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CrispyPorkkarekare-Foodwithmae (11 of 17)

Crispy Pork in Peanut Sauce

Lechon Kawali na Kare Kare

Kare Kare is usually cooked with oxtail, I wanted to jazz it’s up a little and see what other meat I can use for this dish. Lechon kawali is twice cooked pork belly, it’s first boiled then fried to crisp. It’s a mash up of two Filipino dishes.

This dish known to be a truly Filipino dish, there are many version of this dish but the most popular one is with oxtail.

Traditionally you can use crashed peanuts but for me I use whole earth smooth peanut butter (not sponsored) as I find it easier and quicker. This particular brand is great as it doesn’t have any sugar. Of course if you have a preferred brand go ahead and use that.

Annato powder or achuete is used in many Filipino dishes. I first mixed some water and annatto powder but if you’re using annato oil. Heat about 100ml cooking oil and 50g-80g annato seeds. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Bagoong na Alamang (slated tiny shrimp) is an important condiment for this dish. It really complements the dish. When I served kare kare at my residency popup in Sun and Thirteen Canton pub in Soho. Some of the diners didn’t eat their Kare kare with alamang even though they were advised by my waiter, they later on commented that there isn’t enough flavours to the dish. Although the dish has some salt in it the salted shrimp gives it some depth in flavours.

CrispyPorkkarekare-Foodwithmae (11 of 17)


800g pork belly
1 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
50g peanuts, crushed
5 tablespoons peanut butter, smooth no sugar
7g annato powder or 4 tablespoon annato oil
2 aubergine, cubed & fried
120g green beans, tailed & halved
900ml water
100ml water
3 tablespoon shrimp paste, ready sauteed
180g mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
Oil for deep frying


In a large pot, boil some water and add cook the pork belly for 40 minutes. Take it out of the boiling water, drain and leave it on the side for later.
For the peanut sauce, mix annato/aschuete powder with 100ml water, mix it all together until it incorporates with the water and set it aside for later. Skip this step if you are using annato oil and go to the next step.
Add some oil (or annato/aschuete oil) into a pot and saute your onions until it turns translucent. Add garlic, cook for a minute and then add some water into the pot. Bring it to boil on high heat, once boiled turn it down to medium heat, add your annato powder & water mixture and add peanut butter. Mix them all until the peanut butter is melted, turn the heat to low. Add salt and ground pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Steam your green beans, mushrooms and pak choi until cooked and set aside for later.
Taste your peanut sauce, add more salt if required but don’t forget that you will have some salted shrimp paste to complement the finish dish later. Turn the heat off your peanut sauce.
In a large pot or if you have a deep fryer, add some oil and heat it before frying the pork. When frying be careful as it may spit! Cook the pork until crispy and golden. Set side until all the pork is deep fried.
When serving, add some peanut sauce in a bowl, carefully add some pak choi, fried aubergine, mushrooms, green beans and crispy pork on top. Garnish with crushed peanut and add a teaspoon of shrimp paste on the side.

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