Food & Easy Recipes

Food of my Childhood: Mom’s Kare Kare

I’m an avid fan of only one Kare Kare – my mom’s. Unless it’s crispy Kare Kare, then I may not be very eager to taste your Kare Kare if you serve it to me. Especially not the one using Ox tripe. I’m good with pork hocks or regular meaty cubes which my mom fondly uses.

This recipe goes to my Food of my Childhood compilation. I grew up eating my mom’s Kare Kare, which she usually served on Sunday lunches. I’ve always looked forward to Sunday lunches because my mom always prepared great feasts on Sundays because that’s when the family is complete. She probably thinks no one noticed, but we did.


The only thing I remember hating about Sunday lunches was that I get assigned the dishes. And since it’s always a feast of at least two viands, desserts, etcetera for 6-8 people, I always end up with a huge pile of plates to wash. I still don’t know the logic behind me doing Sunday dishes because I was the youngest – and the smallest. My siblings were so much older (7,8 and 9 years older!)! But what I would give to see us young and whole again on the dining table.


1 Kilo Pork Hock or Pork cubes
I small puso ng saging (Banana bud)
Pechay (wombok)
String beans

Atsuete powder or Kare Kare Mix
4 TBSP Peanut Butter

How to cook:

1. Saute meat in garlic and onions. Set aside.
2. Add the vegetables one by one in boiling water.
3. Add Atsuete powder and Peanut Butter. Or replace Atsuete powder with any Kare Kare mix. (I prefer Mama Sita’s Kare Kare mix) You can add more peanut butter as preferred.
4. Add the meat.
5. Wait until cooked.
6. Serve!

Prepare Bagoong: Saute Bagoong in chopped garlic, onions and tomatoes. Add red chili if preferred.

Food and Family

I used to think that Kare Kare was difficult to prepare. But it’s really all a matter of choosing the right ingredients (my mom always serves the freshest ones!) and the heart behind the dish that makes it extra special. If there’s one thing I know about my mom, it’s that we never have to look far for the best food in town – we’ve always found it on our family table.

I’ll be sharing more food from my childhood here soon. So stick around!

Note: Posting this in the memory of two of my siblings, Melody and Nelson, who have long passed and I will never again enjoy a family lunch with.Β 


  • Jhanis

    I find kare kare so intimidating to cook (so I’ve never tried it in the past) but your recipe makes it sound easy, May! I miss kare kare na. I only get to eat it in restos kse. I will try making it at home this weekend.

    • May De Jesus-Palacpac

      I knowww, right? It’s only been when I asked my mom to teach me that I learned that it’s not so hard after all. Patingin ng niluto mo ha! πŸ™‚

  • Gilian

    I also like kare kare with other meat parts rather than the oxtails. I tried doing one last month but it was a little fail. Haha kare kare is one of my lola and tita’s special menu during reunions. They would use ground peanut only. Thus, my standards for this dish became high. Haha here, there’s a restaurant that serves kare kare. We love hiw tgry have attained the pinoy taste. πŸ™‚

    • May De Jesus-Palacpac

      ah bilib ako sa ganun. gumagamit ng peanut lang. my mom can do that too, but she says what’s the point when you can use the mix haha

  • Mommy Gracie

    I also thought na sobrang hirap nya lutuin. And bet ko ito kasi meat lang hindi rin ako nakain ng oxtail. Hehe.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe Mommy May. I’ll put this on our meal plan for this month πŸ™‚

  • Michi

    I like kare-kare too but I prefer oxtripe. I also cook this at home with the help of kare-kare mix. I don’t think I can cook this from scratch, ayoko na magpagiling pa ng peanuts. πŸ™‚

  • Berlin | Momi Berlin

    I also love kare kare. And I love the Kare kare of my mom. I would always request for twalya. Even when we dine out, I always request to include kare kare. That made the kids appreciate the viand too. Sadly, I dont know how to prepare and cook this dish.. hopefully with your recipe, I may try.

  • Abby Borja

    I love kare-kare! But I never got to try cooking it yet ever. My mom who is also s great cook, never cooks it and just orders. Makes me wondr if it’s difficult. Maybe will give it a try. πŸ™‚

  • madelyn amposta

    ang alm ko po ang hirap lutuin ng kare kare pero sa nabasa ko po andali lng po pla.. iba po tlg ang lutong pinoy..

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