Philippines - Bicol Express
A delicious pork belly stew simmered for about an hour in a combination of coconut cream and milk. Don’t forget this dish has about 12 peppers, making this a delicious combo of spicy and creamy. 100% will make again, and maybe I'll try making this with chicken thighs! But pork belly always has a place in my heart. Nom.
I was afraid it would be TOO spicy, and while it did numb my lips here and there, it wasn’t unbearable by any means! If you like spicy, definitely try this. I think the 12 peppers was enough. Any more, and it would've taken away from the overall flavor.
1 tbsp oil
1 onion (chopped)
6 garlic cloves (minced)
2 tbsp shrimp paste
2 pounds pork belly (cubed)
2 14 oz cans coconut milk
1 cup water
14 pieces Thai chili peppers (minced)
Salt and pepper
Note: You can sub chicken for the pork belly to make this dish a tad bit healthier.
In a pot over medium-high heat, add oil. When ready, add onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Add shrimp paste and stir occasionally until browned, for about 1-2 minutes. If you can't find shrimp paste, you can finely chop, then mash with a knife until you get a paste consistency.
Add pork to the pot and cook until lightly browned on all sides. With one can of coconut milk, thoroughly mix all contents of the can and water in the pot. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, until liquid is reduced.
From the second can of coconut milk, only use the cream from the can, don't mix the liquid. Add the cream and the chili peppers to the pot. Stir well and continue cooking for about 20-25 minutes. The pork should be tender, while the fat begins to render in the sauce.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with rice. Garnish with extra chili peppers if desired.
Recipe adapted from Kawaling Pinoy.