Table Recipes: Bicol Express

By franco on 22 February, 2008

Bicol Express

The universe is listening.

After a short email conversation with Chichajo, I found myself wanting to a cook a dish called Bicol Express. I have never cooked this dish before but I do remember loving this dish the last time I ate a popular restaurant called Trellis ages ago. I’m a sucker for anything stewed in coconut milk.

A week later, we were invited to small dinner party hosted by a dear friend, AW. The evening’s menu? A myriad of delicious Filipino dishes once served at AW’s grandmother’s restaurant called Bungalow.

In the 50s, Bungalow was a famous Filipino restaurant along San Marcelino Street in Ermita. Although this restaurant has moved on, the recipes still remain and are kept like family heirlooms.

One of the dishes served was a large, lovely bowl of hot, spicy Bicol Express. I loved it. I desperately wanted the recipe. After a bit of friendly pestering, AW relented and finally sent me the recipe.

Bicol Express
Adapted from Bungalow Restaurant’s recipe

  • 2 tbsps canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grams ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps alamang
  • 500 grams pork belly, cut into 1inch cubes.
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups kakang gata
  • 2 cups sili panigang, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 2 pcs sili labuyo, finely sliced*
  • Salt and pepper

* Adjust the amount of chili used depending on your desired level of heat.

In a large pot or casserole pan, sauté garlic, ginger, onions until the onions over medium high heat. Cook until soft but not colored. Add the alamang, then the pork.

Stir and lightly brown the pork. Add the 2nd extracted coconut milk. Simmer over low heat until the pork is tender.

Add the 1st extracted kakang gata. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Lastly, add the sili panigang and labuyo. Simmer for five minutes

Makes eight large servings.

Many thanks to AW for letting me publish this family recipe.

This recipe is an entry of the blogger event, Lasang Pinoy 24: Loco over Coco




Post a comment
  • FEBRUARY 22, 2008 9:50 AM

    joey said...

    DUDE! All my hair is standing! I was just thinking how I wanted to finally get down and make this dish that I fell madly in love with in Bicol...then blog-hopping...then I come upon this post...with the opening line "The universe is listening." Only local slang can truly describe moments like these -- hanep! Hahaha! :) Anyhoo, I'll have you know you've made my day and I will be trying this soon! Thanks for pestering your friend and sharing the recipe with us :)

  • FEBRUARY 24, 2008 3:32 AM

    Kai said...

    There is an ongoing Lasang Pinoy event, and the theme for February is coconuts. This post would be a perfect entry! Do please join, all you have to do is insert the LP icon in this post, and I'll be including it in the round-up come March. Full details here.

  • FEBRUARY 26, 2008 9:02 AM

    Franco said...

    Hi Joey,

    I should be thanking you for reminding me that I love this dish to begin with.

    Glad that I could help you on your culinary journey. :)

    Hi Kai,

    I'm honored. :) Now if I can just figure out what exactly I have to do to join...Help, Please.

  • MARCH 5, 2008 8:19 AM

    Kai said...

    It's fine, I've tagged it for the event. Round-up coming soon, will let you know!

  • MARCH 14, 2008 9:55 AM

    Kai said...

    It's me again, the round-up is up, you can find it here.

  • MARCH 18, 2008 3:37 AM

    bursky said...

    are the green sili still crunchy? gusto ko kasi ganun sila sa bicol express. :) ahehe... i want bicol express!!! arrrggghhh!!!

  • MARCH 22, 2008 8:48 AM

    iska said...

    that looks hot and mean! exactly the way i like it :-)

  • MARCH 24, 2008 5:16 AM

    Franco said...

    Hi bursky,

    It starts off with a bit of a bite but it starts to soften over time.

    Hi iska,

    Trust me. This recipe will not disappoint.