Bring the spice into the sea! Have your favorite bicol express the seafood way! This seafood bicol express is made with three types of seafoods (shrimp, mussels and squid) simmered in spicy coconut cream sauce.
WHY IS IT CALLED BICOL EXPRESS?
Ever wonder why this dish is called bicol express? At first, I though that this is because the spicyness of this dish will bring you to places! I once had the legit bicol express when I visited one of my friends who live in Sorsogon. Believe me when I tell you that there are more chilies than pork in it! It is really the Bicolano’s trademark to have a ginataan dish with a lot of chilies.
But did you known that bicol express was not first popularized in Bicol? This dish gained its popularity in the district of Malate, Manila. Bicol express was invented by a restaurant owner named Cecilia Villanueva Kalaw ot Tita Cely. Bicol express is made in traditional Bicolano style using coconut cream and chilies. Tita Cely named this dish after the name of a train that passes their house which travels from Manila to Bicol. So mindblowing, right?
SEAFOOD BICOL EXPRESS
Seafood bicol express is one of our staples during beach outings. You know, whenever you go to the sea, you wanna FEEL THE SEA. Instead of using the usual pork or chicken, having different types of seafood in coco cream in a boodle fight by the beach really feels awesome and “by the theme”.
Since Holy Week is coming, I know every one is excited to go the beach. And since we have a “no pork rule” during this sacred week, you may still enjoy your favorite bicol express with some delicious seafoods instead.
During the day, we serve the seafood bicol express in a boodle fight. During the night, this savoury dish becomes one of the best pulutans! I really love it when we sip that delicious creamy sauce by the shells of the mussels and shrimps.
If you wanna know how to make some seafood bicol express, read and follow the very simple steps below. Make sure to make it extra spicy!
HOW TO MAKE SEAFOOD BICOL EXPRESS
When you see seafood ingredients in a recipe, making that dish will surely be quick and easy since seafoods must not be overcooked. This seafood bicol express recipe is much easier than the classic pork bicol express.
Start with preparing and cleaning the different seafoods. When done, let’s prepare the creamy coconut sauce. Since this recipe uses both thin and thick coconut milk, I highly recommend to just buy a fresh buko and then do the coconut squeezing (“pagpipiga”) of the coconut milk at home.
Saute the aromatics and then add the thin coconut milk. Season the sauce by adding some shrimp paste (better if sauteed already) and the red and green chilies. Bicol express is very known with lots and lots of chilies. Make sure you add the chilies based on your tolerance and spice preference. Add the seafood and let them cook in the sauce.
Then, add the thick coconut sauce. Make sure to use low heat to prevent to coconut milk from burning. Do a taste test to check if the seafoods are cooked. When cooked, then it’s ready!
I usually papak my seafood since I really love sipping the sauce from the shells (especially from the shrimps!). You can also have this with some hot steaming rice, or with some ice cold beer as a pulutan. Yum!
Seafood Bicol Express
200 grams squid
½ kilo mussels (tahong)
300 grams of shrimp
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 small onion (chopped)
2 thumbs of ginger (chopped)
1 cup thick coconut milk
1 cup thin coconut milk
2 tablespoons shrimp paste (alamang)
4 pieces green chilies
2 pieces red chilies
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt to taste
- Prepare the squid. Clean each piece and remove the black skin by peeling gently. Cut them into smaller pieces.
- Prepare and clean the mussels.
- Prepare and wash the shrimps. Remove the antenna and devein each piece. Keep the head and the shells.
- Heat some oil in a pan. Add the garlic, onions and ginger. Saute them for a few minutes until aromatic.
- Add the thin coconut milk. Stir well and let it boil. Once boiling, add the green and red chilies depending on how spicy you like. Add the shrimp paste and mix well.
- Add the squid, shrimps and mussels. Mix well until covered with the sauce.
- Add the thick coconut milk Toss gently and mix well. Season with some black pepper. Stir and let it simmer for a few more minutes. Do a taste test and season with more salt if needed. When the seafoods are cooked, turn the heat off.
- Transfer the seafood bicol express to a serving plate. Make papak or serve this with some hot steaming rice. Enjoy!
Seafood Bicol Express Recipe (TAGALOG)
- 200 grams squid
- ½ kilo mussels (tahong)
- 300 grams of shrimp
- 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 2 thumbs of ginger (chopped)
- 1 cup thick coconut milk
- 1 cup thin coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons shrimp paste (alamang)
- 4 pieces green chilies
- 2 pieces red chilies
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- Ihanda ang mga pusit. Linisin ito isa isa at hilahin ang black na skin nito. Hiwain ang mga ito sa maliliit na piraso.
- Ihanda at linisin ang mga tahong.
- Ihanda at hugasan ang mga hipon. Alisin ang mga sungot at idevein ang mga ito isa isa. Wag alisin ang ulo at ang shell.
- Magpainit ng mantika. Ilagay ang bawang, sibuyas at luya. Igisa ang mga ito ng ilang minuto hanggang maging mabango.
- Ilagay ang pangalawang piga ng gata. Haluin ito at pakuluan. Kapag kumukulo na, ilagay ang siling haba at siling labuyo. Ilagay ang alamang at haluin.
- Ilagay ang pusit, hipon at tahong. Haluin hanggang malagyan lahat ng sauce.
- Ilagay ang unang piga ng gata. Haluin ito ng mabuti. Timplahan ito ng paminta at haluin. Hayaan itong maluto ng ilang minuto. Tikman at dagdagan ng asin kung kailangan. Kapag luto na ang seafoods, patayin ang apoy.
- Ilipat ang seafood bicol express sa serving plate. Papakin o samahan ito ng mainit na kanin. Enjoy!