Bicol Express

Creamy Coconut Pork Belly

Bicol is a province in the Philippines that is known for their spicy dishes, especially the Bicol Express. It is a pork dish that is simmered in coconut milk with the right amount of heat, plus the subtle hint of shrimp paste, together all these ingredients make a wonderful tasty dish that goes so perfectly well with a bowl of steaming hot rice.

You have the option of using pork shoulder or pork belly, but I prefer pork belly pan-fried, because I want it to be a little fat but not too fat. Pan frying it would render out the oil from the fats prior to simmering it with the coconut milk. Sliced pork belly is faster to cook then the pork shoulder too.


  • 500g Sliced Belly
  • 50g minced onion
  • 1 whole minced garlic
  • 8 bird eye chili or 1 red long chili (if you cannot take the heat)
  • 330g coconut milk
  • 150g coconut cream
  • 220g water
  • 20g shrimp paste (can be bought at Fairprice, international section : Philippine products
  • fish sauce to taste


  • Pan fry the pork belly without adding oil. The oil rendered out from the fat is sufficient enough to fry it. Fry both sides until becomes golden brown. Slice it into smaller pieces. Set aside
  • In heated wok with 2 tablespoon of oil, sauté garlic and onion. Add in chili, followed by the meat. Stir and pour in the water, shrimp paste, coconut milk and cream, Stir until all well combined.
  • Let it simmer until the sauce becomes thicken, add fish sauce to taste
  • Serve with a steaming hot rice
Shrimp paste
Easy and Yummy


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