Bicol Express

Yields: 4 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 45 Mins
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Bicol Express is a popular dish from the Bicol region of the Philippines. It is a spicy dish that typically consists of pork, coconut milk, chili peppers, and other ingredients such as shrimp paste, onions, and garlic.

The dish gets its name from the Bicol Express train, which travels from Manila to the Bicol region. The name is said to have been coined by a Filipino-American named Aling Lucing, who owned a restaurant near the train station in Pampanga. She is credited with popularizing the dish outside of the Bicol region.

Bicol Express is made by sautéing pork in oil with garlic and onions. Shrimp paste, also known as bagoong, is then added, followed by coconut milk and chili peppers. The dish is simmered until the pork is tender and the sauce has thickened. Some variations may include adding coconut cream or using chicken or beef instead of pork.

The dish is known for its spicy and rich flavor, with the coconut milk adding a creamy texture and sweetness to balance out the heat from the chili peppers. The dish is often served with steamed rice, and is a popular comfort food in the Philippines.

Bicol Express is a staple dish in Filipino cuisine and is often served in Filipino restaurants all over the world. It is a must-try for anyone interested in trying the flavors of the Philippines.

In recent years, there has been a trend of creating fusion dishes with Bicol Express, combining it with other cuisines like Mexican, Italian and even Korean. These fusion dishes have gained popularity among locals and tourists alike.

In conclusion, Bicol Express is a delicious and spicy dish that is a must-try for anyone interested in Filipino cuisine. Its unique blend of flavors and textures make it a popular dish in the Philippines and around the world.


0/9 Ingredients
Adjust Servings


0/11 Instructions
  • Place the sliced pork shoulder in a pot. Put over medium heat and let it release its own fat stirring occasionally.
  • Remove pork pieces from the pot and set it aside. Remove the oil from the fat and leave about 2 tbsp in the pot.
  • Add onion in to the pot and saute until it becomes translucent.
  • Add garlic and saute until it turns light golden brown.
  • Add ginger and saute. Let it release its flavour. You can smell the aroma in your kitchen.
  • Add tomato slices into the pot and let it release its juice.
  • Add shrimp paste and mix to incorporate with the ingredients.
  • Add pork slices into the pot and give it a good stir to mix all the flavours for 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Add long green chilli slices and mix.
  • Add red chilli slices and mix.
  • Add coconut milk into the pot. Cover and put heat to medium low heat. Let it simmer for 30 minutes or until pork becomes tender. Serve over steamed rice and enjoy!


For a richer and thicker sauce, use coconut cream instead of coconut milk. If you need to adjust the saltiness, use shrimp paste.


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