Kare-Kare is a very famous Filipino dish but unlike adobo and pinakbet, it is not a regularly served dish in Filipino homes but rather, it’s typically ordered at Filipino restaurants or serve only during parties and special occasions. You can, however, cook it as often as you crave it by following our Kare-Kare Instant Pot Recipe. We used simple ingredients, cut down the cooking time, and simplified the process so you can serve our easy Kare-Kare recipe in no time.
Ingredients for Kare-Kare
Kare-Kare is a Philippine stew made of a thick savory peanut sauce. It can be made from a variation base of stewed oxtail, pork hocks, calves feet, pig feet, beef stew meat, and occasionally offal or tripe and complimented with a mix of vegetables and often eaten with a side of sauteed bagoong alamang. At Filipino restaurants, you can order either a Beef Kare-Kare or Seafood Kare-Kare and both will include vegetables.
For this Instant Pot Kare-Kare recipe, I only used oxtail as its base. If you want more meat, especially since oxtail can be quite expensive, I recommend adding more beef cubes to the Kare-Kare. In essence, the oxtail will be your base to create the broth, while adding more beef will give you more yield especially if you’re cooking the Kare-Kare as a potluck dish or serving it at a party.
Typically, the Kare-Kare peanut stew is flavored with ground roasted peanuts or peanut butter, onions, and garlic. It is colored with annatto and can be thickened with toasted or plain ground rice. To simplify this recipe, I used a Mama Sita Kare-Kare peanut sauce mix instead and added it to the oxtail broth and blended it with peanut butter.
Buy these Kare-Kare ingredients:
- Oxtail – $8.99/lb at Seafood City supermarket, I’ve also bought it at Walmart before (half-off)
- Eggplant – 1 long one, not the Japanese eggplant
- Sitaw (Long-String Bean) – can be bought pre-cut/pre-package
- Bokchoy – make sure to wash thoroughly
- Mama Sita Kare-Kare Peanut Sauce Mix
- Peanut Butter (my fave is Skippy Peanut Butter with Honey)
- Bagoong Alamang (condiment, not to be added during cooking) – can be regular, sweet, or spicy
Instant Pot Kare-Kare
Cooking the-Kare Kare in an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker is a 3 part process – tenderizing the meat, blanching the vegetables, and making the Kare-Kare sauce. We first start by tenderizing the oxtail for 35 minutes in the Instant Pot and while that is pressure cooking, you can cut and prepare your vegetables.
After the oxtail has tenderized, you can steam the vegetables in the Instant Pot by cooking it in the oxtail broth. You will then transfer the broth to a saucepan to finish your Kare-Kare sauce.
You can also make the Kare-Kare sauce (reduce to right consistency) in the Instant Pot by pressing SAUTE but since I would still be washing the Instant Pot due to the leftover fat particles from the oxtail broth, I decided to just use another pan to finish the sauce.
I know you’re wondering whether you can just put all the Kare-Kare ingredients in the Instant Pot and cook it all in one time but unfortunately, you will overcook your vegetables and sauce. Cooking Kare-Kare is fairly easy though even if it is a multi-step process and when using the Instant Pot to cook Kare-Kare, you can tenderize your meat in 35 minutes versus 3 hours in a traditional stovetop.
Kare Kare Instant Pot Recipe
- 2 pounds oxtail
- 4 cups of water (3.5 cup of the broth will be used to make the sauce after pressure cooking the oxtail)
- 1 eggplant
- 3 bok choy
- 1 bundle of sitaw (long string bean)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy)
- 1 pack Mama Sita’s Kare-Kare Peanut Sauce Mix
- Bagoong Alamang as side condiment
- Pour 4 cups of water unto the Instant Pot.
- Add oxtail, close the Instant Pot, seal the steam vent, then set to SOUP for 35 minutes.
- Prepare the vegetables: Wash then cut the eggplant diagonally into 1/2" thick pieces. Cut & discard the bottom part of the bokchoy, separate the stalks then wash them thoroughly. Cut the long string beans to approximately 3" long then wash. Set aside.
- Once the oxtail is cooked, do a quick release to let the Instant Pot steam. Open and set the oxtail pieces in a big serving bowl. Set aside.
- To steam the vegetables - Skim fat particles from the oxtail broth and add the vegetables unto the Instant Pot starting with the long string bean, the eggplant, then the bokchoy on top. Seal then set to Instant Pot to STEAM for 2-3 minutes. Once steamed, do a quick release, add the vegetables to the oxtail pieces you've set aside in your serving bowl.
- To make the Kare-Kare sauce - using a strainer (to skim fat particles), transfer 3.5 cups of the oxtail broth from the Instant Pot into a saucepan. Add the pack of Mama Sita Kare-Kare Peanut Sauce Powder Mix to the broth and blend well before adding the peanut butter.
- Add 1/2 cup of peanut butter unto the sauce mix and mix thoroughly. Then turn on the stove to low to medium heat and reduce the sauce to preferred consistency. Lower the heat if it's bubbling and you haven't achieved the right Kare-Kare sauce consistency you want yet. Once done, pour the Kare-Kare sauce over the oxtail and vegetables.
Other Filipino Instant Pot Recipes:
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Don’t forget to cook lots of steam rice and buy a big jar of bagoong alamang to go with you Kare-Kare!
For other Filipino Instant Pot Recipes, you can try our famous Arroz Caldo Instant Pot Recipe and Chicken Adobo Instant Pot Recipe, both are easy to make and unlike cooking Kare-Kare in steps, they are one-pot meals where you can put all the ingredients to cook together. If you’re looking for a Filipino vegetable dish, try our Pinakbet Instant Pot Recipe.