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Bicol Express

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Bicol Express is a spicy pork stew cooked in coconut milk which is definitely one of the most popular dishes among Filipinos.
Try this popular Filipino dish, Bicol Express! A spicy pork stew in coconut milk. | www.foxyfolksy.com

Try this popular Filipino dish, Bicol Express! A spicy pork stew in coconut milk. | www.foxyfolksy.com

Bicol Express has it’s funny, if not weird, name from the train that travels the Naga(Bicol)-Manila route. I don’t really know why they chose to call it after the train but it definitely deserves to carry the name of the province of Bicol. Bicol is known in the Philippines for a lot of things such as the perfect coned, Mayon volcano, Pili nuts and, of course, for their love of spicy food.

There is a dispute, though, that is yet to be settled as to the real inventor of this unique dish. There are some who says that Bicol Express was actually invented by a Filipino food icon, Cely Kalaw, in her restaurant in Malate, Manila. And that it was only inspired by the Bicolano cuisine since Cely is not from Bicol but from Laguna. Of course, the Bicolanos are also staking their claim that it is indeed originally from Bicol only known in a different name, Gulay na lada.   

Another dish that comes to mind when I think of Bicol is Laing. It is somewhat similar to Bicol Express but instead of pork, it mainly consists of dried Taro leaves. So like Bicol Express, it is also cooked in coconut milk and is spicy. Dried fish is normally added for saltiness. Aahhh…how I miss eating Laing, unfortunately, dried Taro leaves are not available in Germany. But soon I am able to make it when we are in the Philippines…just a month to go…     Try this popular Filipino dish, Bicol Express! A spicy pork stew in coconut milk. | www.foxyfolksy.com

In my own version of Bicol Express, I like to cook the pork first by stir frying it until golden and crisp and then add the coconut milk later. Then let it simmer until it makes a thick, creamy sauce. 

Try this popular Filipino dish, Bicol Express! A spicy pork stew in coconut milk. | www.foxyfolksy.com

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5 from 1 vote

Bicol Express

Bicol Express is a spicy pork stew cooked in coconut milk which is definitely one of the most popular dishes among Filipinos.
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Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian,Filipino
Servings: 3
Calories: 1150kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 pound pork belly - - cut into bite sizes
  • 2 cloves garlic - - minced
  • 1 medium onion - - chopped
  • 5 green chili - - chopped (adjust according to how spicy you like it to be)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shrimp paste - (bagoong)
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the pork for several minutes until golden.
  • Add the garlic and onion and cook until limp and aromatic. Add the shrimp paste and cook for another minute.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and chili and lower heat to low. Let it cook for several minutes until pork is tender and sauce begins to thicken and render fat.
  • Season with salt if needed.
Nutrition Facts
Bicol Express
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1150 Calories from Fat 1017
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 113g 174%
Saturated Fat 51g 255%
Cholesterol 194mg 65%
Sodium 578mg 24%
Potassium 581mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 4g
Protein 22g 44%
Vitamin C 16.9%
Calcium 7%
Iron 28.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.
Try this popular Filipino dish, Bicol Express! A spicy pork stew in coconut milk. | www.foxyfolksy.com

Bebs

Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. Thank You Bebs! The tocino recipe was a hit with my mates. I’d love to make laing dish from the bicol area. Could you come make a recipe for that please?

    Cheers from Norway!

    1. Hi Alika, I love laing…But I can’t get dried taro leaves in Germany! Good thing I got a recipe from my sis-in-law using spinach as an alternative…will make it soon and share it here. ????

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