5 Mouth Watering Bicolano Dishes That You Must Try!
Are you heading to the Bicol region this summer for a trip and are wondering what are the best Bicolano dishes to try?
Bicolano people love to use chili, or “sili” in their dishes. They have an acquired taste for spicy dishes, combined with the creamy, exotic flavor of coconut cream or “gata“. The perfect fusion of flavors for even the fussiest of tongues! We have put together a few mouth watering Bicolano dishes, to guide you through the culinary chaos of provincial dining.
Masiram is the Bicolano term for “masarap” in Tagalog or “delicious” in English. And believe me, some of these dishes will blow your mind!
Typical Bicolano dishes include recipes cooked with gata (coconut milk), alamang (tiny shrimp either fresh or dried) and labuyo (chili). Here are few Bicolano dishes to try during your trip to this region.
Our Top 5 Recommended Dishes
Everyone has heard of Bicol Express, especially since it is also a favorite dish in the Manila. It is a signature Bicolano dish of pork meat sauteed with onions, garlic and alamang, and then stewed in coconut milk. The Tagalog version of this is a lot creamier, where as the true Bicolano dish, reduces the coconut cream to more of an oil and the labuyo is more prominent than the pork meat. For a great recipe click here for details:Fun fact: This dish was named after the passenger train service from Manila to Bicol: All aboard the Bicol Express!
Alamang Bola Bola
Bola Bola, or in other words meat balls! This scrumptious dish is a favorite meatball alternative with a twist. It uses fresh alamang or sinarapan (also known as tabios) or dulong, which small fish/shrimp deep fried into meat balls and served with a sweet and sour sauce with a touch of heat. This crunchy, seafood flavored bola bola is bound to have you salivating. Great as a main meal or mirienda (mid day snack).
One of my personal favorites! I am not a vegetarian, but I love veggie dishes, and santol (a type of fruit), is a great meat alternative that still has a meaty texture and very high in protein. This Bicolano dish is made with love, and you should savor every mouth full of it, since preparing this dish is quite laborious. It requires elbow grease to scrap or grate the meat of the fruit into small shreds. The fruit is then boiled in coconut milk, and flavored with garlic, onion and ginger and optional pork and bagoong. Yum! This refreshing dish will get your taste buds going!
Check out this recipe for more details.
Honestly I am not a fan of dinuguan, or pigs blood soup in English. And I am a bit squeamish when it comes to this dish. But the way the Bicolanos cook this dish takes away the blood flavor and makes it into something new altogether. This variation from the Tagalog version, marinates the meat in the signature coconut milk that is used in most Bicolano dishes and vinegar, and then sauteed with coconut cream and labuyo. This preparation removes that “malansa”* taste. Click here to check out the recipe.
*malansa in English means fishyness, but can also be used to describe the flavor of bloody or raw meat.
This is another Bicolano favorite! A veggie dish that uses dried taro leaves, or Laing in Tagalog. There are a variety of Laing recipes around but the basic recipe originating in the Bicol area uses 3 main ingredients, the Laing, coconut milk and labuyo. Another dish that is a perfect rice match! Check out this video on how to cook Laing.
Why not try us?
If you plan to take a trip to Calaguas or Caramoan this summer, we provide a fully catered service for our guests. And we love to brag about it!! Yes, we have had some great feedback from our previous guests that our food is definitely Masiram! With our tour packages starting from Php 2,500 including catered food, you should definitely give the Bicol region a try. Click here to find out more, or message one of our travel advisors here.
Check out our “pogi” Bicolano”Kusineros”, or kitchen staff in Calaguas preparing Bicol Express, Alamang Bola Bolo and Dinaguang Bicol. Whats cooking good looking!