Kare Kare with Lechon Kawali and Atchara by Chef Lorelei Simbulan

Chef Lorelei Simbulan of Capital L shares her unique appetizer recipe of a classic Filipino stew called Kare Kare with Lechon Kawali (crispy pork belly) and Atchara (pickled young papaya). Although Kare Kare is traditionally a peanut stew with oxtail, many variations of meat can be used instead. Chef Loreli prefers the combination of crispy pork belly and pickled young papaya.

Lechon Kawali

Oven-roasted pork belly (Lechon Kawali)


• 2 lbs pork belly or one slab (cut in quarters)
• 1 head of garlic; crushed
• 1 medium onion; quartered
• 1 tbsp peppercorns
• 2 tbsp salt
• 3 pieces star anise
• 4 pieces of dried bay leaf
• Water


1. Cut pork belly in quarters, place in pot and cover with water untill submerged. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a rolling boil.

2. Reduce heat and continue to boil until fork tender, could take 1-2hrs depending on the thickness of the meat.

3. When the pork is tender, carefully remove from the stock and place in a foil lined baking tray over a roasting rack. Strain and reserve stock.

4. Preheat oven to 475f, use convection setting if available. Once ready place pork in the oven.

5. Check after 25-30mins, skin should be brown,crispy and puffed up. Keep longer if not crispy yet.

6. Remove from oven and let rest before slicing.

Peanut sauce (Kare- Kare sauce)


• 1 medium onion, diced
• 5 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tbsp bagoong (shrimp paste)
• 1 tbsp fish sauce
• 3 cups pork stock
• 1 tbsp annatto powder
• 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
• 1/2 cup peanuts, unsalted and roasted
• 1/4 cup white rice, roasted and finely grounded
• Salt & pepper to taste


1. In a small pan over medium heat, add rice and stir until toasted. Continuously stir and move pan to avoid burning. Once toasted let cool then add to blender (I use a coffee grinder) and process until finely ground

2. Place peanuts in the same blender and grind until fine pieces, don’t over process as it’ll turn into paste

3. In a pot over medium heat add vegetable oil and saute the onions until translucent. Add garlic, continue to cook then add bagoong and stir throughout

4. Add stock, peanut butter and annatto powder and stir to combine.

5. Add ground peanuts and ground rice, stir and let simmer on low for 15-20mins until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.