An authentic spicy pepper dish, originally invented by Bicolanos, Bicol Express is prepared in lavish amount of chili peppers and pork belly cubes… stewed in coconut milk and psices. This deliciously hot Bicol recipe is named after the railway train operating from Manila to Legazpi in the early 70’s. 

While its nutritional value has a high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol, over time, people have found ways to reduce its unhealthy substance. Bicol Express is a spicy Bicolano chili pepper dish, but deliciously rich in flavor. Made by a true Bicolana, Mel can show you it’s done with her authentic Bicol Express recipe.

Ingredients: 3-4 servings

1 1/2 lbs. pork belly
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup bagoong (shrimp paste)
1 can 12 oz. coconut milk
10 pcs long chili peppers(Filipino peppers)
A pinch of salt
Crushed black peppers to taste

Cooking Procedure:

  1. Wash and slice pork belly into small cubes. Heat up the pan and pour in 1 or 2 tbsp. cooking oil. Sautee garlic and onions until golden brown.
    Add the pork and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes or until they’re slightly brown. Follow it up with bagoong(shrimp paste).
    Apply coconut milk on next, then bring it in to boil. Let it simmer for 30-40 minutes while stirring occasionally.
    Add the sliced chili peppers and let it simmer for 2-3 more minutes. Sprinkle some black peppers to taste. Add a pinch of salt only if needed. Remember the bagoong(shrimp paste) is salty already.
    Turn heat off. Transfer Bicol Express on a deep bowl. Serve it with steamed rice and enjoy!

Tip: If you’re using fresh bagoong, try to rinse off extra salt on a strainer. Do not add any more salt if you think the dish, unless desired. If the bagoong(shrimp paste) you’re using is already cooked, use it wisely, due to it having higher sodium concentration. Enjoy this delicious, Bicol original chili pepper dish, authentic Bicol Express!