I call it ‘Coca Salad’ for short. I’m sure you’ve heard of it in a different name. But yes, it’s simply a salad of coconut, cantaloupe and nata de coco (coconut gel) in a creamy dressing. Nicely chilled, it’s quite refreshing especially in the hot summer months.
Preparation can either be tedious or quick, depending on how and where you source your ingredients. You can buy your young coconut already grated by the vendor or you can do it yourself, along with the cantaloupe which you will also need to grate. The dressing involves a quick simmer of condensed milk and cream.
If you can’t find nata de coco, you can easily substitute it with any flavor of gelatin.
You can also decide to be more fancy by adding pinipig crunch (pounded rice flakes) and even a scoop of your favorite ice cream!
¾ cup condensed milk
¾ cup all-purpose cream
1 tsp cornstarch
1 large ripe cantaloupe, grated
1 fresh coconut, grated, with coconut water reserved
1 cup nata de coco, drained
Combine grated coconut, cantaloupe and nata de coco in a bowl and set aside.
In a small pan, combine condensed milk and all-purpose cream. Heat over low temperature and simmer for a few minutes, constantly stirring. Dissolve cornstarch in the juice of the coconut and add to the cream mixture. Continue to simmer until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let cool.
Pour cooled dressing over the coconut, cantaloupe and nata de coco. Toss well and place in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours and until ready to serve.