Pancit Buko (Coconut Meat Noodles)

image.jpegAt first glance, you would think these are rice, egg or wheat noodles made into the traditional Filipino dish, pancit.  But look again, or better still, taste the “noodles” and you’ll immediately know they’re something else — coconut!

In the Philippines, the meat of the coconut fruit is used for a variety of dishes and recipes — from main courses to appetizers, even desserts. Because of their abundance, they’re relatively inexpensive.  A whole fresh coconut fruit will cost you under a dollar.

This recipe pretty much uses similar ingredients used in the pancit, except that instead of noodles, shredded coconut meat is used.  You will need a hand coconut grater/shredder/slice that looks like this in order to form the “noodles.” (Use the end with the rings/circles.)

image.jpeg

You can flavor your pancit any which way you want.  The coconut meat will be anywhere from sweet to neutral in taste, so it can go well with whatever flavor you want on your pancit.  One thing different that you’ll notice is that your pancit will be crunchy, and can be served warm or chilled.

INGREDIENTS

2 small or medium-sized fresh coconut, juice set aside for a drink later, and shreded/sliced into noodle shape.

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small onion, sliced

1 small carrot, julienned

1 cup sliced cabbage

1 cup sliced green beans

1/2 cup pork belly or boneless chicken, sliced into tiny cubes

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp. Olive oil

DIRECTIONS

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add Olive oil.  Sauté the garlic until golden brown.  Add onions and cook until fragrant.  Add in meat or chicken and cook until tender. Add in carerots, green beans and cabbage and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add water and soy sauce and continue cooking until most of the water has evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add in coconut and mix well.  Remove from heat and serve warm. Squeeze a couple of calamansi (citrus) fruits over the pancit.  If needed, adjust the flavor by adding soy sauce or fish sauce.

Leftover pancit can be refrigerated and consumer chilled for later.

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