Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bicol Express

The abundance of coconut trees in our islands is probably one of the reasons why our culinary culture is steeped with dishes using this ingredient. Coconut milk, which can be extracted from coconuts, can be found in native dishes like bringhe, bikol express, guinataan and laing. While coconut milk is now readily available in cans and tetra paks, I still prefer the taste of freshly extracted coconut milk.

I decided to cook bicol express today since it was my turn to cook in the kitchen. It was tough extracting coconut milk. Fortunately, Manang Anita was there to help me. I still had trouble though in slicing the pork since the skin was tough. Manang told me it was probably because the pig was already old. Ouch! I suddenly wished I had once of those super sharp knives available in the TV shopping network, so sharp according to the commercial that it can even slice aluminum. Hahaha…I’m really a sucker for these kinds of commercial.

Anyway, here is my recipe for bicol express:

cooking oil
5 pcs chili pepper (siling amerikano, the big green kind. You may also wish to use siling labuyo. Just adjust the amount according to your
taste/tolerance for heat.)
1 tbsp. salt
4 cups thin coconut milk
1/3 cup ready-made-bagoong ( I used Barrio Fiesta’s bagoong)
½ kilo pork liempo, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium-sized onion, minced
2 cups thick coconut milk

Heat the oil. Brown the garlic before adding the onion. Then add the pork and the bagoong. After 5 minutes, add the salt and thin coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chili pepper and cook until half of the liquid has evaporated. Pour in thick coconut milk and continue cooking until oil comes out.

Here’s the finished product.
My husband absolutely loved it! :-)

Tag category: Recipe

21 comments:

snglguy said...

My Mom is from Bicol and we often spend our holy week vacation there. And I can tell you that the true blue Bicol express is a lot different from what is being presented here in Manila. Depending on your taste, the original Bicol Express has less or no coconut milk at all. It's drier and less 'saucy' and of course, has more siling labuyo. :-)

Now you're making me miss it....

ces said...

naku! thanks for reminding me ofthis dish, i will cook this for dinner! and i have labuyo wilting in the chiller!

ladybug said...

snglyguy> Bicolanos have a different way of preparing this meal. In fact, sauteeing is a Tagalog trait. Bicolanos would just combine the coconut milk along with the other recipes...no oil. I think original is still the best. But old habits die hard...I guess...

ces> I'm glad you liked it! Enjoy your weekend. :-)

Abaniko said...

Looks yummy. I "hate" living with a person who loves to cook. There's just too much temptation to binge. Then, I spend hours and hours worrying about my tummy getting big. I hate it. Before you can suggest anything, just wanna tell you I hate exercising. Argh!I'm such a hater. But on second thought, I'd love to taste your dish. :D

ladybug said...

abaniko> hahaha...you're welcome to taste it anytime. :-) Well, that's the reason why I play badminton...to shed off unwanted pounds. Maybe you should try it sometime. :-)

Mita said...

ladybug, try using an old cheesecloth or katsa for extracting coconut milk. you can always wash and sundry after use and keep it with your kitchen linens for the next time. also...Christmas is coming. a good chef's knife's with a sharpener sounds like a good Christmas gift. it really does make a huge difference if you've found one good knife.

Senor Enrique said...

Mama is from Albay.

This looks absolutely delicious!

ipanema said...

am starving...dinner time! looks yummy. I love anything with gata. :)

ladybug said...

mita> Thanks for the tip. I will definitely buy katsa this week. Manang Anita will be happy with your tip. :-) About the knife -- that's true. A good knife makes such a huge difference. Took me almost 30 minutes to cut the meat because the skin was so tough. I was so tired afterwards I ate a lot....hahaha.

eric> Since your mom is from Albay, you must have grown up with good food like bicol express and laing. Yummy! I grew up in a household full of ilocanos and cebuanos. Diningding and paksiw naman were a common sight. I love diversity.

ipanema> You said it! I also love everything with gata. That's one thing we have in common. Kaya nga kakainggit si eric...his mom is from albay kaya puro gata siguro kinakain niya when he was growing up. :-)

ipanema said...

Baka nga. :) Kami din kasi mga bisaya mahilig mag gata. Kaso, winner talaga si Bikol Express.

ladybug said...

ipanema> I agree. :-)

Abaniko said...

Actually, I play badminton regularly - MWF, sometimes Sat. But when I told my cardiologist about it, he told me to stop. It's not good for my heart, he said. But I think I'll get a second opinion. I am not ready to give up badminton just yet. :D

ladybug said...

Just make sure that when you do play badminton, do not exert too much effort. Badminton can be a very taxing sport but enjoyable at the same time -- so players are sometimes not aware that they're exerting too much already.

Jennie said...

Yummy naman niyan! May recipe ka ng Laing? :)

Thanks for visiting my blog, by the way. Can we exchange links? :p

Rey said...

I've tasted something in malaysia that somewhat taste and as hot as bicol express(malays being known for their love of coconut milk, curry and chili in their food). But of course nothing beats the real thing, made in the filipino way.

This looked really good. I want to devour it. topped in rice pa.

ladybug said...

rey> Haha...punta ka dito. I cooked another batch pa naman. :-) Thanks for visiting my site. :-)

Toe said...

Hi Ladybug, I've posted a comment here already but I can't seem to find it... it must've been deleted somehow. Anyway my Honey likes Bicol Express though I myself don't eat gata. I take VCO everyday though because I know that coconut is good for you.

ladybug said...

Hi toe! Hmmm...maybe there's a problem with blogger because they recently introduced the beta version. I can't even visit some sights. Hmmm...VCO, Jojo takes them but I can't stand naman the taste. Idadaan ko na lang sa gata imbes na VCO. Hahaha... :-)

ladybug said...

jennie> Oopss, sorry for the late reply. Sure no problem. :-) Thanks for visiting my blog too.

Tin said...

hi Miss Ladybug,

napadaan lang po.. sarap naman nito! I never try making my own Bicol Express but yours is one of a kind - magaling lang kasi ako sa kainan but I will definitely try your recipe - yummy!

Tin

ladybug said...

tin> Hi! Thanks for dropping by. Sige, try mo din ito. Ako rin dati magaling sa kainan, but when I tried, madali lang pala magluto. :-)