Bicol Express

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Bicol Express
Bicol Express.jpg
Type Stew
Place of origin Philippines
Creator Demetrio Villanueva Kalaw
Main ingredients Long chilies, coconut milk, shrimp paste or stockfish, onion, pork, garlic
Cookbook: Bicol Express  Media: Bicol Express

Bicol Express (Bikol: Sinilihan) is a popular Filipino dish which was popularized in the district of Malate, Manila but made in traditional Bicolano style.[1][2] It is a stew made from long chilies (siling mahaba in Tagalog, lada panjang in Malay/Indonesian), coconut milk, shrimp paste or stockfish, onion, pork, and garlic. It is said to have been inspired by the fiery Bicolano dish gulay na may lada, which is nowadays presented as one of the many variants of Bicol Express.

Bicol Express was named after the passenger train service[3] from Manila to the Bicol region, a region in the Philippines famous for its spicy cuisine.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Who invented the incendiary Bicol Express? The Philippine Cookbook (Virginia Roces de Guzmán and Nina Daza Puyat) states that the dish was invented by Cecilia Kalaw during the 1960s. However, it was actually Demetrio " Etring " Kalaw who introduced the dish in Manila. Demetrio married a Milagros Estrada from Iriga City, Camarines Sur. While living in Iriga City, Demetrio was introduced to the dishes indigenous to the region. Later on, he and Milagros opened a small restaurant in Malate where Bicol Express and other dishes were served buffet style. This small eatery became a success and was called "The GROVE". later on, Demetrio's sister, Cecilia Kalaw, opened another branch in Makati. the Makati branch was managed by Cecilia and her mother, Maria Kalaw.
  2. ^ What's cooking at Tita Cely's?, Lai Suárez-Reyes
  3. ^ (2011-06-09). "PNR’s ‘Bicol Express’ to resume operations June 29".