Buko Pandan is a traditional Filipino dessert made with agar-agar, coconut strings, pearls, evaporated milk, and condensed milk. This is a refreshing dessert to eat on a warm day.
Love Pandan? Try my Pandan Ice Cream or my Buko Pandan Drink!
Buko Pandan is a traditional Filipino dessert that is a staple dessert for most Filipino get-togethers- and that’s how I discovered this delicious dessert!
I remember when I visited the Philippines in 2009, the week I was to leave, I visited the mall every day to eat Buko Pandan. *sigh* This brings me to announce, I will be visiting the Philippines next summer 2015! YEY!! I will be going with my church and we will be doing health seminars and VBS. I cannot wait to go back!!
History of Buko Pandan:
Buko Pandan is a favorite Filipino dessert that originated from the island province of Bohol. It is a staple dessert for most Filipino gatherings like fiestas, celebrations, and holiday parties. It is considered one of the most popular desserts in the Philippines.
What is Buko Pandan?
Buko Pandan is a traditional Filipino salad dessert made of young coconut meat (buko) strings, sweetened milk or cream, and jelly cubes flavored with screwpine or locally known as pandan leaf. It is a sweet, creamy, and delicious dessert that is perfect for any occasion. It is super easy to make, inexpensive and refreshing to eat during the hot season.
If you have ever visited the Philippines, purchase the Buko Pandan from Chow King, it is so good. They top the Buko Pandan with coconut ice cream and it’s so delicious.
Tips and Procedures:
- In this recipe, if you cannot find agar-agar, you can use green gelatin.
- If you just have the clear version of gelatin on hand, you can just put in a few drops of green food color after you dissolve it in hot water.
- If you are in the Philippines, fresh buko (coconut) is easy access and cheap.
- If you are using fresh buko flesh, don’t forget to drain the buko juice from the flesh completely, because the buko juice has the tendency to spoil desserts faster when included.
- The cooking time of tapioca pearls varies. When using large pearls, it takes 25-30 minutes to cook and it’s always best to taste it before draining it to make sure it is completely cooked through.
- Tip on cooking tapioca pearls, it will be translucent, soft, and a bit of a white part in the middle of each pearl and make sure to keep stirring or the tapioca pearls will stick together.
- For a creamier Buko Pandan, you can add in your favorite all-purpose cream. I like using Nestle Cream
- Storage: Buko Pandan will store in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container.
How to Make Buko Pandan:
Listed below are all the ingredients you will need:
- young coconut
- agar agar
- tapioca pearls
- pandan paste/extract
- evaporated milk
- condensed milk
Feel free to use substitutes if what I used in my recipe is not found in your local grocery stores:
Start by dissolving the gelatin and/or the agar-agar. Just follow the directions indicated in the packaging. In this recipe, I did not add sugar as I will add condensed milk later:
Pour the dissolved gelatin and or agar-agar in a flat container and let it cool until it solidifies:
Slice the coconut flesh like what I did, or you can even slice them into smaller and thinner strips so you can have more coconut flesh distributed evenly when you mix it with the other ingredients:
Cooking the tapioca pearls is so easy to do. Just boil water into a deep pan and when it starts boiling rapidly, pour the tapioca pearls and continuously stir it to prevent the pearls from sticking together:
After about 10-15 minutes, the tapioca pearls are cooked. You only need the cooked tapioca pearls so completely drain all the water from the pan. Let the tapioca pearls cool and if you are in a hurry, you can place it in the refrigerator:
Now, this is the exciting part!
In a large mixing bowl, add in the cooled tapioca pearls, condensed milk, and evaporated milk:
Remember that we let the dissolved gelatin cool earlier? Here it is! Slice them into smaller squares and the easiest way to transfer them into the mixing bowl is to spoon it out, just like what I did. It doesn’t have to come out in perfect squares as no one would notice them while they eat this delicious treat 🙂
Add in the buko or coconut strips into the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly:
We are almost done, Simply Bakers! Add the pandan flavoring and mix it well:
The pandan flavor makes this dessert so fragrant you’re going to want to eat it now- but remember to be patient because it tastes better chilled.
Frequently Asked Questions:
No, the leaf itself is not edible. The pandan leaf is widely used in Southeast Asian cuisines as a flavoring to sweet and savory dishes. It is also used to give a distinct aroma to bread and rice.
It tastes sweet, creamy, and delicious. Pandan leaves have a naturally sweet taste and soft aroma. Its flavor is strong, described as grassy vanilla with a hint of coconut.
It is mainly made of agar-agar, young coconut strings, tapioca pearls, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and pandan or screwpine extract. Other ingredients such as kaong and nata de coco can be added as well
Step by Step Video:
More Filipino Desserts that are Easy to Make:
- 1 packet of Agar-Agar
- 2 bags shredded young coconut
- ⅔ cups mini green tapioca pearls
- 1 can condensed milk
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon pandan
- 1 can nestle cream optional
- Follow the ingredients to make Agar-Agar.
- To make the tapioca pearls, boil 2 cups water and when the water is boiling, add tapioca pearls and boil for 15 minutes, making sure to keep stirring or the tapioca pearls will stick together. Once tapioca pearls are soft, strain with a mesh strainer and allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add tapioca pearls, shredded young coconut, condensed milk, evaporated milk, nestle cream, pandan and mix until well combined.
- Allow the buko pandan to chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Hi! I’m a Filipino and I’m glad you like Philippines! 😀 Please enjoy your stay this summer at our country and I hope you’ll enjoy various Filipino dishes and confections as well. Thank you for recreating some Filipino recipes! You make us proud! 😀
Hi Blessie! Just saw this comment! Thank you so much, I did enjoy it when I went. I will be back next summer. Can’t wait!!
How many servings it’s in the recipe??? Thanks
It makes about 4-6 large servings. Sorry for the late reply!
Where to buy the agar agar
At you nearby asian market.
Sorry for the late reply……. it’s also labeled KANTEN in the supermarkets’ Asian/Ethnic aisles and maybe even the Asian markets/stores. Hope you’ve found it by now!
Hey, Sheryl! You can buy them at grocery stores and if you have an Asian store nearby, I am sure they have agar-agar. I apologize for the late reply… I am excited to see your Buko Pandan version.
Kimberly Charisse Balbin Huerta says
Buko pandan is so delicious, but I don’t know how to make it 😅
Thank you so much for your recipe 😍
Ma’am I would like to ask if there’s a blue colored agar-agar ? Or people just poured some food color?
I wanted to make buko pandan with blue colored agar-agar for my daughter’s 5th birthday.
Thank you 🙏
Hi Kimberly! I really apologize, I just saw your comment. I haven’t seen blue agar-agar but definitely, you can put any food color you like. xx
Thank you so much, Martha!
I need more of this!
Hey, Janelle! Thank you! Hope you check out my other recipes!
Make some more yummy and easy recipes! I love them, Lainey!
Aww, thanks Glendale! For sure I will! Don’t forget to check out my blog and YouTube channel for new recipes 🙂
Can i make this night before serving?
Thank you for this recipe.
Yes you can make this the night before, but place it in your fridge. Thanks for swinging by.
What green gelatin did you use?
Hey, Cindy! I used the brand Jell-o but you can use any that is available at the groceries near you. Please tag me on any of my social media with your buko pandan photos 🙂 Thank you so much!
Can you add food color to the plain tapioca pearls?
Hi Pam! For the white ones, I am not sure if the food color sticks to it when added, but I know that there are colored ones available in the groceries. I see red, yellow, and green tapioca pearls. Hope my answer helps 🙂 xx Lainey
Hello maam whats the ml measuremnt Nestle Cream? I habe just in a Box Type Nestle Cream. . Als also zur other ingredients in ml measurements ..Thank you ☺
Hi Jiamaila! For this recipe, I used the Nestle cream (250ml). Hope you make an awesome version of this Buko Pandan recipe. Don’t hesitate to ask more questions if you need to 🙂 Thank you!
how long that buko pandan last?
Hi there! The buko pandan lasts for at most 1 day in the chiller. The buko makes it prone to a quick wastage. But if you place it in the freezer, this delicious dessert could last up to 3 days max. Thank you!
hi there! how long is the shelf life?
Hi Kim! The buko pandan lasts for at most 1 day in the chiller. The buko makes it prone to a quick wastage. But if you place it in the freezer, this delicious dessert could last up to 3 days max. Thank you!
Hi! What is the exact measurement for the agar agar? Mine comes in one large package rather than small individual packets
Hi there Sierra! The quantity of the agar-agar would depend on the quantity of your buko shreds. You can put in half of the buko quantity or same measurement as your buko shreds.
How many people can eat for 3 scale?
About 8-12 people, pending on how many scoops they put into their cups. Please tag me a photo whenever you try making this recipe. 🙂
I’m excited to see a lot of these from our neighbors during christmas even despite the pandemic.
Awwwe, yeah..that would be great! I hope the spirit of Christmas will still be felt even during this time of crisis. 🙂
So delicious!! I love this recipe and thank you for sharing!
Yay! You’re welcome, Max! It’s my pleasure to share. I hope you can check out my other easy Filipino dessert recipes too. Enjoy!