Camperspoint Philippines

The Hot & Spicy Cuisine of Bicol

Wednesday 14 July 2004, by catseye

Bicol’s regular use of gata or coconut cream and chilli in all its dishes marked the region with authenticity of Asian cuisine. Chilli or "Sili" and coconut cream locally called "gata" come together appetizingly with rice and lots of water to cool down its spicy taste.

The famous Laing or Pinangat is a delicious native dish prepared in bundles of taro leaves, filled with shredded taro leaves, bits of meat or shrimp, lots of chillies, ginger, garlic and onion; then cooked steadily in coconut cream. Most main dishes in the region are based in gata and sili particularly the way vegetables are cooked. May it be banana blossom, jackfruit, or any edible plant, Bicolanos transform it into a delicious dish topped with chillies, which according to them best before a vigorous activity.

Bicol Express so far is everyone’s choice when asked about Bicol’s specialty. It is a mixture of pork meat and shrimp paste sautéed in tomatoes and onions and lots and lots of green chili strips simmered in coconut cream. This dish is a classic favorite of Bicolano farmers specially taken before an energetic activity to enhance their endurance at work.

Kinunot, is an unusual dish prepared with pagi or stingray meat and kalunggay or malunggay- an edible tree leaf used in many local dishes. Just like other bicol dishes, the main ingredients, stingray meat and malunggay, are simmered in coconut cream and green chillies along with some slices of onion and garlic.

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