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Vegan Filipino Vegetable Peanut Stew or Kare-Kare (Kare-Kareng Gulay)

Jeeca
5 from 3 votes
A rich, thick, and creamy savoury Filipino Peanut Stew with long beans, eggplant, and pechay tagalog (similar to bok choy). The word ‘kare’ is actually derived from the word curry. Kare-Kare gets is distinct orange-ish yellow colour from annatto seeds, that when soaked give off a rich reddish hue. Kare-Kare is traditionally cooked with ox tail, but there are other variants like a seafood, beef, and vegetable Kare-Kare. I grew up eating this dish and it’s something that I love to have with ‘bagoong’ or shrimp paste. It’s also a dish usually enjoyed by my family together whether there’s a special occasion or not. It’s perfect for sharing and is best enjoyed with some rice!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Filipino
Servings 6
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

Annatto Mixture (Optional, see notes)

Kare-Kare

  • 4 medium Chinese eggplants 380g, see notes for other vegetable options!
  • 400 g long beans (sitaw)
  • 350 g pechay tagalog or bok choy
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts see notes
  • 1/2 cup smooth and creamy peanut butter + 1/2 tbsp or more! (see notes)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth OR water and then add in 1 vegetable bouillion/cube
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour , 35 g
  • 2 to 3 tbsp sugar adjust according to desired sweetness
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • Additional 1/2 to 1 cup vegetable broth or water to thin out

To serve

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, place the annatto seeds, if using. Pour in the hot water and leave to soak for the seeds to release its colour. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, slice the vegetables. I sliced my long beans into 2” long pieces. For the eggplants, I sliced them diagonally into half before slicing into 2” pieces as well. For the pechay/bok choy, I simply chopped the ends off and separated the leaves.
  • Heat a large pan or wok over medium high. Add 1 tbsp oil. Sauté the eggplant until slightly tender, around 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Repeat this for the long beans and add a splash of water to half cook, as needed. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Lastly, quickly sauté the bok choy/pechay as well for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. I like to cook my vegetables down for a few minutes so they can release some of the liquid and won’t make my kare-kare too watery later on.
  • In the same plan, add in the remaining oil. Once hot, sauté the garlic and onion for 2 minutes until tender and aromatic.
  • Move the onion and garlic to the side of the pan and then add in the crushed peanuts. Lightly toast the peanuts over medium high heat for around 4 minutes, moving around every minute or so.
  • Add in the peanut butter and mix well with the crushed peanuts.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth or water with a vegetable cube. Leave to simmer over medium high heat, mixing constantly, until the peanut butter dissolves.
  • Mix in the rice flour until it dissolves as well and then leave to boil over medium high heat.
  • Leave to cook until the sauce thickens and mix every 2-3 minutes to make sure the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Strain the annatto seeds from the water/liquid and then pour in the annatto liquid into the stew. Give it a good mix.
  • Add in the sautéed vegetables. Mix well to incorporate in the sauce. Season with salt and sugar, to taste, as desired.
  • Add in more water or vegetable broth to thin out the sauce if you'd like. Season with more salt/sugar to taste if needed. Feel free to add more peanut butter, if you'd like it creamier/nuttier!
  • Once the vegetables are cooked through, turn off the heat.
  • Enjoy while hot with some steamed rice or Filipino Fried Garlic Rice and some vegan bagoon or vegan shrimp paste, if desired. You can see homemade bagoong or "shrimp" paste recipe here.

Notes

  • Annatto: the annatto here is what gives this stew a distinct yellow/orange colour. It doesn't really affect the stew in terms of flavour but of course without it the stew will be a shade of brown from the peanut butter.
    • If using annatto powder, simply dilute 1/2 to 1 tsp in some water.
 
  • Crushed Peanuts: For the peanuts, I simply roughly chopped some roasted slightly salted peanuts I had.
 
  • Peanut Butter: I used slightly salted peanut butter. I started with 1/2 cup peanut butter and added around 1/2 tbsp more! So feel free to add more if you'd like it even creamier and nuttier. You can also add more sugar if you'd like a sweetener Kare-Kare.

NUTRITIONAL INFO

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 459mg | Potassium: 1024mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 731IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg
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