How To Cook The Best Kare-Kareng Pata ng Baboy The Crispy Recipe

When was the last time you attempted to learn how to prepare the Best Kare-Kareng Pata ng Baboy (Pork Leg Stew)? We guess you can’t even recall because, by the looks of the recipe, you won’t even dare to try. So to help you gain confidence, let us explore this lovely stew recipe. 

Many Filipinos crave Pig’s Hock Kare Kare stew because of the heavenly sauce, which complements the meat and the veggies mixed with it. But mostly, they only have the chance to enjoy this stew when someone makes it for them. That’s why it’s difficult to resist when someone invites you to a feast and is serving Kare-Kare stew. 

But gladly, with this recipe, you can learn many things you need to know about Pig’s Hock Kare Kare. Specifically, you will find out how it began, how to make it, and what other ingredients you can mix with it. Thus, you don’t have to wait for occasions to come with the hope of trying this fantastic Filipino cuisine. 

What Is Best Kare-Kareng Pata Ng Baboy About?

There are several versions of stories that tried to establish the origin of Kare Kare. These versions are from the Kapampangans (native people of Pampanga), Indians, and the Moro Elites. Each of which is equally interesting to know, for there are parts of our profound history. 
Primarily, there was a strong consensus that Kare Kare originated in the Culinary Capital of the Philippines, the province of Pampanga. Many believed that the Kapampangan ancestors had just revolutionized the Kari dish, a mudfish stew simmered with ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, key lime peel safflower. The Moro of Indonesian descent has invented this menu.  

kare-kare pata ng baboy in a bowl
(Photo Credits to: orange magazine)

Through these culinary masterpieces, the Kapampangan people have become famous for their cooking passion as a reputation. Hence, Kare Kare was a product of such a passionate attitude for cooking their hearts’ content. 

Secondly, some people believe that the Moro Elite has influenced our ancestors in concocting this dish. According to this version, Kare Kare was a kingly dish that served to the Arab Merchants who settled in the country when they established their kingdom and religion. This event dates back around the 13th – 14th century or around 200 years before the Spanish have occupied the land.

Thirdly, some folktales suggested that the Indians (also known as Sepoys) have influenced us because Kare Kare resembles their local food curry. During the short British Occupation in 1762-1764, the influence occurred where they deserted 500 Indian soldiers to remain in the country after they withdrew. Thus, etymologically, the term “kare kare” was a word repetition of the Malay word “curry,” which connotes “something like curry.” 

Presently, Pig’s Hock Kare Kare is one of the favorite Filipino recipes. It features a pork leg stew, simmered with vegetables, and an annatto-colored sauce flavored by crushed peanuts, rice, and other flavorful ingredients.  

Indeed, each origin account dwells on interesting and trivial information worth noting. Nevertheless, this fact alone tells how colorful this menu has begun and the valuable contribution it had to the food and culinary field in the Philippines.

What Are Kare Kareng Baboy Recipes Made Of

As previously mentioned, Pig’s Hock Kare Kare menu plates with meat, peanut sauce, and veggies. So this part features different ingredients and its use.

Pork leg – we choose the pig’s hock or pork leg as the main ingredient. The meaty and fatty taste of the pig’s hock contributes well to your recipe. Plus, it is a source of protein and carbohydrates. And practically, it is cheaper than beef, oxtail, or other meats. 

Eggplant – this vegetable is an amazing flavor balancer with meat. Likewise, it is a source of vitamins and minerals, which also helps our body from bad to proper digestion. Furthermore, it improves heart health, prevents cancer, improves bone health, prevents anemia, and increases our brain functions.

Native Bok Choy – more than the crunchiness, this leafy veggie adds more color to the plain reddish to orange like sauce. As appealing to the eyes, it’s also suitable for our health because of the Vitamin C content, which improves the immune system and prevents inflammations. Bok Choy also helps in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 

String beans – this veggie is also known as a sitaw in Filipino. String beans are crunchy, which complements well with meat and other vegetables. Similarly, it carries Vitamin C, K, dietary fibers, folate, and silicon, making our skin, hair, and bones healthy. Plus, it is a low-calorie food which does not add so much weight to our body. 

Banana Blossomlocally known as puso ng saging (banana heart) due to its shape, its sweetness suits the sauce of Kare Kare, making it more intricate. More so, this heart-shaped-bud is essential to the body. It promotes heart health, reduces hypertension, prevents anemia, kidney failure, ulcer, and diabetes; it is also a reliever for constipation.

What Is The Sauce Of Kare Kare Recipe Made Of?

The balanced taste of your sauce will determine if you are a fantastic master of Pig’s hock Kare Kare. It is vital to have the proper amount of ingredients to achieve the sauce’s excellent taste and texture. Hence, if you want a better feeling of the pig’s hock version, practice well how to make its sauce.

sauteed peanuts

Crushed Peanuts – are the essential components of the sauce, especially if you are preparing the natural way with no preservatives. Peanuts are rich in protein, so it’s good to have a strong flavor for our lovely menu. 

Crushed rice – traditionally, you can use crushed rice to thicken your sauce. ve 

Coconut Cream – to enrich the sauce and make it fuller, use coconut cream. This is thicker than coconut milk due to more fat content. 

Annatto – this powder-like ingredient is responsible for the red-orange color of our featured sauce. As Filipino, we often call it “achiote.” Annatto or achiote are extracted from annatto seeds in oil or water and thicken with toasted or plain ground rice. Another flavoring may be added quite enough by these. 

Shrimp Paste – this ingredient makes your sauce overwhelm with a salty and fishy aftertaste, which blends well with other elements’ sweetness.

Condiments – salt, black pepper, and vinegar is an excellent mix with creamy, sweet, and fishy taste of the sauce.

Ways to Cook Pig’s Hock Kare Kare

Classic Style Pig’s Hock Kare Kare

The basics of executing this menu are through the Classic Style Pig’s Hock Kare Kare. In this method, prepare well and organize all the ingredients from the main casts to the coloring liquid (annatto oil extracted from boiled annatto seeds). Each of which must be in their appropriate amount, volume, shapes, and sizes. 

Like other classic dishes, this begins with sauteing and gradually succession of meat, banana blossoms, the sauce made of crushed peanuts and rice, and veggies. Don’t forget to include the combination of shrimp paste, vinegar, and sugar to cap the preparation. This classic style preserves the trademark taste of a Kare Kare dish. 

Instant Pot Pig’s Hock Kare Kare

If you’re in a hurry, instant pot preparation can deliver your Pig’s Hock Kare Kare. Make sure that all the ingredients are already well-prepared, the same as the classic style. However, instead of the gradual succession of putting the parts, you can put them all at once. 

Make sure that you fill in all the spaces so that each part of the meat and other ingredients is well-done—the high-temperature release in this pressure-cooker like pot aids in preparing your favorite food fast and fast well. 

Slow Cooker/ Crockpot Pig’s Hock Kare Kare

When you want to recreate the classic version but afraid that your sauteing skills might fail you, push for a slow cooker or crockpot Pig’s Hock Kare Kare. All you need to do is prepare the same ingredients according to its right slices and measurements before putting all of them inside the crockpot. 

This method is similar to the instant pot; instead of high temperature and pressure, it’s consistently low from the beginning until the end. It would take more or less 4-5 hours before you complete the process. In this style, expect chewy soft meat that can just melt in your mouth. 

Pig’s Hock Kare Kare sa Palayok

If you want to reminisce, you can go old school using earthenwares (Palayok) above burning firewood or coal as heat. Pig’s Hock Kare Kare is similar to the classic style but not using the automatic gas and stove.  

Using this style of preparation makes you enjoy a hot meal longer without exposing yourself to fire longer. It finishes faster than using gas and a stove because the earthenware’s property makes heat stay longer than metal.  

Variations Of Pig’s Hock Kare Kare

Pig’s Hock (PorkLeg) Kare Kare dish is a variant in itself. But don’t be shocked if this too has other versions as well. Believe it or not, you might dare to try some of these.

Cooking Beef Kare Kare with Vegetable Recipes

kare-kare baka

Based on the origin accounts, the original kare-kare dish is also known as the Kapampangan style, which often uses oxtail as meat. It is ok if you still prefer the pork leg to beef and retain the other menu parts. Once you’ve tasted it, you won’t doubt that it came from Pampanga. 

Aside from the usual ingredients, the key factors are coconut milk and Mexican-style peanut butter that makes this special. More than that, this version uses earthenware to prepare this. Therefore, it is an old school yet superior version of any kare kare menu.  

Crispy Pata Kare Kare Recipes

crispy pata kare kare

The traditional Pig’s Hock (Pork Leg) Kare Kare is superb in itself. But Crunchy Pork Pata Kare Kare is even more revolutionary. It’s like rolling two classic dishes in one.

To prepare this version, you will marinate your pork leg and have it deep-fried as if it were an authentic crispy pata recipe. Then you assembly the Kare Kare sauce and veggies separately. You will pour the finished sauce with vegetables on your chopped, crispy pata placed on a full platter to complete this. 

Lechon Pata Kare-Kare 

lechon kare kare

When you’re on the drive for a “cholesterol rush,” Lechon Pata (Pork Leg) Kare kare is the prime contender. It is similar to Crispy Pata Kare Kare, wherein you marinate the pork leg before assembly, and you separately make the sauce and veggies. But, instead of deep-fry, you roast the pork leg to make it a Lechon

Likewise, you pour the finished sauce and veggies over a chopped roasted pork leg. Can you imagine the burst of greasiness blending in the sweet and yummy sauce? Indeed, it is a fantastic variant of Pig’s Hock Kare Kare.  

Pig’s Hock Kare Kare with Squash

kare kare with squash

This version is just like the classic Pig’s Hock Kare Kare, but with the addition of mashed-squash. The inclusion of squash can make your sauce extra thicker without adding too much corn starch. Plus, Vitamin A content, which is excellent in maintaining good eyesight, loads up this vegetable. 

Bagnet Version

Are you craving something even crispier? Then this version is perfect for you. The process of preparing this dish is the same as other variants. Just cook the bagnet and the veggies separately. To make the meat even crispier, cut the meat into thin slices to ensure that it will be crisper. 

Oxtail and Tripe Version 

In this version, you are going to use oxtail and tripe as the main meat. Everybody says that this version is the crowning glory of all versions of recipes like this. True enough because this version has a very distinct taste coming from the oxtail and the tripe. Aside from the sauce’s sweet, nutty flavor, the oxtail’s amazing taste, and the tripe match everything with the menu. With proper preparation techniques, you will nail the oxtail’s right texture and the tripe. If not prepared properly, it will be chewy. 

But before doing this variant yourself, we would like to give you a simple tip on using a tripe in your dishes. You must clean the tripe to perfection to avoid any unnecessary smell on your dish. To do that, first, you need to rinse it several times before blanching. Store-bought tripe is often bleached to make it appealing to buyers. So make sure to clean it thoroughly to remove too much chlorine. 

You can also parboil the tripe. Rinse it first, then boil it for ten minutes with salt. After that, cleanse again with cold water. 

Troubleshooting the Crispy Recipes

A regal menu such as Pig’s Hock Kare Kare is prone to mistakes and mishaps, especially in the sauce. For this reason, we prepared some strategies to take note of, so you won’t find yourself off-guarded. Below is a list of essential easy-fixes.

  • For the too light sauce, you can add mashed squash or add more cornstarch to thicken.
  • If it’s too thick, you can add water to loosen and add shrimp paste, salt, vinegar, black pepper, and sugar to maintain the flavor.
  • If the sauce becomes too salty, you can add coconut milk and sugar as a neutralizer.
  • If the sauce becomes tasteless, add more peanut butter (unsalted), coconut cream, shrimp paste, vinegar, salt, sugar, and black pepper to combine and complement the taste. 


Did you know that the birth of Kare Kare has paved the way for the emergence and spreading of local eateries called “carinderia?” 

Upon successful concoction and spread of Kari in Pampanga, which is closely alike with the Indian curry, some Kapampangan began to establish places that serve Kari. The people referred to those places as “kariyan.”

When more Kapampangans transferred to Manila, they brought this business venture with them, especially for their homesick customers. However, river travelers, referred to as taga-ilog (Tagalog at present), imitated such Kari enterprise and called it “karihan.” But they replaced some missing ingredients such as achiote seeds for yellow safflower.

As a result, the Tagalogs have reinvented the Kari and deleted its Kapampangan essence. Then, the Kapampangans made fun of it and called it “Kari-Kari,” which implies Kari’s inferior remake. Eventually, the name has changed into “kare kare.”

This note debunks the idea that the Kapampangans are the originators of the present Kare Kare dish. The use of achiote or annatto seeds to produce the reddish appearance strongly supports such a premise. Nevertheless, whether it is kariyan or karihan when the Spanish came, it became “carinderia.”       


An excellent mixture of everything is essential to pull off the Pig’s Hock Kare Kare Dish exquisitely. So here are some valuable tips to ensure your success.

  • Use only freshly ground peanuts to blend well in your toasted rice and the salty shrimp paste. This combination will bring out the flavor of your thickened sauce. 
  • You can use glutinous rice to grind instead of the usual grain rice. This rice variant is sticky and thick when finished, which can thicken the sauce naturally. 
  • Boil your newly-bought pork leg for 7 minutes and drain it before completing the process. This process will remove unwanted small and wash-off excess fats. Then, boil it again to soften the meat and make it more pleasing to eat. 
  • Blanch the vegetable ingredients of our Pig’s Hock Kare Kare and mix in the sauce. Blanching is vital if you want more crunchiness with your veggies and be firm and not look melted. 
  • To prolong the shelf life of your Kare-Kareng Pata ng Baboy, let it cool down without cover before storing it inside the fridge. It will take 4-5 days before it spoils. 

Best Served With

Happiness is not complete when you don’t eat Kare-Kareng Pata together with other food partners. So, why not try the suggestions below. 

sinigang soup in a bowl
  1. Shrimp Paste – locally known as bagoong, many people believe that Pig’s Hock Kare Kare is incomplete without it. This partner acts as a dipping sauce, which perfectly complements the sauce.

Before you indulge in this salty, delicious side dish, you must first know all the differences between each version of special bagoong. Even though it is called the same thing, it is made differently depending on the region you are going to. 

One of the versions is made of anchovies or dilis and Round scads or galunggong. This version of bagoong is famous in the city of Balayan in Batangas, Philippines. Also, this bagoong version has a strong salty taste and intense aroma. A little drop goes a long way to every meal you will pair it up with. Aside from that, this bagoong is very silky and runny in texture.

Another version would be the one from Bonnetmouths or terong. This version is widely known in the Northern Ilocos Region of the Philippines. The texture is coarser than any other version. Once you meet this version, you will recognize it because of some salt and fermented fish particles. 

Some other versions include the use of ponyfish (sapsap), rabbitfish (padas), bar-eyed gobies (ipon), herrings (Lila), silver perch (ayungan), and the famous one would be krills (alamang).

Bagoong alamang has a pink color once cooked or sometimes with a brownish color. It is sometimes served salty and dry or with a sweet and spicy taste. This version is popular as a dip for green mangoes and other sour fruits like guava or bland-tasting fruit like turnips. 

  1. Chili sauce – no one can stop you from adding spice with your kare kare as it brings the sauce’s stronger taste. Since menus like this are creamy but on the bland side, you will need a spicy side if you have a penchant for a hot spicy kick in your dish. 
  1. Warm rice – an amazing dish like this deserves to be a partner with a ton of rice.m Also, it would be best to serve it with fried rice. There are lots of fried rice versions that you can serve with dishes like this. 
  1. Sinigang Soup – zipping sour broth soothes in the stomach while eating a heavy meal such as Kare-Kare. 
  2. Juice – cold drinks such as these can satisfy your thirst while laboring a feast with Kare-Kare. 
  3. Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes or Puto – this regard, puto is the best of them all. The soft texture of the puto is perfect as a side to dishes like this. Also, the slightly sweet delicacy can be dipped in the sauce of dishes like this. We know this is kind of rare as a pair, but we know that this will excite your taste buds once it is served at your tables. 
  4.  Bibingka or Filipino Baked Rice Cake – if you are craving something like a cake to pair dishes like this with, Bibingka is the right one. Since this rice cake is made very special, the char of slightly smoked and burnt flavor on the upper part of the cake will give an interesting taste to the sauce. You can use the sauce as a dip for the bibingka. Also, the bibingka can serve as an alternative to rice if you don’t have any. 


Despite the controversial origin, the Pig’s Hock Kare Kare has earned its status as an elite. It deserves to be in a conversation about kingly dishes. But it is not enough to scare you away from preparing this. 

With the information and insights we have prepared for you, we firmly believe you can do it. The way it is prepared, the various exciting versions and excellent strategies are enough to say that this menu is challenging but doable. There’s no other way of knowing if you can but by making a big step in learning how to make the Pig’s Hock Kare Kare.

For more delicious recipes, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

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5 from 1 vote

Best Kare Kare (Pata ng Baboy) Recipe

This sweet nutty delish will surely be the star of any occasion. We are proudly presenting all dining tables' glory, and we would like to share with you how you can easily recreate this dish.  Enjoy. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Pork Recipes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 490kcal
Cost $5-$20


  • 1 pc Pork Leg small size, chopped
  • 1 pc Banana Blossom sliced
  • 6 pcs Bok Choy or Pechay
  • 1 tbsp Annatto
  • 2 pcs Tomatoes sliced
  • 2 pcs Onion medium size, sliced
  • 8 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Salt to taste
  • 4 pcs Okra (Lady's finger)
  • 1 lb Cabbage
  • 1/2 cup Bagoong or Shrimp Paste
  • 1/4 cup Cooking Oil
  • 1 cup Coconut Cream
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup Crushed Peanuts
  • 1 tbsp Crushed Rice
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vinegar


  • In a pot or casserole, sauté half of the garlic and onions. Then, add the pork leg and cook it well.
  • Add the salt, black pepper, annatto oil, and water. Cook until it boils. Then lower the heat and cook for another 30 minutes.
    Note: Check the pork leg if it's getting tender.
  • Add the banana blossom and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Put the crushed peanuts and rice, then add the coconut cream. Bring to boil.
  • Then, add the lady's finger and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the pechay and cabbage. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in another pan. Sauté the remaining garlic and onion then add the tomatoes. Wait until the tomatoes are all cooked.
  • Add the shrimp paste and vinegar. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. Then, put the sugar.
  • Transfer the kare-kare in a bowl. Ready to serve!
  • Eat with bagoong.


Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 178mg | Sodium: 2363mg | Potassium: 305mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 178IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 2mg
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