everyday family dinners.
What is Kare-Kare
Kare-Kare is a classic Filipino stew traditionally made with oxtail, beef, pork hocks or tripe and vegetables such as eggplant, long beans, banana heart, and pechay. The dish is characterized by a hearty sauce colored yellow by annatto seeds and flavored with ground peanuts. Ground toasted rice is also added to thicken the peanut sauce.
The flavorful stew is often served with steamed rice and sauteed shrimp paste as a condiment.
Tips on How to Make Chicken Kare-Kare:
- The sauce is traditionally flavored and thickened with ground roasted peanuts and ground toasted rice, but we’re simplifying the process by using rice flour and peanut butter instead. If you can’t find the rice flour or prefer to grind your own, follow the how-to below.
- The addition of the annatto powder is mainly for aesthetic purposes, and you can add more or less depending on the depth of color you like. If using annatto seeds, soak in water for a few minutes until it bleeds into the liquid.
- Worried about overcooking your vegetables? Steam them first and then add to the stew in the last few minutes.
- The peanut sauce will be thinner when hot but will thicken as it sits.
How to Toast Rice:
In a wide, ungreased skillet over medium heat, add raw rice grains. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden and have a nutty aroma.
Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, ground the rice to a powder form (make sure it’s ground to a fine POWDER or you’ll end up with bits of cooked rice in the stew!). Use in the recipe as directed.
- 2 tablespoons rice flour
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 pounds chicken, cut into serving parts
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon annatto powder
- 3 cups water
- 2 large eggplant, cut into chunks
- 1/2 bundle long beans, ends trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
- 1 bundle pechay, ends trimmed and leaves separated
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a wide pan over medium heat, add rice flour. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In a pot over medium heat, heat oil.
- Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add chicken and cook, stirring regularly, until lightly browned.
- Add fish sauce and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- In a bowl, combine water and annatto powder. Stir until well-dispersed and add to pan.
- Bring to a boil, skimming scum that may float on top. Lower heat, cover, and simmer until chicken is tender.
- Add eggplant and long beans and cook until tender yet crisp.
- Add peanut butter and stir until well blended.
- In a bowl, combine rice flour and one cup of broth from the pot. Stir until very smooth and without lumps.
- Slowly add to the pot, whisking to prevent lumps. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to simmer until sauce is slightly thickened.
- Add pechay and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until tender yet crisp.
- Serve hot with sauteed shrimp paste on the side.