Give Your Pares an Upgrade by Using Short Ribs and Quinoa

April 2, 2020

Nobody is quite sure when and where pares originated from, but a lot of people can agree it’s one of the most popular Filipino street meals around. This recipe essentially draws inspiration from the well known—not to mention, affordable—beef dish, paired (hence the name) with a bowl of broth and a serving of fried rice or noodles.


We decided to make our own version of pares, but instead of the more common brisket, shank, or chuck cut, we went with short ribs. Each chunk of meltingly tender braised beef, having absorbed the heady, slightly herbal tang of star anise, among other spices, is good enough on its own to keep the palate salivating for more.


And instead of oily fried rice, we opted for quinoa. Dubbed as a “superfood,” the gluten-free, protein-packed alternative to rice is known for its nutrition, taste, and versatility. Together with the ribs, the fluffy and crunchy quinoa contributes a whole other layer of flavor to the sweet and savory dish. Though you might be tempted to just run to the nearest carinderia to get your pares fix—don’t. The taste and luxury of these pares-style short ribs is definitely worth the hassle of cooking.

Pares-Style Short ribs with Quinoa

Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients: Short Ribs

  • 700g – 1kg short rib/brisket
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 9 garlic cloves
  • 4 pcs star anise
  • 30ml soy sauce
  • 15ml rice wine
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 200g quinoa
  • 2 leeks
  • 500g water

Procedure: Short Ribs

  1. Heat a pot and sear the meat. Once all pieces are seared, place in a container and set aside.
  2. Add onions,  6 garlic cloves, and ginger to the pot. Cook for 2 minutes until slightly brown.
  3. Add rice wine and reduce until very little liquid remains.
  4. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, pepper, cinnamon, star anise, and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the meat back along with its juices.
  6. Add water until the meat is submerged in the liquid, then bring to a boil.
  7. Cover the pot and cook for 2 hours or until meat is tender.
  8. Remove meat and strain the sauce.
  9. Place the meat back into the pot with the strained sauce.
  10. Reduce the sauce until it turns into a glaze.

Procedure: Quinoa

  1. Add uncooked quinoa into a pot and add double the amount of water.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes or until the small strands sprout out  of the quinoa.
  4. Strain and run through cold water.


  1. In a pan, add oil and sauté the remaining garlic and leeks.
  2. Add quinoa and a splash of water.
  3. Add salt to taste.
  4. Serve warm with the pares.
Lexine Uy SEE AUTHOR Lexine Uy

Lexine Uy is an English Literature major who whiles away her time reading novels and searching for cookie recipes online to go with her tea. She invites her friends out to eat and then makes them wait, embarrassing them while she stands up and attempts to capture the food for her Instagram. The easiest way to win her friendship is through dim sum, vintage Hong Kong films, and by going shopping with her. Dislikes diets and double chins.

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