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Here's The Difference Between Menudo, Afritada, Mechado, And Kaldereta

Spoiler alert: They should all be eaten with cups of steamed white rice.
PHOTO: Riell Santos, Bianca Laxamana, Karishma Etong for YUMMY.PH
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Menudo, afritadamechado, and kaldereta are all tomato sauce-based Pinoy ulam favorites, which can be confusing for a lot of people. Philip T. Hernandez of Davao Conyo even created a Ratatouille Filipino-dubbed parody to depict how baffling it can be for someone to prepare the said dishes.

To end the confusion, we researched and asked real home cooks for the real difference between the four tomato sauce-based ulams. Here's a summary: 

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  • Menudo - This stew has small cuts of pork, chopped liver, potatoes, and garbanzo. (Click here for the recipe and tutorial.
    Difference Between Menudo, Afritada, Kaldereta, And Mechado
    Riell Santos for Yummy.ph
    Continue reading below ↓
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  • Afritada - May contain chicken or pork, potatoes, carrots, and green bell peppers. Its sauce isn't as thick as the others. (Click here for the recipe and tutorial.
    Difference Between Menudo, Afritada, Kaldereta, And Mechado
    Riell Santos for Yummy.ph
    Continue reading below ↓

  • Mechado - This beef stew has thick tomato sauce with potatoes and carrots. (Click here for the recipe and tutorial.
    Difference Between Menudo, Afritada, Kaldereta, And Mechado
    Bianca Laxamana and Karishma Etong for YUMMY.ph

  • Kaldereta - It may have beef or goat meat. It also has potatoes, carrots, liver spread, and cheese. Some add chili for a kick of heat, too. (Click here for the recipe and tutorial.
    Difference Between Menudo, Afritada, Kaldereta, And Mechado
    Riell Santos for Yummy.ph
    Continue reading below ↓

Social media pages like Knorr and Bite-Sized also shared simple infographics that tell the difference:

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The bottom line

Whichever you choose between menudo, afritada, mechado, and menudo, all of these tomato sauce-based stews are always winners! One thing is for sure: They should all be eaten with cups of steamed white rice.

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