Spicy Bicol Express

Bicol express is a popular spicy Filipino dish that originated in the Bicol region of the Philippines. It is made with pork, coconut milk, shrimp paste, and chili peppers. The dish is named after the passenger train service that used to run through the Bicol region.

To make Bicol express, pork is sautéed with garlic, onions, and shrimp paste, then simmered in coconut milk until tender. Chili peppers, typically siling labuyo or bird's eye chili, are added to the dish to give it its signature spiciness. The dish is typically served with rice. 

Bicol express is known for its rich and creamy coconut milk base and its spicy kick. It is a popular dish in the Philippines, especially in the Bicol region where it originated, and is often served during special occasions and celebrations.

Here is a recipe Bicol express:


1 lb pork belly or shoulder, sliced into bite-sized pieces

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp shrimp paste

2 cups coconut milk

1 cup water

8-10 pcs green chili peppers (siling haba), sliced diagonally

2-3 pcs red chili peppers (siling labuyo), chopped (optional) 

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking oil


  1. Heat the cooking oil in a pot or pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until fragrant.

  2. Add the pork and cook until it turns brown.

  3. Add the shrimp paste and continue to stir for about 2 minutes.

  4. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Stir and bring to a boil.

  5. Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until the pork is tender.

  6. Add the sliced chili peppers and red chili peppers (if using). Cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  8. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Enjoy your homemade Bicol express!

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