Hot and spicy Filipino Bicol Express recipe

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 19, 2022

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This Bicol Express Recipe is a flaring hot Filipino dish that is distinctly loved because of the marriage of flavors of coconut which is an abundant agricultural product in the Bicol region and chilies which are also evident in every Bicolanos diet.

Bicol express is also very easy to make. It is made up of pork (you can use sirloin or liempo cut into cubes) coconut milk or “gata”, green chili (siling pansigang), shrimp paste or bagoong alamang and some aromatics like onion, garlic, and ginger.

Bicol Express Recipe

The creamy coconut milk should be simmered in slow cooking.

Favorite Asian Recipes
Favorite Asian Recipes

That is when you could savor the rich texture of this dish. If there is no available fresh coconut milk, you can always use powdered coconut milk.

Just add water or follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For a hotter and spicier version of Bicol express, you can opt to use the red chilies or the Siling Labuyo.

Bicol Express Recipe Preparation Tips

This dish will make your sweat glands active, so make sure to have a glass of juice or water beside you just in case you can take the heat.

There are unconfirmed stories about the Origin of Bicol express.

There are some articles that tell the early story of a lady named Cely Kalaw who was born in Laguna but eventually moved and grew up in Naga.

She then became a restaurateur and concocted the recipe of bicol express around the 1960s in her restaurant in Malate, Manila.

The food establishment is called Groove Restaurant. Other food historians also said that bicol express was derived from the local Bicol dish called Gulay na Lada.

Bicol Express Recipe

Hot and spicy Filipino Bicol Express Recipe

Joost Nusselder
Bicol express is also very easy to make. It is made up of pork (you can use sirloin or liempo cut into cubes) coconut milk or “gata”, green chili (siling pansigang), shrimp paste or bagoong alamang and some aromatics like onion, garlic, and ginger.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 5 people
Calories 367 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ kilo pork thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Baguio beans
  • 3 pcs long chili or jalapeno peppers (or more)
  • 1 onion minced
  • 1 head garlic minced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl of water with salt, soak chili peppers for 30 minutes then rinse and strain.
  • In a cooking pan, heat cooking oil and brown sliced pork for a few minutes.
  • In another pan, sauté minced garlic and onion.
  • Add to the sauté the browned pork.
  • Then add the coconut milk, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the chili peppers, Baguio beans and cook until dish gets a little dry.
  • Add the coconut cream and simmer until the sauce thickens.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Serve with hot rice.

Nutrition

Calories: 367kcal
Keyword Bicol, Pork
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Filipino Bicol Express Ingredients
Sliced chili soaked in water
The Best Bicol Express Recipe

This Bicol Express Recipe can be found on simple food stalls or carinderia to upscale restaurants around the country. Each having their own versions of this flaming hot dish.

But one thing is for sure when you cook and eat this pork dish, be brave and be ready to experience a burning taste sensation.

What to do with leftover coconut milk? Check out this Latik ng Niyog Recipe, Fried coconut milk curd for desserts

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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.