the dish has contentious origins. is it an invention from a Manila restaurant, or an original dish from the Bicol region?
i first heard about it from dorm-mates and work colleagues at the Refugee Center in the bundoks of Bataan–but i never did get a chance to try.
the kids wanted Popeye’s fried chicken but i had a hankering for something different, something spicy, so i dug up several recipes from the web and checked the pantry for what i needed…a couple of fatty pork chops, coconut milk, ground turmeric (in place of fresh), bagoong alamang (fermented shrimp paste), and mounds of sliced fresh green chilies. i don’t dare call it “Bicol Express,” never having tasted the real thing myself. i’ll just say it’s pork with coconut milk, turmeric, bagoong and chili peppers.
it was truly zesty, and made me want to gulp it down with lots of hot jasmine rice and ice cold beer…
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