Filipino Bicol Express

It has been weird in some ways not sharing a weekly recipe creation with all of you. Fortunately, however, my family was able to disconnect (well except for my kids and their darn devices) and take a week long road trip. Where you may ask? Tennessee, the whole state and wow was it a blast. I think, and I hope we got so much in during the week. I went down on a mission, a different one than my wife and probably kids for that matter, and that was to try some of the best barbecue and fried chicken I have ever had; hands down ever. In summary Rendezvous ribs and barbecue nachos, Gus’s Fried Chicken, Peg Leg Barbecue ribs (got the last rack and it was only noon (they opened at 11)), and Hatti B’s Nashville hot chicken. So with that said, I’m ready to share with you a great recipe, and one that has some heat to it, much like Hatti B’s!

Bicol Express is a Filipino dish that finally has some heat to it. Don’t get me wrong here, I love pretty much any Filipino dish that has come my way, but I’m always questioning in my mind ‘Do they not use any heat when cooking?’.

This is the perfect answer to that question. I love how the Filipino’s use vinegar, garlic, and lots of black pepper in some of their dishes, and that is right up my alley, but this recipe has me. It’s a stew with very simple ingredients. It’s comforting. It has the perfect heat, and is great served alongside rice.

Filipino Bicol Express Recipe
Filipino Bicol Express Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 lb pork belly, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp roasted shrimp paste (this stuff stinks but brings such umami)
  • 1 whole onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 14 fresh chilies (Thai Bird, Indian Green Chile, or Serrano) of your choice, stems removed, chiles sliced in half
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cooked rice, optional

Start by heating a medium sized pot (you will cook everything in this pot) on medium heat, then add the oil. Once the oil comes to temperature, add in the cubed pork belly.

Cook the pork belly, turning along the way, until all sides become browned.

Once the pork is browned, add in the onions, garlic, and ginger. Give a good stir, and continue to cook for about 3 minutes or so.

Next add in the shrimp paste. Turn on your vent on high as this stuff has some funk (good funk), and continue to stir. Toss in the chilies, stir again, then add in the coconut milk.

How to make Filipino Bicol Express
How to make Filipino Bicol Express

Bring this to a simmer, and cook for about 1 hour, on low, stirring along the way.

Before serving, taste and season with any salt or pepper.

Now you are ready to dig in. I like to serve with a small bowl of rice to the side, along with a soup bowl of the Bicol Express. This dish is rich, creamy, spicy, funky, and overall totally comforting and right up my alley. Don’t be scared of the chiles as you can eat around them. The chilies overall bring that subtle heat to the dish overall, but if you are searching for a bit of that chili punch when eating, go ahead and bite into them! Hope you enjoy, and it’s great to be back!

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken

For some time now, gochujang has been one of my favorite condiments. There is something about it, whether that combination of sweet, spicy, or savory, but whatever it is gochujang has got it going on. I have used gochujang in a couple of different recipes including Korean style zucchini as well as some Korean style quick pickles, both of which were delicious, but not it was time to try to incorporate the gochujang into a chicken marinade and see how it would turn out. Actually, I knew how it was going to turn out, and I was right, it turned out pretty awesome.

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken Recipe
Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 8 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoon of gochujang paste
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 dash of fish sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp water
  • cooked rice, optional
  • sliced scallions, optional

Start by making your marinade. Combine everything but the chicken, rice, and scallions in a mixing bowl. Whisk until everything is smooth.

Add the chicken thighs to a large plastic sealable bag, and pour in the marinade. Seal, and place into the refrigerator overnight.

The following day, about an hour before you are ready to begin cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to take off the chill.

Gochujang Chicken
Gochujang Chicken

Strain the marinade, reserving it into a bowl. Pat the chicken dry and place on a wired rimmed baking sheet.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Add the chicken thighs, skin side down to the baking sheet.

Place into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Remove, then flip the chicken so it is skin side up, and cook an additional 10 minutes or so, or until the skin is nice and crispy.

During this time, add the reserved marinade to a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until the sauce has reduced. This will act as your glaze with the chicken is ready.

Now it is time to serve.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and carefully add them to a large serving dish. With a cooking brush, or spoon for that matter, begin brushing the chicken thighs with the reduced marinade.

Serve and with rice. My kids totally loved these. They are typically not fans of thighs like I am, but that told me something, and that something was most likely that awesome gochujang marinade. Hope you enjoy!

Korean Gochujang Marinated Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken
Cuisine: Korean Style
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 8 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoon of gochujang paste
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • 1 dash of fish sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp water
  • cooked rice, optional
  • sliced scallions, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by making your marinade. Combine everything but the chicken, rice, and scallions in a mixing bowl. Whisk until everything is smooth.
  2. Add the chicken thighs to a large plastic sealable bag, and pour in the marinade. Seal, and place into the refrigerator overnight.
  3. The following day, about an hour before you are ready to begin cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to take off the chill.
  4. Strain the marinade, reserving it into a bowl. Pat the chicken dry and place on a wired rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down to the baking sheet.
  7. Place into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Remove, then flip the chicken so it is skin side up, and cook an additional 10 minutes or so, or until the skin is nice and crispy.
  8. During this time, add the reserved marinade to a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat until the sauce has reduced. This will act as your glaze with the chicken is ready.
  9. Now it is time to serve.
  10. Remove the chicken from the oven, and carefully add them to a large serving dish. With a cooking brush, or spoon for that matter, begin brushing the chicken thighs with the reduced marinade.
  11. Serve and with rice.

 

Asian Style Pickled Peppers

For whatever reason, any time I visit my local Mexican grocery store to devour their tacos, I stop in their produce aisle and typically load up on a ton of limes, and a ton of jalapeno peppers. Maybe because that is what I see the locals doing. Granted I am not buying like 40 of each, but maybe 10-12 of them, and that is typically enough for me. I usually cut up the jalapenos and use them in omelettes or something on those lines, but recently, I had about 5 of them left over and wanted to use them up, and make something unique. That’s when these Asian style pickled peppers came about. Think of your classic vinegar and sugar mixture, but make with a twist. A delicious twist.

Asian Style Pickled Peppers Recipe
Asian Style Pickled Peppers Recipe

I crave all sorts of pickled chilies, and I often snack on them when I get home from work. With that being said, my chili stash became seriously low when I crushed the remaining sport peppers after using them on my Italian style pulled pork sandwiches, and hence whey I probably got started on making this batch of pickled chili peppers!

Let’s get started.

  • 5 jalapeno peppers, stems removed, quartered (leave seed in tact)
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of regular vinegar
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • dash of fish sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed

Now you can probably try these with any chili pepper such as Thai bird, or serrano, but I will leave that up to you.

Start by adding the chili peppers to a medium sized mason jar.

Next, get a small pot on the stove, on medium heat. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, water, fish sauce, and garlic. Bring to a gentle boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, and let the pickling mixture completely cool.

Ingredients for making Asian style pickled peppers
Ingredients for making Asian style pickled peppers

Once the mixture is cooled, pour into the mason jar, seal, and place in your refrigerator for a couple of days before digging in.

At first I was thinking these were going to be pretty spicy, but you know what, they weren’t! I thought they had the perfect amount of heat and that soy sauce makes it super unique. Now I’m eating these after work, but also thinking of adding them to an upcoming stew, or adding them to some sort of sandwich, maybe a banh mi! I hope you enjoy!

Asian Style Pickled Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Pickled Peppers
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 5 jalapeno peppers, stems removed, quartered (leave seed in tact)
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • ½ cup of regular vinegar
  • ¾ cup of water
  • dash of fish sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed
Instructions
  1. Now you can probably try these with any chili pepper such as Thai bird, or serrano, but I will leave that up to you.
  2. Start by adding the chili peppers to a medium sized mason jar.
  3. Next, get a small pot on the stove, on medium heat. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, water, fish sauce, and garlic. Bring to a gentle boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, and let the pickling mixture completely cool.
  4. Once the mixture is cooled, pour into the mason jar, seal, and place in your refrigerator for a couple of days before digging in.

 

Crispy Chicken Feet

Years ago when living in Dallas, I would often go and eat dim sum on the weekends, something that is definitely missing in Milwaukee. One of those dim sum items was soft and tender chicken feet. Yep, I tried them (what’s not to try), and I can’t say that I was a big fan on the texture of them. Somewhat gelatinous with too many bones. OK, I was not a fan. But on a recent outing to one of our local ethnic grocery stores, I saw a package of them and decided to make them, only this time crispy. See my oldest is a huge fan of crispy chicken wings, and as these chicken feet with super cheap, I decided I would see if I could crisp them up and not only try them, but to also see if my oldest would eat them, or like them. Indeed he did!

Crispy Chicken Feet Recipe
Crispy Chicken Feet Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 1 lb of chicken feet, nails removed
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 4 cups of water, or enough to cover the chicken feet
  • 1 cup of canola oil
  • Your favorite BBQ seasoning
  • parchment paper

Start by clipping the nails off of the feet. I did this by using my kitchen shears and clipping at the knuckle joint. Discard.

To a large bowl, add the feet, and rinse them thoroughly in cold water.

Next, add the feet to a medium sized pot, add the soy sauce, garlic, salt, and cover them with water.

Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the feet to another bowl, let cool, and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Crispy Chicken Feet
Crispy Chicken Feet

The following day, remove the feet, and pour out any excess water.

To a medium sized pot, on low heat, add in the oil. Then after a few minutes add in the chicken feet. At first I was going to deep fry these, but there is so much skin that I knew oil would be popping everywhere, and I did not want that. I simply wanted to slow cook them for about 15 minutes on low heat to continue to cook them. After about 15 minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon or spider, to a paper towel lined sheet pan to let any excess oil drain off.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

To a sheet pan, add the parchment paper to cover. Add the chicken feet and sprinkle your favorite barbecue seasoning all over the feet. Stir around so that all of the chicken feet are covered with seasoning.

Place them into the oven, and slow roast until they are nice and crispy, about 45 minutes to a hour. Every oven is a bit different so keep an eye on them until they are nice and dark golden brown and crispy.

Remove from the oven, place them in a bowl, and dig in.

Were these good? Yeah, they were pretty darn good. My oldest loved them and was eating them all to the base of the feet, and my middle guy was suspicious and tried one and it kind of freaked him out, as they probably might to most Americans. But I will admit that these are common snacks in Asian countries, and if you are looking for something unique to serve up, give these a try. They are cheap, and pretty darn tasty. Hope you enjoy!