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Bicol Express- where do I get the good stuff?

Bicol Express- where do I get the good stuff?
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  • Bicol Express- where do I get the good stuff?

    Post #1 - February 1st, 2018, 5:42 pm
    Post #1 - February 1st, 2018, 5:42 pm Post #1 - February 1st, 2018, 5:42 pm
    Greetings! I am on a search for the real deal- bicol express made the way they make it in Manila. In other words, hot and spicy. Every menu I've seen online or reviews I've read seem to indicate an insipid, weak, barely spicy rendition.

    I plan on making my own this weekend or next for the first time, but would like to try the dish as it was intended to be made- so that I can judge mine better. Online recipe videos (unfortunately mostly in tagalog or another native language which I don't speak) seem to aim for the real deal. Sorry I don't want an "Americanised" blandified wussy dish.

    Anybody help out a bro here? Thanks!
  • Post #2 - February 1st, 2018, 5:47 pm
    Post #2 - February 1st, 2018, 5:47 pm Post #2 - February 1st, 2018, 5:47 pm
    The only place that comes to mind is Isla Pilipina, except its not that spicy.
  • Post #3 - February 1st, 2018, 8:15 pm
    Post #3 - February 1st, 2018, 8:15 pm Post #3 - February 1st, 2018, 8:15 pm
    We actually made bicol express before our recent trip to the Philippines, with precisely the same intent...try it out, see how it is in the place itself, and then compare. I had never had it here, and had no meter stick.

    That said, the few versions I had in and around Manila and Cebu were still pretty mild. They will not satisfy a chili head. I had one version with sitaw/long beans that was tops, but even that was just a pleasant zip. I don't think we are anything spicy in the two weeks we were there. Filipinos are pretty spice-averse on the whole, especially if you are used to Chinese or Indian or Thai levels of spice. That said, feel free to kick it up yourself...one of the great things about Filipino food is its amiable adaptability. Post results!
  • Post #4 - February 2nd, 2018, 8:55 am
    Post #4 - February 2nd, 2018, 8:55 am Post #4 - February 2nd, 2018, 8:55 am
    boshow48111 wrote:The only place that comes to mind is Isla Pilipina, except its not that spicy.
    +1 to both statements. I went with a Filipino from Manila to Isla Pilipina, he always gets the Kare Kare there as it is a dish that warms his heart to what he grew up with in Manila.

    Perhaps order the bicol express at Isla Pilipina, before you do, converse with the wait staff as to your expectations of spicy/what you experienced in Manila. :idea:
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #5 - February 2nd, 2018, 12:01 pm
    Post #5 - February 2nd, 2018, 12:01 pm Post #5 - February 2nd, 2018, 12:01 pm
    mtgl wrote:Filipinos are pretty spice-averse on the whole, especially if you are used to Chinese or Indian or Thai levels of spice.


    That has been my experience with my Filipino friends who claim they (their family and friends) don't eat very spicy stuff. One of my co-workers is always commenting when we go out to lunch (esp. Indian, Thai, and Mexican) and everyone else is increasing the heat that he just can't handle it.
  • Post #6 - February 2nd, 2018, 3:29 pm
    Post #6 - February 2nd, 2018, 3:29 pm Post #6 - February 2nd, 2018, 3:29 pm
    Grill City in a Seafood City will often have Bicol express but I can't vouch for the spice because I can't eat it (shellfish allergies are a great way to enjoy your Filipino heritage).

    Ruby's Fast Food may also have it but you'd have to call and ask Nicky what's in the case that day because that's how turo turo goes.

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