Buko Pandan Salad

September 2: World Coconut Day

For our marriage preparation ministry, we usually sponsor the “mixed couples” from our church. It makes sense because we are a mixed couple ourselves and can relate our experiences with them. Sometimes we are assigned a young couple where the bride and/or groom is Filipino. Their parents and grandparents would like them to incorporate Filipino traditions (13 coins, veil and cord) in their wedding ceremony, so we practice at our house. To get them in the mood and excited about their cultural customs, we have a Filipino theme night and serve Filipino foods for dinner. One of our brides wanted to share a dessert and brought buko pandan salad. It brought back happy childhood memories for Islander who ate it at relatives’ parties!

We had leftover young coconut (buko) shreds from our buko pie recipe and Islander was able to make this sweet salad at home on the mainland. Thanks to our bride Jobelle for sharing the dessert and the recipe. Serving and eating this buko pandan salad is a wonderful way to observe World Coconut Day!

Recipe

(From Jobelle B.)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups buko (young coconut meat), shredded
  • ½ cup quick-cooking tapioca pearls + water
  • 2 cans (7 ounces) table cream
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon pandan extract (we used Butterfly brand—see Notes)
  • 1 jar nata de coco (cubed coconut gel), drained
  • 1-2 cans green ai-yu jelly, sliced

Directions

In a saucepan, bring 4-5 cups water to a boil. Add the tapioca pearls and cook for 5-10 minutes until no longer white in the middle. Immediately strain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, pour the table cream and mix with the cooked tapioca.

Pour the condensed milk and evaporate milk. Stir in the pandan extract. Drain the nata de coco from the jar and add to the mixture.

Open the can of green jelly and slice into cubes. Gently fold into the mixture. Mix in the buko until well blended. Cover and chill for at least an hour. Serve cold.

Notes

  • If using frozen buko, defrost, rinse and dry completely. If it is too wet, it could spoil easily and ruin the dessert.
  • Butterfly brand pandan extract is thick and bright green but other brands of pandan flavoring are thinner and/or clear color. Adjust accordingly and add a few drops of green food color if desired.
  • Green gelatin, agar-agar or gulaman may be used instead of the canned green ai-yu jelly.
  • In addition to nata de coco, kaong (sugar palm fruit) in a jar could be used in this recipe.
  • Search our blog for other coconut recipes.

No-Churn Coconut Ice Cream

September 2: World Coconut Day

Islander and her brother sometimes would send their friends on the mainland a unique message from Hawaii on a painted hollowed-out coconut. The happily surprised recipients treasure their tropical gift and greeting because it is a very different and personalized postcard.

Islander grew up eating coconuts—from the fresh young ones that her Daddy would pick from the palm trees to the store-bought hairy aged ones in the shell that need to be cracked open and grated. She has drunk coconut water with a straw straight from the fruit (and juice boxes and pouches off island) and used coconut milk in a number of sweet and savory recipes. And now she makes a no-churn coconut ice cream using only 2-3 ingredients, including coconut cream.

Just like those coconut postcards being a treasured tropical treat, no-churn coconut ice cream is perfect for observing World Coconut Day!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut (not coconut milk)
  • coconut flakes (optional)

Directions

In a mixing bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in the cream of coconut. Place in a loaf pan or ice cream container. Cover and freeze for at least six hours or overnight. Remove from the freezer. Scoop into cones or dessert dishes. Sprinkle with coconut flakes (optional).

Notes

  • Coconut flakes could be sweetened or unsweetened and toasted or untoasted. They are optional but add a pretty garnish and tasty texture to this ice cream.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of coconut extract for an even stronger coconut flavor.
  • Search our blog for other no-churn ice cream recipes.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing coconuts.

 

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

May 31: National Macaroon Day

Islander is nuts about coconuts! After all, she grew up on an island surrounded by coconut trees. To feed the family with the fruit, her Daddy would use a long pole with a knife attached to the end of it and extract the young coconuts from the tree. He would chop off the top of a coconut, stick a straw in it or pour the liquid in a glass and the family would drink fresh coconut water. After that, he would crack the coconut open and we would spoon out the flesh to eat the soft meat. Daddy would also grate the older and firmer coconut meat so Mommy could transform them into a variety of tropical treats.

Coconut Macaroons

Islander misses coconuts from Hawaii and must make do on the mainland when she finds coconut products at the grocery store. Sometimes, she makes coconut macaroons because these chewy cookies remind her of a similar dessert her Mommy used to make back home. Try these tropical treats when craving coconut flavors, especially on National Macaroon Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups finely shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • ¾ cup sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt (we used Hawaiian sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the coconut, sugar, egg whites, salt and coconut extract. Blend well until all the ingredients stick together.

Coconut Macaroons

Cover the bowl and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a small scoop to drop the coconut cookie dough about an inch apart from each other. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven at 10-12 minutes or until they begin to brown a bit. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove from the parchment paper. Store in airtight container at room temperature. Serve in mini-muffin/cupcake papers (optional).

 Coconut Macaroons

Notes

  • Macarons and macaroons? We have made both before for our blog. Although they are both cookies, macarons most often are referred to the Parisian-style almond meringue treats (see our Mac Attack page) while macaroons are known as the coconut cookies. Read about the different spelling and more about “macarons vs. macaroons” at The Kitchn site.
  • Coconut water and coconut juice? Unlike macarons and macaroons, coconut water and juice are one and the same. However, some companies that are selling them tend to add some unnatural preservatives in the drink. Learn more at the same Kitchn site.
  • Search our blog for more recipes containing coconuts.