Bicol Express

Total Time
45mins
Prep
15 mins
Cook
30 mins

Named after the train that travels between Manila and Bicol, this popular Bicolano dish will make you reach for water faster than the bullet train. This is not for everyone, but if you're adventurous, go ahead and try it. it can be very rewarding. The ingredients though can be a bit difficult to find. Try Filipino groceries or other Asian stores.

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Ingredients

Nutrition
  • 12 kg elongated green chili, julienned (you can use a slightly milder substitute, try the serrano or jabanero)
  • 200 g shrimp paste (The Thai version is not a substitute as it is very pungent and totally overpowering. Filipino shrimp)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 12 kg pork, cut into tiny pieces
  • 12 kg plum tomato, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk (the light version can be pretty bland)

Directions

  1. In a pan or a wok, sauté garlic, onion, and tomatoes in oil.
  2. When onion is slightly cooked, add pork.
  3. Fry the mixture for 2 minutes until pork turned a little brown, and then add 1/2 cup of water.
  4. Boil until water is almost gone and pork is completely cooked. Then add shrimp paste.
  5. Add chilies.
  6. Pour in the coconut milk, keep stirring. Simmer until mixture is dry.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot with rice.