Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bicol Express

Bicol Express

This is hardly the sort of dish that a winter climate would inspire, but as long as greenhouses exist, I can still enjoy the taste of this quick and easy recipe of sweet green peppers with coconut milk. I actually tasted Bicol Express for the first time in Milan of all places (from a hot pink food truck parked in front of the Philippine embassy). It was delicious on hot rice, but much too heavy with pork and pork fat. I came up with a lighter recipe that goes easy on the pork fat, but measured everything by "eye" as shown in this photo.

bicol express  ingredients

This dish comes together fast; the only time-consuming part is topping off and removing the seeds and white membrane within the peppers. Also, if you don't like hot hot, use a less fiery pepper than a habanero or use none at all.

Make a slit in the habanero (this will allow some of that spicy heat to blend into the dish). Saute pork with the garlic, onion, and ginger in a small amount of vegetable oil. When it's no longer pink, add a can of coconut milk, the cleaned peppers, the habanero and bagoong. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until green peppers are soft and limp. Season to taste with salt.