Bicol Province is one of the top visited places in the Philippines. This is the place where you can find the perfect cone-shaped Mayon Volcano in Albay. Bicol is also popular with various magnificent falls and beaches which are perfect for your summer escapade. There is more than that. You can find spicy and delicious food in the Province. People are coming back not just to see the beauty of wonder of Bicol, but because of its mouthwatering delicacies.
Here are some of the delicious foods of Bicol Province:
Tilmok dish can only be found in Bicol region. This is well known to locals and even foreigners. The ingredient used for this dish is the coconut meat and the crab. They are mixed together and wrapped with the banana leaves. After attaching together, prepare it to be steamed.
Dinuguan can be found in other region, but there is distinctive style of cooking it in Bicol. Every Filipino knows that dinuguan came from the pig’s blood and they cook it together with the pig’s meat. To make it Bicolano style, chili pepper is added. Dinuguan is much more delicious if puto is added to the cuisine.
Kinunot dish is one of my favorite Bicolano foods. The main ingredient for this tasty recipe is sting ray meat or shark. “Shark?!” you might ask. But this scary creature is actually one of the tastiest dish you could ever taste. To cook this dish, the ingredients to be added are coconut cream, vinegar, malunggay or moringa leaves. Sadly, shark is not allowed to be caught, so, using sting ray fish is now the common used in Kinunot.
There are some land produces that we can eat which people do not know. Labong is made of bamboo shoots, coconut milk, shrimp paste or sardines. To make it in Bicolano style, chili pepper is added to the dish. For more improved taste, you can use fresh shrimp. Bamboo shoots peak season is during rainy days.
Laing or Pinangat is another vegetarian dish. This dish can be usually seen in carinderia and other fine restaurants. Laing usually showcases as a legitimate Bicolano dish. The ingredients for Laing dish are “gabi” or taro leaves, coconut cream, and chili pepper. It is affordable because most of Filipinos have taro plants on their backyard.
Pili can be found easily in Bicol region. You can find pili nuts in pasalubong center and stores for desserts. Most people who visits Bicol buy pili nuts as their “pasalubong” for their family and friends. There are variety of dishes you can cook with pili nuts, this is what they called tinolang Pili. What is the process for cooking this dish? The nuts are just boiled. After boiling it, just prepare for fish sauce to dip it. If you buy the raw pili nuts, you can cook it by adding sugar into it until it is caramelized.
Bicol region is well-known with its spicy foods. The most popular dish in Bicol is the Bicol Express. Although some provinces or cities tried their own variety of Bicol express, they could not imitate the style of Bicolanos. Why did Bicolano name the dish as Bicol Express? They said that people who eats this dish could make them run similar as train. Get ready if you are planning to eat Bicol Express. You should have tissue and water by your side in case you cried out because of hotness and spiciness.
Santol Cooked with Coconut Milk or Ginataang Santol
In Bicol, everything is possible with coconut milk. Coconut milk is one of the signature products of Bicolanos because most of the time, you can see coconut almost everywhere. You can even cook fruit with this. One example is the Santol. The combination of this sour fruit with coconut milk is uniquely surprising. You can cook coconut milk with winged beans, banana blossom, eggplant, bittergourd, and many other vegetables.
Pancit Bato is another variety of noodles. This noodles dish originated in Bato, Camarines Sur. To cook this, you have to boil the noodles first. From a separate pan, stew the other ingredient need – onion, garlic, pepper, cabbage, and carrots. You can add meat if you want. Pansit Bato is best served with vinegar and pan de sal.
Bicol region is popular with banana products. To cook sinapot, the banana should be the “saba” or Cardaba banana variety. The banana should be peeled and sliced into two. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and water. You can add eggs depends on your preference. It should be deep-fried.
Next time you visit Bicol Region, make sure to try these foods and recipes. Surely, you will ask for more!