It is Weekend Wokking time once again! This is a monthly food event launched by Wandering Chopsticks to celebrate different ways we can cook one ingredient. The ingredient of the month is something close to my heart - and to every Filipino's heart - the wonderful COCONUT! Do you know that the Philippines is the second largest coconut producer in the world? Thank you Marija for choosing the versatile coconut!
In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly given the title "Tree of Life." It its theorized that if you were to become stranded on a desert island populated by palm trees, you could survive purely on the tree and coconut alone, as the coconut provides all of the required natural properties for survival.
Nearly all the parts of a coconut tree is useful. The juice of the nut can be used for drinking. In fact, coconut water contains sugar, fiber, proteins, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. The water alone is a highly nutritious food source. The meat is edible - raw or cooked. The shell of the nut can be used to make musical instruments, or beautiful decorations, buttons or even jewelries! The husk and its fibers are used to make hemp ropes, or can be used for compost, or made into charcoal. The sap derived from the tree are made into wines (tuba). The heart of the palm is an edible delicacy. The leaves are cleaned and used to wrap food in cooking - broiling or steaming. They also provide materials for making baskets. Coconut oil is getting popularity as medicine. The roots were traditionally used as medicine as well. The trunks can be used as bridges, furnitures, or even buildings. Do you know we have a Coconut Palace here in Manila? It is an entire mansion made from coconut trees alone!
And I have only scratched the surface of the many uses of the coconut...
Anyway, since the coconut is quite abundant here. It is used in our daily cooking. Both the meat and the milk extracted are used - not just the main meals but for desserts as well. I am featuring two recipes using Coconut cream/milk for Weekend Wokking. For more information on Coconut milk and cream, please click on my first featured recipe the Maja Blanca Salad.
Many Filipino desserts usually use the fresh coconut meat. We make our fruits salad with the meat. Or we add them to jellies. But this dessert uses coconut milk for a change. It is very easy to prepare. This dessert makes a good meal-ender. It satisfies our sweet-tooth without being cloyingly sweet.
Many dishes are prepared using coconut cream/coconut milk. This dish is a simple but yummy example. Coconut cream/milk is quite versatile because we can add them to a variety of meat, fish, seafood and vegetables dishes. And the resulting dishes are quite flavorful because we usually add chillies and fish paste.
This is my entry to the Weekend Wokking event, featuring the Coconut. This month's host is Ivy of Precious Pea. Please check her cute, adorable site on Wednesday, Oct 1, for the round-up, and for the next secret ingredient. I am particularly excited for the next ingredient because next month's host will be... ME! Yay!
To see the previous round-ups and the different ways we cooked the other special ingredients, please check out the listing here.