Bikol Express


Cooking with Eva

This past Friday we had a cookout for all the CRM (Coastal Resource Management) Peace Corps volunteers. There are about 22 of us total, along with our language instructors. This cookout was a lesson in Filipino cooking because each language class prepared a Filipino dish to share with the group. First, shopping for the ingredients at the local market and practicing our Tagalog as we bargained with the vendors. And then, cooking the food together and eating. It felt like Thanksgiving because we had enough food for 3 cookouts!!!

My group prepared Bikol Express, a spicy dish, originating from the Bikol region of the Philippines and home of my language instructor Eva. In the photo you can see Eva and me cooking up our delicious meal. Below is the recipe for Bikol Express, however I doubt that any American recreation of this dish will compare because the best part of Filipino cuisine is the freshness of all ingredients vegetables, seafood and my favorite the incredibly sweet fruits.


  • Shrimp (hipon)
  • Garlic (bawang)
  • Onion (sibuyas)
  • Tomato (kamatis)
  • Chili pepper (sili)
  • Ginger (luya)
  • Salt (asin)
  • Black pepper (paminta)
  • Oil (mantika)
  • Coconut milk (gata)
  1. Saute the garlic, onions, tomatoes, ginger and shrimp. (Igisa ang bawang, sibuyas, kamatis, luya at hipon).
  2. Add coconut milk with water and chili, black pepper, salt and simmer until cooked. (Ilagay ang gata tapes and silk, paminta hang gang maluto).
  3. Then, add the pure coconut milk (Tapos, ilagay and kakang gata).



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