Pares is a Filipino street food viand composed of beef cooked in sweet soy sauce served with garlic fried rice and beef soup.
Before, I actually don’t know why they call this dish pares because pares in Tagalog means “Pairs”, and if you look at this dish there are no pairs on it. Then I suddenly realized that it was not the dish they call pares but it’s the whole meal that goes with it. Pares is a very popular street food in Philippines and there are restaurants that specializes in this dish alone, they call it pares because the main dish which is a sweet stewed beef is paired with a beef soup and garlic fried rice.
I never grew up with this dish as my mom always told me that street food is not good for your health and its unsanitary until I had my first job and a friend of mine introduced me to this dish, I trusted him as he came from an affluent family so if he is eating it and not getting sick why would I, there is a popular old wives tale in Philippines that says if you’re not born poor then your stomach cannot handle the germs and virus found in street food. What the heck I will try this one.
Now guess what happened? Nothing and I liked the experience as the food was really delicious and I always keep on coming back for it, in fact almost every lunch. Since then I realized that street food are not to be missed, it might be dirty because it is prepared in an outside environment where its exposed to pollutant and utensils are not properly cleaned but all of the street food that I consumed are all awesome! So now every country that I visit if I see a street food I will definitely have to try it, like the Pasar Malam Food in SS2 (Malaysia), the street food in Wanchai Hong Kong to the Fly By night street restaurants in Thailand, they all are a must try!
Add beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar (adjust according to your liking, the dish is meant to be sweet), star anise, bay leaf, black pepper and cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hr. or until the beef pieces are really tender up to a point it’s nearly falling apart.
Season with fish sauce according to your liking.
Top with fried garlic and pair it with garlic fried rice and clear beef soup.
I love how pretty the star anise and peppercorns sit besides this lovely stew. The name is so interesting, as it was taken from the accompaniments and actually translated to the name of your dish.
Little facts like that, are what make food fascinating to me, especially Asian street-food snacks and meals etc!