Pork Binabad a la Bicol Express: A Fusion of Cabanatuan and Bicolandia

Pork Binabad is specialty dish in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. It is a marinated pork (usually pork liempo) in salt and atsuete (annato), could be oil or powdered, giving it its orangey color. It is commonly pre-boiled in a small amount of water, then pan-fried once the water dried up.

I decided to reinvent the Cabanatuan’s specialty by incorporating it to one of the most popular Filipino dishes, the Bicol Express.

Bicol Express is a pork stew made from pork, coconut milk, shrimp paste, long chilies, garlic and onion. According to the origin of the dish, Bicol Express was popularized in Malate, Manila but made in traditional Bicolano style. It was named after the passenger train service from Manila to Bicol Region.

Below is the recipe of my Pork Binabad a la Bicol Express:

Ingredients: 

500 grams of Pork Binabad, cut into cubes 
1 small Onion, chopped 
4-5 cloves of Garlic, chopped 
3-5 pieces of long chilies (siling haba), sliced 
1-2 pieces of red chilies (siling labuyo), sliced  – Optional
1 bundle of Kangkong (water spinach), chopped 
1 cup of Coconut Milk (gata), you may also use instant Coconut Milk in powdered form dissolved in 1 cup of hot water
5 tablespoons of Shrimp paste (Bagoong Alamang)
2 tablespoons of cooking oil

Procedures:

1. Pre-boil the Pork Binabad in a small amount of water.

2. Once the water dried up, pour a small amount of cooking oil and pan-fry the pork.

3. In the same pan, put chopped onion, garlic, sliced long chilies and shrimp paste, then sauté together with the pork.

4. Pour the coconut milk and simmer until it slightly thickens.

5. Put the chopped Kangkong and continue simmering until cooked.

6. If you want the dish to be spicier, add the sliced red chilies.

One more thing, aside from Kangkong, you can use sigarilyas (winged beans), which is the common vegetable used in Bicol Express. Or, you may use both veggies. You can also add sliced eggplant (talong) if you are more into veggies. 🙂

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