Like most Filipino fad dishes that became popular from mid-2000’s to today I only heard of them through friends and family who either came to New Zealand recently or had just visited the Philippines. All I can do after they had told their accounts on trying these wonderful dishes is to imagine and search how it looks online some good examples are the Bonchon Chicken, Charlie Chan Pasta, Kanin Club’s Turon and our post today Nathaniel’s Buko Pandan.
Like most of the dishes mentioned above the discovery start by a simple conversation whether I had tried that dish, and me being outside of the Philippines for nearly 20 years now, all I can say it no. Nathaniel’s Buko Pandan is one of those things, where I am perplexed is how a humble dessert like Buko Pandan became a fad? Until my friends told me that this one is different than your usual one because its more ice cream like compared to the traditional one. I did some further research myself and saw a lot of people online raving about this then I stumbled upon the video of the owner and creator of the dessert below.
The video might not be understood by most, but the interviewer asks about what the secret ingredient is. She answers humbly and says there is really none, what she can think of is just prayers and a good quality young coconut, she also said she would rather not earn something just to produce a really good quality buko pandan as they throw away the young coconut that is not par to what she liked. So basically, no secret ingredient because we all know that good quality ingredients yield a good result if it is prepared properly, so what is it that makes this dessert so popular, it must be the process.
With regards to process, based on the description of my friends, this buko pandan is ice cream like. I am not new to ice cream preparation, in fact I have several ice cream recipes that I already shared, so this is what I will do when I re-create this at home, copy the same process of making ice creams and that’s what we had done with our recipe today. I am not sure if it’s the same as Nathaniel’s Buko Pandan but upon letting my friends try it they said this is as close to the real thing, while I trust their judgment, I am not 100% convinced until I try the real thing, but before that happens, here is my take on Nathaniel’s Buko Pandan.
Cut your pandan jelly into small cubes. Set this aside.
In an ice cream maker combine young coconut and fresh cream. Churn ice cream maker until slightly thick.
Add nata de coco and cut gulaman then continue to churn. While ice cream maker is churning slowly add condensed milk. Once everything is added, place it in a container then put it in the freezer. Freeze overnight before serving.
Use good quality young coconut, meat should be tender not too soft or not too hard. For the gulaman powder prepare it with coconut water instead of plain water, also reduce the quantity of liquid by one cup to make your jelly firm. If your ice cream maker does not have its own compressor or cooling mechanism make sure you prepare it in a cool place otherwise it will not set properly, otherwise you will need to place the mixing bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes, churn and repeat until it sets.