Kare Kare (Filipino Oxtail and Peanut Butter Stew) Recipe

This Filipino stew is proof that peanut butter is good for much more than just sandwiches.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 3 hours


2 pounds|900 grams oxtails, trimmed
1 pound|450 grams tripe, cut into 2-inch slices, optional
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 pound|450 grams baby bok choy, leaves removed and reserved, stems thinly sliced lengthwise
12 ounces|342 grams long beans, cut into 3-inch pieces
2 medium Japanese eggplant, sliced ½-inch thick
2 teaspoons annatto powder
1 ½ cups|375 grams smooth peanut butter, preferably Skippy
5 tablespoons cornstarch
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
cooked rice, to serve
shrimp paste, to serve


  1. Rinse oxtail, and tripe, if using, under cold water. Set each aside in their own bowls.
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the tripe and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. This helps to soften the tripe and remove its bad odor.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add the oxtail and cook, turning as needed, until browned all over, 11 minutes. Set aside on a plate.
  4. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in the oxtail, tripe, fish sauce, and 8 cups water (enough to cover!) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the oxtail is falling off the bone, about 3 ½ to 4 hours. Skim off any scum that may have risen to the top and discard.

(Alternatively, heat the oil from step 3 in a pressure cooker over medium and proceed with the recipe using a pressure cooker. Cover with the pressure cooker lid, and securely lock into place according to your pressure cooker's directions. Increase the heat to high and bring the cooker to high pressure; you can tell it's there by the steam escaping from the valve or a high pitched whistling noise. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 45 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a steady, consistent pressure. Remove the pressure cooker from the heat and let the pressure come down for 15 minutes. Carefully release any remaining gentle pressure by releasing the valve and letting the pot stand for 3 to 4 minutes. Unlock and remove the lid, then carry on with the recipe starting at step 5.)

  1. Mix ¼ cup|60 ml of the stock with the annatto in a small bowl until dissolved, then stir it into the pot along with the peanut butter until combined. Stir 3 tablespoons of the liquid in a small bowl with the cornstarch, then stir it into the pot.
  2. Add the bok choy, beans, and eggplant to the pot and cooks, stirring, an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until the eggplant are just cooked through and the stew is thick. Serve with the rice and shrimp paste.

Get recipes like this and more in the Munchies Recipes newsletter. Sign up here .