Pandan is leaves of a fragrant plant. Pandan can be found in extracts or powders, but in a pinch, a little lime zest can add a similar element. The Buko Pandan Salad is a rich coconut gelatin dessert from the Philippines that is served cold. Buko Pandan is almost always has a green color deriving from the Pandan powder and green agar agar. Agar Agar is a natural thickener and does not require heat to thicken.
Agar Agar has no flavor and is more often found in pure white. Food coloring can be added to get a nice emerald color. In a pinch, but not authentic, lime green jello can be subbed for the Gulaman. The young coconut is cut into strips or cubes, and many believe it has great health benefits for your heart. Tapioca pearls are not used here, but can be used in this salad very easily if you would like
This refreshing dessert salad is a common dish sold in little tubs to go from many restaurants in the Philippines for about 8 pesos. Buko Pandan Salad is also often served topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. One can only imagine how amazing a chilled salad like Buko Pandan finishes your meal after a spicy hearty stew on a humid day in the Philippines. No wonder it is a common dessert.
If you are looking to eat a full Filipino meal before enjoying this chilled salad for dessert, consider one of the following traditional dishes. Morcon which is a beef stew, Pochero Cebu style stew, Dinuguan sometimes referred to as ‘chocolate beef’, Laing which has taro root, pork, and fish with coconut, or Bulalo which is marrow broth.