Bopis Bicolana: A Pandemic Meal

Tightening the budget is a must now due to COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, the number of confirmed cases is on the rise as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). They recorded around 8 million confirmed cases and more than 440,000 deaths as of 17 June 2020.

The number of confirmed cases in the Philippines as predicted after the easing down of community quarantine, has escalated to 31,825 with more than 1,000 deaths as of June 23, 2020. Unemployment rate shoots up at 17.17% in June, way higher than 5.1% in April, the same year.

The economy has been crippled since work in most establishments was suspended. Families need to ‘tighten belts’ and limit spending “to make both ends meet”, we say. It is in this context that I decide to feature a hearty dish, that’s within family’s budget. I tasted this first when our colleague in my previous work brought a dish and everybody liked it. A common Bopis is cooked with vinegar and sliced “kangkong” or water spinach stalks. But in Bopis Bicolana, we’ll cooked pork lungs with coconut milk, ginger, carrots, lots of chili, onions, and garlic.

As I said, this dish is within the budget. The cost of all ingredients is close to around $4.00 or less than PhP200.00, but the meal may be good for 10-15 persons. As for our family, we’re 9 in total, 6 adults and 3 children, but we have leftover of this until lunch the next day. 🙂 For the ingredients, I bought 1 kg pork lungs at PhP100.00, 1/2 kg coconut meat at PhP20.00, 2 carrots at PhP18.00, pork broth cube, garlic, ginger, onion and chili. If you like spicy foods, you’ll put in more chili. Also, I added the special chili paste that my brother-in-law has made to enhance flavor and spiciness.

For the cooking procedures, you have to wash and clean the pork lungs and boil them for around 15-20 minutes until tender. While your boiling it, you may prepare the other ingredients, dice the carrots, mince the garlic and slice the onions and chili into the desired size. After boiling the lungs, chopped it into small pieces.

In a pan, pour in at least 2 tablespoon of cooking oil, sautee the garlic, ginger and onions. Then pour in the chopped boiled pork lungs. Stir to mix all the ingredients. Pour in the coconut milk and pork broth cube. Stir occasionally to prevent lumps. Add the carrots and chili before the coconut milk turns to oil. Add the chili paste (Chilli ni Baggy) to enhance flavor and spicines. Taste with salt.

Chili and Garlic Paste, Chilli ni Baggy

Bopis Bicolana is packed with nutrients, the cooked lungs contain essential vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Magnesium and others. Vitamin E from coconut oil, and so much more from carrots and other spices.

This is a nutritious meal that is within our budget, for those with kids, you may prepare a portion with less chili. Happy eating, everyone! Once you try this dish, do me a favor to leave a comment about the taste. For more dishes within the budget on a pandemic, please follow my posts.

Published by Maria Cristina Gino Baroso

Education advocate and travel lover

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