Friendly warning - you really gotta love spicy food to be able to enjoy the dish below.
My dad's family originated from the Bicol region in the Philippines, which is known for having a predilection for spicy food. Very spicy food.
To the point where, when my dad was a child, corporal punishment involved making the kid chew on siling labuyo, or Thai Birdseye chili. Thank God my dad never passed that on to us.
Anyways, Bicol Express, a spicy coconut cream-based dish, is arguably the most famous dish to come from that region, and is practically a staple at family gatherings at my grandparents' home.
The recipe below is taken from Nora Daza, whose cookbooks can be found in almost every Filipino home.
1/4 c. cooking oil
1 tbs. chopped garlic
1/2 c. chopped onions
1/4 c. chopped or grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp. dilao (fresh turmeric)
1 kg. pork, cooked & sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1-1/2 tbsp. chopped hot chili peppers (siling labuyo)
1-1/2 c. bagoong (shrimp paste)
6 c. coconut cream
2 - 3 c. fresh hot green pepper (elongated variety) sliced diagonally 1/4 inch strips. (These would be your regular long Thai chili peppers, or you can substitute serrano peppers here)
1-1/2 to 2 cups fresh red hot peppers (elongated variety) sliced diagonally - 1/4 inch strips (See above)
1 tsp. Aji-No-Moto, or local MSG equivalent
Instructions:Sauté garlic in hot oil. Add onions and cook till translucent. Stir in fresh ginger and dilao and the sliced cooked pork. Stir continually for 5 minutes. Add bagoong (shrimp paste) and chopped hot chili peppers (siling labuyo). Stir until the pork is completely covered by mixture. Pour 6 c. coconut cream and add the sliced hot green and red peppers. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes. Add the aji-no-moto. Add salt if necessary.
The core of the dish is really the coconut cream and siling labuyo, and you can substitute practically any meat in place of the pork - I've even tasted a meatless version with tofu and liked it.
You can choose to omit the MSG if you wish.