Kare-Kare is a rich stew with a thick, savory peanut sauce. Traditionally, a Filipinx fiesta is not complete without this delicious dish, but this veganized version is simplified enough to be an everyday dinner.
Recipe by: RG Enriquez of Astig Vegan
Photos by: Zack Marker/@stuffontoast
- 1–2 banana blossom buds + water and juice of one lemon for soaking
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed, and minced
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- few pinches sea salt
- 8 cups of water
- 2 eggplants, cut into one-inch slices
- 2 cups vegetable broth or more to taste
- 4½ tablespoons achuete or annatto powder, mixed and fully dissolved in 2 cups water
- 1 cup peanuts, toasted and blended with ¾ cup of water until smooth and creamy
- ½ cup white rice, toasted and ground to a powder, mixed in ¾ cup water (make sure there are no lumps in the mixture by adding more water if necessary)
- 1 small bunch long beans, cut to 2-inch slices, ends removed
- 2 pieces dried snow fungus, soaked in warm water for 1-3 minutes, base removed, cut into big chunks
- 1 bundle baby bok choy, bottom stalk cut off, thoroughly washed
- 2 tablespoons black bean sauce mixed in 2 tablespoons nori seaweed flakes/powder (as a condiment; optional)
Peel outer layers of banana blossom until you reach the pale yellow, tender bud. Discard outer layers and yellow pistils. Have a large bowl of salt or lemon water nearby. Oil your knife and cutting board to prevent sap from sticking. Cut off the stem and slice bud in half lengthwise. Cut in chunks and immediately submerge the banana blossom in salt/lemon water. Dismantle layers and soak for at least 15 minutes. Discard soaking water and do a final rinse.
In a large pot, sauté garlic with oil until fragrant. Follow with onions. Add few pinches of sea salt and sauté until onions have turned soft and translucent.
Add banana blossom, eggplant, water, vegetable broth, and achuete mixture. Mix and cover pot. Simmer until eggplant and banana blossom are tender.
Add peanut butter. Simultaneously pour rice mixture while mixing pot with a ladle. Keep mixing until sauce gets smooth and creamy. Simmer for 10 minutes. If sauce gets too thick, add more water one cup at a time until consistency is creamy.
Adjust seasoning by adding more vegetable broth or peanut butter to taste.
Add long beans, snow fungus, and baby bok choy. Bring to a boil and turn off heat.
Serve hot preferably with rice and black bean sauce on the side.
If you have trouble finding some of the ingredients in this recipe, the following are the most acceptable substitutes:
Banana Blossom – substitute canned, which is ready to use
Peanuts – regular peanut butter
White Rice – toasted rice flour
Dried Snow Fungus – 3 tablespoons textured soy protein