Pork kaldereta recipe (Kalderetang baboy): Filipino tomato pork stew

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 8, 2022

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Kaldereta is one of the dishes you’ll always see during any festivities in the Philippines.

Whether it’s a birthday celebration or town fiesta, you will, without doubt, be seeing it on the table!

The Filipino people have adapted this recipe since the Spaniards occupied the Philippines for a very long time. They’ve been here for 300 years, and it’s nothing but natural for the Filipinos to get used to not only the Spanish culture, but also their cuisine.

Favorite Asian Recipes
Favorite Asian Recipes

Beef kaldereta, goat (kalderetang kambing), and chicken (kalderetang manok) meat are the usual ones that are used in kaldereta. But you can also try pork in this recipe.

This pork kaldereta recipe will also satisfy everyone’s hungry stomach. And let me tell you the secret to this dish: the hot chili peppers!

Pork Kaldereta Recipe (Kalderetang Baboy)
Pork Kaldereta Recipe (Kalderetang Baboy)

Pork kaldereta recipe (kalderetang baboy)

Joost Nusselder
Just like the other kaldereta recipes, you'll add a lot of chili because kaldereta isn’t kaldereta if it isn’t hot. If you want a new version of kaldereta, then this pork kaldereta recipe is a must-try!
4.34 from 6 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4 people
Calories 727 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g pork (liempo or spareribs) cut into serving pieces
  • 250 g tomato sauce
  • 1 large onion minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 large potatoes cubed
  • 2 large carrots cubed
  • 2 red and green bell peppers diced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can liver spread or peanut butter (85 grams)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2-3 hot chili (labuyo) chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup cheese grated or cubed (optional)
  • 1 cup soda (7-Up)

Instructions
 

  • In a pan, heat oil, and fry potatoes and carrots until golden brown. Drain and set aside.
  • In a pot, heat cooking oil, and saute garlic and onions. Add pork. Continue sauteing until the color turns brown.
  • Add tomato sauce, soda, bay leaves, and water, then simmer until tender. Add water if necessary.
  • Add carrots, potatoes, bell pepper, liver spread, and chili. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Adjust seasoning with sugar, salt, and pepper according to taste.
  • Add cheese and simmer for another 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  • Transfer to serving plate. Serve with hot rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 727kcal
Keyword kaldereta, Pork
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Check out YouTube user Panlasang Pinoy’s video on making pork kaldereta:

Cooking tips

Just like the other kaldereta recipes, you’ll add a lot of chili peppers because kaldereta isn’t kaldereta if it isn’t hot!

Choose a tender part of pork meat for you to enjoy this dish completely. Liempo (pork belly) or spareribs are the best cuts for this recipe.

Some chefs also use pork shoulder since it has more fat and can remain moist.

One challenge when you cook pork is that it can easily get too hard and chewy. The secret is to simmer it until tender.

Another tip is to add soda (7-Up) because it makes the pork more tender.

In cooking this dish, you can choose between using tomato paste or fresh tomatoes. It depends on how you’d like to try it.

If you’re going to try fresh tomatoes, make sure to choose ripe ones to make a thick and smooth sauce. Plus, it’ll also add a beautiful color and a stronger flavor to it.

Also, make sure that you brown the meat before adding the other ingredients, like the vegetables. It’s better to fry the potatoes too, and don’t forget the carrots!

Add liver spread, and it’ll be a perfect dish for you and all the lucky ones who will get to taste your enticing dish. If liver spread isn’t available, try fresh pork liver, and it’ll give the same effect.

Of course, you won’t be cooking this once, so you can try all the versions you want!

Substitutions & variations

When upgrading this dish, you can add green olives, manzanilla olives, and shredded cheese on top. It’ll make your dish more appetizing, and it’ll surely be a hit!

You can also add cheaper kinds of olives to give it a different kind of taste, but some choose to add pickles instead. The sour flavor of the pickles will surely give a new taste to your dish.

Usually, green bell peppers are used, but you can use any peppers. For the heat, add labuyo hot pepper or siling labuyo, although any hot pepper will do.

It’s best to add shredded cheese like cheddar, mozzarella, or queso de bola. But you can also use cream cheese.

As you’ve seen, pork caldereta requires pork liver spread, but if you hate the taste, you can add some peanut butter. It’ll give the same creamy texture, but it has a sweeter taste.

Some people also like to add raisins, but if you want a new twist, try adding grapes instead. It’ll give a more subtle sweetness to your kaldereta.

If you want to add more vegetables, green peas are a good choice. You can also add corn kernels, which will make your kaldereta more filling.

How to serve and eat

And now, it’s time for the best part after cooking: time to get a taste of this sumptuous pork kaldereta recipe!

Have a plate of hot steamed rice and start your bonding moment with the family while sharing this amazingly mouth-watering meal.

Kaldereta is usually served with white rice, but you can also serve it over mashed potatoes or even pasta.You can also have it with some freshly baked bread if you don’t like rice.

Also, pork caldereta is served with a side of pickled green papaya (achara) or atchara.

Having Tempranillo wine while eating this meal will be one of the best experiences you’ll have with your family!

On the other hand, if you’ve prepared this for a special occasion and have people coming over to your house, you can have it partnered with soda or iced tea. That’ll save on expenses a bit too.

Similar dishes

Besides the pork version, kaldereta is also commonly made with goat meat, beef, or chicken. There’s the well-known beef kaldereta, kambing kaldereta (goat meat), and chicken kaldereta.

There’s also a seafood version that substitutes the traditional kaldereta meats with fish or a mix of shrimp, squid, and mussels.

Pork kaldereta is often compared to other dishes like mechado and afritada, but it has a few key differences. It’s part of a category of Filipino tomato-based stew varieties.

Mechado is a dish where the pork is stewed in tomato sauce and often has vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and peas.

Afritada, on the other hand, is a dish where the pork is cooked in tomato sauce with garlic, onions, and bell peppers.

Kalderetang Baboy

FAQs

What does kaldereta taste like?

Kaldereta is a rich, hearty, and slightly spicy dish. The texture is stew-like, but not overly thick.

There’s a certain sweetness to it because of the liver spread, and the chili peppers give it a bit of heat. The minced garlic also adds a nice depth of flavor.

What’s the difference between kaldereta and mechado?

The main difference between kaldereta and mechado is that kaldereta often has liver spread or liver pate added to it, while mechado doesn’t.

Kaldereta is also usually spicier than mechado because of the chili peppers. And finally, kaldereta is stew-like, while mechado is more like a soup.

What is the difference between kaldereta and afritada?

The main difference between kaldereta and afritada is that kaldereta has a richer, more stew-like texture, while afritada is more soup-like.

Kaldereta also often has liver spread, or liver pate added to it, while afritada doesn’t. And finally, kaldereta is usually spicier than afritada because of the chili peppers.

How do you thicken caldereta?

You can use flour as a thickening agent. The pork fat will also help to thicken the sauce as it renders out.

Alternatively, you can dredge the pork cubes in flour before cooking.

Another way to thicken it is to remove some of the cooked meat and vegetables and then puree them in a blender or food processor. Then, add the pureed mixture back into the pot.

This will help to thicken the sauce and give it a smoother texture.

How do you make caldereta less spicy?

If you want to make kaldereta less spicy, you can either remove the chili peppers altogether or reduce the amount that you use.

Pork Kaldereta Special

Give this Filipino pork stew a try

Your friends and relatives will definitely thank you for inviting them over. They’ll probably be waiting for the next occasion once they taste this dish!

The combination of spicy peppers, tomato sauce, veggies, and broth makes this pork caldereta recipe a great meal for any season!

So, what are you waiting for? Start preparing your ingredients and enjoy this delicious pork kaldereta recipe!

You’ll love these Filipino teriyaki pork chops as well. You should check them out!

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.