It’s been taken for granted by many that Bicol Express is a dish that originated from Bicol and is considered as an indigenous dish from the said region. As a matter of fact, Cely Kalaw, owner of The Grove – Luto ng Inay and the creator of this dish, is actually from Los Baños. The overall outcome of this dish can be described as pork cooked in coconut milk with shrimp paste and long chilies.
Did you know that this Filipino food recipe was invented due to another famous Filipino dish called laing?
Cely came up with this spicy concoction because a lot of customers were complaining about their laing to be way too much spicy.
In order to solve their problem, they decided to cut down the peppers on the laing, thus the birth of the Bicol Express. This became an option for their customers who did not like the spiciness of their laing dish.
Today, this dish is enjoyed by a lot of people, both having a preference for spicy dishes and for avid foodies alike. You can eat this dish at any Filipino restaurants or at a humble eatery just beside the streets. If you want to try making it on your own,
here are the ingredients you’re going to need:
3 cups of coconut milk
2 lbs pork belly, cut into strips
1/2 cup of shrimp paste
1 tbsp of minced garlic
6 pieces of either Thai chili or Serrano pepper
3 tbsp minced ginger
1 medium onion, minced
2 tbsp cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Now that you have everything you need, here’s a step-by-step procedure on how to make the dish:
Heat a pan and then slowly pour-in the cooking oil.
After preparing the pan and the cooking oil is sizzling, sauté the garlic, onion and ginger.
Add in the pork and then continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes or wait until the meat becomes light brown.
Add in the shrimp paste and the Thai chilies or the Serrano pepper. Stir them well.
Pour in the coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 40 minutes or until the pork is tender.
To add more flavors, add a pinch of salt and ground black pepper.
It’s better to serve it hot. Don’t forget to serve it along with rice and enjoy the dining experience
WHY FILIPINOS HAVE A STRONG CRAVING FOR BICOL EXPRESS
Here are reasons why Filipinos have a huge taste for Bicol express.
Pork, Chili and Coconut Milk
These are the only main ingredients you’ll need in making your own Bicol express. With that, you can add up your own variations to the concoction.
The Spicier, the Better!
The spiciness of the dish makes it more addicting! It’s a proven fact that a spicy dish makes us come back for more.
A Perfect Balance of Spiciness and Creaminess
The delicate balance of the spicy chili and the creamy coconut milk is what makes a difference for any great-tasting Bicol Express. The chili shouldn’t be the only dominant flavor in the mix; it should be partnered by the creaminess of the coconut milk.
This Filipino cuisine is something that will leave you wanting for more. The unique mixture of spiciness and creaminess is addicting to the bones. You’ll surely have more than seconds after just a single taste.