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.
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:
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.