Update Your Lola’s Kare-Kare Recipe with Crispy Liempo

We reinvent the classic Filipino stew as a quick and easy alternative for those nights you wished mom had the time to cook you up a heart-warming stew. We can’t deny that the distinct nuttiness and tender oxtail that comes with the dish holds a special place in our hearts. Any promise of digging into this stew over steaming rice renders us giddy with excitement, reminding us of our childhood and mom’s cooking. As it is with any dish, there is always a question of how it can be made better, or differently. The marriage of kare-kare and crisp liempo, two of the most nostalgic comfort foods in the Philippines, answers how the classic rich dish can be enhanced.

The textural variety lent by the crisp pork does what braised oxtail or pork knuckles couldn’t, it tempers the smooth rich peanut sauce with a crunch. While the traditional preparation of the dish pulls on our heartstrings, this new creative take mimics the flavors of our childhood without the extensive cooking time.


Crispy Liempo with Kare-Kare Sauce

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 35 minutes ( 20 min prep / 15 min cooking )

Ingredients: Crispy Liempo

  • 500g pork belly, sliced into cubes
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 tbsp meat seasoning
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • oil, for frying

Ingredients: Nut Sauce

  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp warm water



  1. Season the pork belly pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine flour, seasoning, onion powder, and paprika in a large plastic zip lock bag. Add the seasoned pork into the bag and shake to mix the ingredients.
  3. Let the pork marinate for 15 minutes. While marinating, heat up your oil for frying.
  4. In another pan, add all the ingredients for the nut sauce and cook for five minutes. Set aside.
  5. After the 15 minute marination, shake off the excess flour mixture off the pork and gently drop ribs into the hot oil. Cook for 10–15 minutes turning the ribs halfway through the cooking process. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Serve immediately with the nut sauce.


This article was written by Pepper.ph interns, Ally Ybañez and Angela Ozaeta


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