A week of good eats 1: Bicol Express

Did you find this blog because you are getting ready to move to the Philippines?
Have you been here a while and are still kind of scared about local food?
Time to cast your cares to the wind. Filipino foods are DANG GOOD. And many of them are easy to modify, so if you don’t like it the first time, play around with the recipe a bit.

I’m going to post a recipe a day for the next 7 days. So, find your local Asian market. (Many of you may be within driving distance of a Filipino market, which will make shopping even easier.) It’s time to enjoy some yummy Filipino dishes!

Today, we’re going to start with a recipe for Bicol Express. The Bicol (BEE-khol — stick a bit of phlegm in that khol) region covers the southern part of the island of Luzon and a few other smaller islands. It is known for it’s coconut production, and this dish features a sauce made from coconut milk. I love it!

I will confess that I’m not a fan of anything that lived in water, so when we make Bicol Express at home, I leave out the shrimp paste. Also, Bicol Express is not for the faint of heart. It is meant to be very, very spicy. If you can’t handle the heat, though, that’s ok, just cut down on the recommended amount of chilis. You could eliminate them entirely, but where is the fun in that? One last note, pork belly is a common cut of meat used in Filipino cooking, but I’m not a fan of all that fat. We often opt for a leaner cut of meat, and it usually doesn’t change the outcome of the dish. Like I said above, it’s ok to play around with the recipe!

Bicol Express Recipe at Kawaling Pinoy

When you’re done with this recipe, click around more on the blog and try some of the others! Lots of yummy options for you there!


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