Bicol Express

"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."
photo by yuta143den photo by yuta143den
photo by yuta143den
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
Ready In:


  • 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)


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

Questions & Replies

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  1. Anonymous
    I've made this a handful of times and I'm not at all kitchen savy by the least but they always come out great, very complex and flavorful.
  2. jApZerlearns2c00k41
    This recipe was awesome!!! Bicol Express was one of my favorite Filipino Dish... and this turns out great. Thanks for sharing this!!! Will definitely cook time and time again!!!
  3. Mariz48746
    This is awesome! I tried this recipe 2x already and its been very good.
  4. Bembem
    I love this recipe. I am a Filipina and is just starting to learn how to cook and I am soo happy that it turned out well. Thanks kababayan! This recipe would also be great with vegetables like okra, small slices of eggplants and string beans. Tried it and loved it too. ^-^


I live in Victoria, British Columbia. I am happily married to the most wonderful guy on earth:) Aside from being a wanna be chef, I am also a wanna be children's book author, and a famous crooner in the shower aside from being a frustrated painter/illustrator and a real trying hard golfer. I love experimenting with different dishes from countries all over the world. I am constantly experimenting with new recipes and different types of fresh herbs and spices. I collect cookbooks and magazines. Most of the recipes I've posted and I will be posting are from the different magazines such as Bon Appetite, Chatelaine, Cucina, Hello, Home Maker and Gourmet. I will also try to post recipes that I've grown up with as well as those that came from family and friends.
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