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Bicol Express

Bicol Express with its tender pork cooked in coconut milk, shrimp paste, and chilies will bring in your appetite. A well-known dish in the Philippines that goes well with steamed rice.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: bicol express, bicol express recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Mia


  • 1 kilo 2.2 lbs pork belly cut into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 3 red or green long chilies or bird's eye chilies
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ tbsp shrimp paste
  • 1 ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp salt adjust according to preference
  • ¼ tsp pepper adjust according to preference


  • In a pan over medium heat, sauté onion until translucent then add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  • Add pork belly strips and cook until light brow in color or no traces of pink left. Tip in shrimp paste and mix to coat the pork. Let simmer for 2 - 3 minutes for the taste to absorb.
  • Add salt, pepper, and chilies then mix to incorporate. Pour coconut milk, then stir a bit to distribute the pork evenly.
  • Cover with lid and turn down the heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the pork is soft and tender. Transfer in a serving dish and serve while hot. Bon appetit!



  1. To tune down the spiciness you can add the chilies last after the pork has softened. Simmering the pork with the chilies will make it more spicier.