Bicol Express

I did something new last night.  I cooked something that I had never tasted before.  Simply because I know Bicol Express is a spicy dish, and I’m not a big fan of spicy dishes.  However, since I’m cooking the dish, I can control how spicy I want it to be. J   My hubby loves spicy dishes, so I actually made modifications at the end.
Bicol Express is really nothing but pork slices cooked in coconut milk and lots of chili. The addition of veggies is from a version that I saw while google-ing.
First, cut the mean into the desired size.  When I buy meat, I usually use the Kasim (shoulder?) part for dishes that require minimal cooking time, like stir fry dishes.  It’s great because it saves me a lot of time in getting dinner ready on weeknights, especially with only one stove in my kitchen.  In this case, I cut the meat into small cubes, about half an inch or less.
Saute garlic, ginger, and onion for a few seconds, then add the meat.  Spritz a little soy sauce for color. When the meat is cooked and has turned into a nice brown color, add some water.  The water should not be enough to engulf the meat.  Add a pinch of pork cube to add a mildly salty taste.  Boil for about ten minutes.  Add the veggie of your choice, and wait until it is almost done.
 
Add the coconut milk.  I used powdered coconut milk dissolved in room-temp water.  The nice thing about powdered coconut milk is that you can dictate how thick you want it to be.  I always add the milk last, because it will make the liquid boil over over high heat.  You should lower the heat at this point.  Simmer until you are satisfied with how thick your sauce is.  Add some chopped chili and give it a final stir.  You do it at the end so that it will retain its crunch and bright color.
Now the trick.  I added extra chili slices on top to make it spicier. But.  I saved a serving in the pot.  That’s the less spicy serving for me.  Hubby enjoyed the spicier one served on the table during dinner.  We were both happy. J
 
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