Chicken Bicol Express

A healthier take on the classic, this Chicken Bicol Express has all the rich creamy goodness of Bicol ginataan but none of the fat… extra rice please!

Chicken Bicol Express

This is what happens when I’m craving for Bicol Express.

Bicol Express is a creamy stew made of pork, coconut milk, finger chilies (siling haba), shrimp paste, and bird’s eye chili (siling labuyo) to make it more spicy.

Since I am not eating pork these days, I decided to make a healthier take on it by using a mixture of chicken breast and chicken thigh fillets. We love dishes cooked in coconut milk here at home because of the rich creamy flavor that’s just perfect with rice. Since finger chilies are not that spicy, I decided not to deseed it and just slice it before adding to the stewing chicken pieces. peanutbutter loves spicy food and one to two bird’s eye chili does the trick to give this dish the heat he demands.

If Ykaie is eating, no bird’s eye chili is added, instead I give peanutbutter his favorite sawsawan of fish sauce with sliced bird’s eye chili on the side.


Life has been specially hectic this week because of the change in peanutbutter‘s schedule. I’m glad it’s only for this week, though and his regular sched resumes next week. I am also wearing my business hat this week as I take on the challenge of being a #Mompreneur with a new  home negosyo (which I’m sure you already saw on my Facebook and Instagram). I promise to tell you more about it in the following days.

For now,  let’s just enjoy life and this creamy Chicken Bicol Express, shall we?


Chicken Bicol Express

  • Author: Peachy Adarne


  • 700g thigh fillet or chicken fillet, cut into cubes (I used a mixture of both)
  • 8 pieces finger chilies sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 1 450g can of coconut cream
  • salt or fish sauce to taste
  • bird’s eye chili, optional


  1. Heat oil in a wok or a skillet.
  2. Sauté garlic and onion until onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add chicken pieces and cook until brown.
  4. Add shrimp paste and pour in coconut cream. Bring to a boil and lower down heat to simmer.
  5. Simmer chicken for about 20-30 minutes or until cooked and sauce is reduced.
  6. Add the chili peppers and bird’s eye chili.
  7. Simmer for about 1 minute. Season with fish sauce or salt, if needed.
  8. Serve with lots of steamed (red) rice.

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12 Responses

  1. This looks super yummy! I’m not the biggest fan of spicy food, but I do love Bicol Express (not the ones from Bicol ironically because I tried those and I felt like my tongue fell off lol)

  2. I’ve been contemplating on more “exciting” things I can do with chicken except fried chicken, afritada, tinola and adobo. Instead of using liempo, I recently tried using chicken to cook binagoongan, and it turned out quite well. I will definitely try using chicken the next time I cook Bicol Express! 🙂

  3. I love how easy this recipe is to make and that it’s so healthy. I don’t often cook with coconut cream or shrimp paste, so I must try this.

  4. We Love Bicol Express napaparami kami ng kain niyan! Na amaze ako kasi pwede pala ang chicken? Will try this thanks for sharing this recipe.

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Hi, Peachy here!

I'm a foodie mommy living in the Philippines. I'm a mom to two daughters named PURPLE SKYE and PERIWINKLE MOONE and wife to a loving husband I fondly call peanutbutter♥. I am a foodie by heart, a coffee lover and a froyo and yogurt junkie. Learn more →






my photos on delishbook