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Bicol Express

Bicol Express

I’m not from Bicol but it doesn’t stop me from making this dish. Fun fact, it wasn’t created in Bicol itself but actually in Malate, Manila but is a variation of what has been made for generations in Bicol known as Ginataang Sili (Chili cooked with coconut milk). The name itself attributes from the train that traveled from Manila to Bicol. Every household in the Philippines have their own variations passed down from generation to generation and adding meat or meat substitutes like tofu are just the two of many out there.

It all comes down to preference just like how hot it should actually. I love spicy food and this is one Philippine dish that makes it to my “spicy food to eat” list. I think of it as our version of a curry minus the red, green, or yellow paste.

What’s in it:

  • Long chili
  • Coconut milk
  • Pork belly strips
  • Shrimp paste (Bagoong)
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Salt & pepper
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