Bicol Express Chicken

Bicol Express Chicken

Chicken Bicol Express has all the flavors you love about the classic Bicolano pork dish, but it’s faster to prepare, healthier and more economical. It’s creamy, spicy and delicious with steamed rice!

Chicken Bicol Express is a delicious version of the classic Bicol Express where boneless chicken replaces the usual pork cubes. It delivers the same big, bold flavors you love in the traditional version, but it’s a slightly healthier and more affordable option.

Bicol Express Chicken

Like the pork version, the bite-sized pieces of chicken are first sautéed in aromatic fruit and shrimp paste, then simmered in coconut milk and plenty of chili peppers. The resulting dish is wonderfully rich, creamy, tangy and perfect with the generous mounds of steamed rice!

This Bicol Express with Chicken is easy to prepare with simple ingredients and in less than an hour. You will have a fantastic dish ready in no time!

It’s a great weeknight meal and also a delicious addition to any special gathering. The recipe can easily be doubled (or tripled) to feed a crowd and is sure to be a party hit!

Cooking tips

• The recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but I think boneless would work. Cut the chicken parts into smaller pieces (watch out for the bones!) to get more surfaces coated in the delicious sauce.
• If you want to tame the heat, use fewer peppers or scrape out the seeds before chopping to get the flavor of the chili without a lot of spice.
• The recipe uses sautéed shrimp paste. If you’re in the US and only have access to bottled “neon pink” shrimp paste, you can rinse and drain it well before using it in the recipe to get rid of the extra saltiness and light color that might otherwise seep through. dish.
• For a smooth, creamy sauce, cook over low heat, as boiling the coconut milk or heating it too quickly will cause it to curdle or separate.
How to serve and store
• Chicken Bicol Express is delicious as a main dish for lunch or dinner. Enjoy it with steamed rice to complement the creamy, spicy flavor!
• Because it contains coconut milk, it spoils faster than most foods, especially in warmer weather. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
• Heat in a saucepan to 165 F or in the microwave in 2- to 3-minute intervals until heated through.

Bicol Express Chicken

Chicken Bicol Express is easy to prepare but packs a punch. Braised in coconut milk and chillies, it is creamy, spicy and delicious with steamed rice.
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
By Lalaine Manalo
Course: Main appetizer


  • 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thigh or breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of sautéed shrimp paste
  • 1 can (14 ounces) of coconut cream
  • 10 pieces of Thai chili peppers, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cups finger chilies, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat the oil in a wide pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until aromatic.

2. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
3. Add the shrimp paste and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 to 2 minutes, until the meat is evenly coated.
4. Add coconut cream and Thai chili peppers.
5. Bring to a boil, cover and continue to cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced and thickened.

6. Add the chili peppers and continue to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.


  • If using bottled raw shrimp paste, rinse and drain well to get rid of excess saltiness and bright color that might otherwise seep into the bowl.
  • For a smooth, creamy sauce, cook over low heat, as boiling the coconut milk or heating it too quickly will cause it to curdle or separate.

Nutritional information

Calories: 430 kcal, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Protein: 36 g, Fat: 29 g, Saturated fatty acids: 21 g, Cholesterol: 125 mg, Sodium: 267 mg, Potassium: 816 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Vitamin A: C: 70 IU, Vitamin A: C: 70 IU. 33 mg, iron: 2.3 mg

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