Hello, hungry ones!
For this post, we are going to have a popular spicy dish which originated from the hot and spicy part of the Philippines – Bicol. Bicol Express is pork (strips or cubes) with lots of long chili peppers cooked in coconut milk. It is very spicy. It is very rich.
As the Philippines is an archipelago, there are many different versions of it, depending on the region.
What you need:
- coconut milk (two separate extractions; 1 cup of water for each each 3 cups of grated mature coconut meat. the first extraction is the creamiest one which is the coconut cream and a second extraction is the coconut milk, which is less creamy)
- 1/2 k chili peppers
- 1/2 C string beans
- 1/2 kg pork
- 1/8-1/4 kg of fish paste/ginamos depending on the saltiness of your native ginamos
- 1 whole red onion quartered
- 4 garlic cloves mashed
What to do:
1. Extract milk from grated coconut pulp using lukewarm water. 1st cup of water+coconut = creamy, save. 2nd cup of water + coco= save separately.
2. Move on to the chili peppers. They should be cut thinly, lengthwise.
It’s extremely important to clean the peppers in a certain way. Place in a strainer with bigger holes than a usual wire strainer so the seeds can escape. DO NOT pour water over it your eyes will burn! Instead submerge in a basin of water and move around using a spoon. THE LONGER IT STAYS IN THE WATER THE LESSER THE HEAT
3. Move on to the other ingredients. Cut the string beans into 2-3 inch bites.
4. In a sauce pan, add coconut milk (2nd extract), quartered onions, smashed garlic and pork and bring to a boil until the cream of the coco milk thins. It should take about 10-15 mins on medium heat.
5. Add the ginamos. Depending on your taste, it can be a lot or not.
6. Mix it, then add the beans.
7. Then the chilies. Then add the creamy coco milk (1st extract). Mix. Should look like this:
8. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes more. You know when its ready when the pork is thoroughy cooked and the oil rises. see the yellow stuff. thats the oil from the pork.
9. Then… Put it in a serving plate and eat! Boom!
Fun Fact: It’s called Bicol Express after the ancient train because they said it’s so hot, you’d run around with the speed of the Bicol Express!
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