Instant pot kare kare! Kare Kare is cooked in the Instant Pot; the peanut sauce is creamy, and the oxtail is tender and paired with shrimp paste. Your favorite Filipino dish has never been so easy.
If you want to know how to make Kare-Kare in the Slow Cooker, check my Slow Cooked Kare-Kare From Scratch post.
Instant Pot Kare Kare
It has been two years since I had Kare Kare. It’s not like I don’t miss it, the oxtail just got expensive in our local stores, and the butcher shop where I can buy it cheaply was closed temporarily due to Covid. I was sad but moved on until the butcher guy called that they had available oxtail, twenty lbs, to be exact, and they are back open for business! What can I say? I felt special getting that call, so I bought the whole twenty-pound oxtail, and it is now sitting inside my freezer.
So I took a quarter of it and cooked this Instant Pot Kare Kare in half the time. I love my Instant Pot Duo Crisp; it makes meals quickly.
What is Kare Kare?
Kare Kare(Kuh re-Kuh re) is one of those Filipino dishes with stew flair. The peanut sauce consists of crushed peanuts or creamy peanut butter. Annatto oil, and annatto powder brings out the yellow or orange color.
The origin of Kare Kare is not definite, but hearsays say it originated from Pampanga, where people are more adventurous and creative in the kitchen. There must be some truth because before I was married to my spouse, a Kapampangan, I hadn’t tried Kare Kare before. When he cooked it for the first time, I remember that Kare Kare has taken its hold, so I have been cooking it since then.
Most Filipino dishes are always rich and often unique in flavor. There has to be a distinguishable taste to carry the flavor, and in this meal, shrimp paste and fish sauce make it special. This Kare Kare is the ultimate comfort food, with savory peanut sauce consisting of oxtail broth. The creamy peanut butter makes the oxtail broth creamy and flavorful, and the peanut butter flavor is tangible, with a hint of saltiness from the fish sauce.
There are several versions of cooking Kare Kare. You can use beef, meat, seafood, and completely vegan.
Cooking Kare Kare takes a long time through traditional cooking- stovetop, but cooking is half the time with the instant pot.
How I cook Instant PotKare Kare (my version)
Before I had the Instant Pot, I cooked the oxtail meat in the slow cooker and on the stovetop. Now that I have an Instant pot, I cook it at work and cook the peanut sauce in a separate pan. Cooking Kare Kare has been easy since I got this.
- Instant Pot duo crisp
Instant Pot Kare Kare Ingredients:
- Oxtail: oxtail is a very fatty meat, and I remove the fat before I pressure cook it; when I am done cooking it in the pressure cooker, I let it cool overnight and skim off the fat. You will have an ample amount of the oxtail broth to use for the savor peanut sauce.
- Water – it is added to the oxtail to make the oxtail broth.
- Thick savory Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
- Creamy peanut butter – I prefer using creamy peanut and adding more until the sauce thickens
- Fish sauce- I like to use the Rufina Patis, but you can also use other bottled fish sauces sold in the Asian store.
Shrimp paste: Shrimp paste gives Kare Kare its flavor; this is a must. When you serve Kare Kare, shrimp paste should be present.
Vegetables: I cook the vegetables when I serve the Kare Kare piping hot and add them as garnish.
I boil or steam the veggies. You can add whatever veggies are available to you, and I mostly use eggplant, string beans, Bok boy, baby bok choy, and Long beans, green beans. Banana Heart or banana blossoms are not readily available, so that you can skip them.
Cooking oil: Annato powder and annatto oil is suggested, but it is ideal for adding an orangey color to the peanut sauce. You can, however, use regular cooking oil to saute’ the onion and garlic without sacrificing the taste. The creamy peanut butter will add yellow color to the peanut sauce.
Ground rice: the idea of ground rice is to add creaminess to the peanut sauce, which I think is optional. Peanut butter can do this, so it’s up to you if you want to do this process.
How to Store Kare Kare?
You can make a massive batch of Kare Kare and store it in the freezer. Never let Kare Kare sit at room temperature as it is quickly stale. You can refrigerate Kare Kare for three days.
Pre-cook the oxtail:
- Place the oxtail in the inner pot and add four cups of water.
- Press the pressure cooker button and press the temperature to HI.
- Set the time at thirty-five minutes. The instant pot will build pressure, and the float valve will release the cooking time in thirty-five minutes.
- Press the steam release button and open the lid when ready.
I often let the pot rest in the fridge overnight so that the fat will float on top, and I can quickly skim it.
Cooking the savory peanut sauce:
Cooking the peanut sauce is very simple, and you can use the Instant Pot inner pot to do it or cook the peanut sauce in a separate pan.
Cooking the sauce in the instant pot inner pot:
- Remove the meat and the oxtail broth from the inner pot.
- Rinse the pot and put it back into the air fryer base.
- Push the saute’ function and add in the oil. Saute the annatto seeds until it releases their color. Remove the seeds using a slotted spoon and saute’ the onion and garlic. Add the annatto powder and put the oxtail and the broth.
- Add the peanut butter and gently mix. Add more peanut butter to make the peanut butter sauce creamy—season with fish sauce.
Cooking the vegetables:
- I cook the vegetables when the Kare Kare is ready to serve and ensure that the veggies remain crisp, so I boil the firmer vegetables first and then blanch the bok choy.
How do you Make Homemade Annatto Oil?
- Toast two tablespoons of annatto seed and add in 1/4 cup of cooking oil. Cook in low heat until the oil changes its color. Turn off the heat and use a slotted spoon to the remove seed from the pan. Store annatto oil in a sealed container until the next use.
- Place the Kare Kare in the serving bowl and eat Kare Kare with shrimp paste ( bagoong alamang). I slice a small amount of the oxtail, dab it with the shrimp paste, and this is how this famous Filipino dish is distinguished—and of course drizzle the peanut sauce in the white rice dabbed with shrimp paste.
There are several varieties of this dish.
- Beef Kare Kare uses the same procedure, but it uses Beef meat instead. Pressure cooker time is lesser compared to oxtail.
- Seafood Kare Kare- you don’t have to use a pressure cooker to make seafood Kare Kare as it easily cooks quickly.
More Savory Filipino food
Instant Pot Kare Kare
- 1 Instant Pot Air Fryer Duo
- 2 lbs oxtail
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon annatto seeds
- 2 tablespoons annatto oil or cooking oil
- 1/2 cup onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce add more or less of the fish sauce
- 5 pieces bok choy leaves
- 1 large egg plant
- string beans and banana heart
Pre-cook the oxtail
- Place the oxtail in the inner pot and add four cups of water. Press the pressure cooker button and press the temperature to HI. Set the time at thirty-five minutes (please see note). The instant pot will build pressure, and the float valve will release the cooking time in thirty-five minutes. Press the steam release button and open the lid when ready.
Cooking the savory peanut sauce
- Remove the meat and the oxtail broth from the inner pot and transfer them to a separate container. Place the container in the fridge overnight, and when ready, skim off the fat. Remove two cups of the oxtail broth to use and freeze the remaining broth for the next use.
- Put the inner pot in the Instant Pot base and push the saute’ function.
- Place two tablespoons of cooking oil in the pot. Add in and saute’ the annatto seeds until it releases their color. Remove the seeds using a slotted spoon and saute’ the onion and garlic. Add the annatto powder and add the oxtail and two cups of the broth. You can add more oxtail broth if you want a thinner sauce.
- Add the peanut butter and gently mix. Add the fish sauce. Add more peanut butter to make the peanut butter sauce creamy. Season according to your liking
Cooking the vegetables
- I cook the vegetables when the Kare Kare is ready to serve, and I make sure that the veggies maintain their crispness, so I boil the firmer vegetables first, then I simply blanch the bok choy.Place water and ice in a large bowl.Place two cups of water in a medium-sized pan. Let the water boil on medium-high heat, and add the eggplant, green beans, and string beans. Let them wilt and remove them from the pot, submerge them in the iced water. and Drain the excess water. Add the bok choy leaves and let them wilt in boiling water. Remove from the pot and submerge in the iced water. Drain excess water.Garnish veggies on top of the Kare Kare.
- Freeze the leftover oxtail broth and save it for the next use. If you want a thin sauce, use the whole broth.
- I like my oxtail meat a bit harder, so I set it for thirty-five minutes. If you want it tender, set timer for forty-five to fifty minutes.
How do you Make Homemade Annatto Oil?
- Toast two tablespoons of annatto seed and add in 1/4 cup of cooking oil. Cook in low heat until the oil changes its color. Turn off heat and use a slotted spoon the remove seed from the pan. Store annatto oil in a sealed container until next use.