Top: Beef asado pares, Bottom: Pares kanto
|Place of origin
|Region or state
|Clear Soup (commonly beef-based broth)
Beef Asado (or any other viand)
|Pares Kanto or Pares Kariton, Pares Mami
Pares (pronounced: PAH-ress), also known as beef pares, is a term for a serving of Filipino braised beef stew with garlic fried rice, and a bowl of clear soup. It is a popular food particularly associated with specialty roadside diner-style establishments known as Pares Houses (Filipino: paresan). In recent years, it had also become a common dish served in small eateries called karinderyas or carinderias that serve economical meals for locals.
Informally, pares can also refer to any dish that is cooked in the manner reminiscent of the "asado-style" (i.e. stewed in a sweet-soy sauce).
The origin of the term pares is credited to the carinderia Jonas established by Lolita Tiu and Roger Tiu in 1979 near the then named Calle Retiro (present-day N.S. Amoranto Street) in Quezon City. The term literally means pairs in English and comes from the practice of pairing the beef asado dish with sinangag (garlic fried rice) and a light beef broth soup; thus, forming a complete meal.
Beef pares, or pares as it is commonly known, is a meal that consists of beef asado (beef stewed in a sweet-soy sauce), garlic fried rice, and a bowl of beef broth soup. The soup may originate from the broth in which the meat is simmered in until tender before being seasoned with the sweet-soy sauce, but it can also be prepared separately and be made with beef bouillon cubes instead. This soup is usually made and seasoned with onion, garlic, peppercorns, chives, and onion leeks. Some cooks also add bay leaves to this broth to improve the flavor.
Another variation of the dish, informally known as pares kariton ("pushcart pares") or pares kanto ("street corner pares") for being served on the roadside by mobile sidecar vendors, serves the beef and broth combined, usually with the broth slightly thickened by cornstarch. This variant is less sweeter and has less spices compared to the beef asado variant but is more savory due to the use of beef tendons (litid), bone marrow (utak ng buto), and fatty cuts of beef.
A garnish of chopped green onion and fried garlic mince is often added atop the dish before serving. Steamed rice is sometimes served instead of fried rice, depending on personal preference of the customer. Some Filipino restaurants also offer the option to serve the dish with an accompaniment of noodles instead of rice.
Another common way to eat pares is as beef pares mami (or simply pares mami). It combines pares with mami, the Filipino egg noodle soup. Its preparation is similar to pares kanto with the main difference being the addition of noodles instead of being eaten with rice. Its taste has been described as being similar to Vietnamese pho.
Jonas is credited for inventing the term "Pares" which means the pairing of beef and rice.. It also refers to the value meal of beef, rice and soup. It was founded by Lolly Tiu in 1979 who envisioned a restaurant providing fine-dining quality food at a price affordable to masses.
"Kombinasyon 'yan ng beef stew na Chinese-style, together with greaseless na fried rice," said Tiu, who is known to have been the one to coin the term "pares" in the late 70s.