Dumaguete Express

This is Surf and Turf in Pinoy Style! Dumaguete Express is a Filipino dish prepared with fish, prawns, and squid in savoury coconut milk sauce served with strips of fresh coconut and malunggay and topped with crispy pork.

If the Bicolano’s have Bicol Express then the Dumagueteneos have this, the Dumaguete Express. A dish that definitely was inspired by the Bicol Express, but the similarity stops in the coconut milk and chillies, this one is loaded with seafood, young coconut strips, moringa leaves and topped with crispy pork. Typically, seafood like squid, fish and prawns are used but I guess other seafood can be used as well like mussels and scallops.

I love this dish like I love Bicol Express, both have different qualities and goes well perfect with rice, if you want something meaty then Bicol Express will be your dish but if you want something seafoody or if you want something with a plethora of textures like crispy, soft, chewy, slimy, etc then this dish for today is for you.

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Dumaguete Express

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Dumaguete Express is a Filipino dish prepared with fish, prawns, and squid in savoury coconut milk sauce served with strips of fresh coconut and malunggay and topped with crispy pork.


Units Scale
  • 350 g small squid, cleaned and sliced
  • 350 g white flesh fish (snapper, grouper, hapuka, monkfish), cubed
  • 350 g prawns, shelled
  • 1 cup young coconut meat, cut into strips
  • 1/2 packed cup malunggay / moringa leaves
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 3 pcs green chillies, chopped
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 thumb-sized ginger, sliced
  • fish sauce
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • lechon kawali, to top


  1. In a wok add oil heat to medium-high then quickly pan fry prawns and squid in batches, each batch would take around a minute. Remove the prawns and squid then set it aside.
  2. Using the same wok add more oil if needed then sauté garlic, shallots, and ginger.
  3. Pour coconut milk and coconut water then bring to a boil. Simmer in low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the fish, malunggay leaves, coconut meat and tomatoes, continue to cook for 5 minutes in medium high heat.
  5. Add the precooked squid and prawns, also add the coconut meat, green chillies then season with fish sauce. Simmer for 2 more minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper then serve topped with chopped lechon kawali.


11 Responses

  1. Eha says:

    How interesting a read beginning with a name totally strange ! Am not a big surf’n’turf lover but this one is truly interesting ! There is a ‘but’, as there often is . . . living some way out of Sydney fresh coconuts are not readily available . . . and tho” I have spent a fab 1/4 hour with Mr Google ‘malunggay’ seems a wonder-herb methinks our best greengroceries probably would look blank . . . pity, but shall remember just in case . . .

  2. Seafood and crispy pork belly…an unbeatable combination. And with rich coconut milk and refreshing coconut water…a winner in my book.

  3. Chef Mimi says:

    Oh my god this looks incredible. Any chance of you sending me the squid and fish and prawns?!

  4. Love the sound of this – and find it interesting that it is topped with pork! Lucky for me, I have a source of moringa leaves here in town. Rare that anyone uses them here.

  5. sherry says:

    this sounds delicious raymund but not the pork for me :=) happy new year!

  6. Another wonderful dish! I love the combination of seafood and coconut milk, but the addition of pork is something new to me.

  7. Neil says:

    I’m not sure if I prefer dumaguete express or bicol express more. They both look so delicious!

  8. Michelle says:

    The textures in this dish look amazing! Love that contrast of that crispy pork!

  9. suituapui says:

    Fish, prawns and squid? Definitely can’t go wrong with all those seafood. Bet that is very nice!

  10. This sounds delicious with all of that different seafood in there. Add in the coconut, and this would be a flavorful recipe for sure!

  11. Hannah says:

    I swear, I learn about a new dish every time I visit your blog! What an inspiring combination; I’m always down for a rich coconut milk sauce.

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