06 Jan2010


When we are at the beach, we try to make as many dishes and meals as possible based on locally available produce. It means we pack and transport less, we buy locally, and hopefully eat much fresher food. Most of our neighbors and friends tend to bring most of their food from Manila, hauling it 100 kilometers by car/van, and cooking it in a pre-determined sequence of planned meals… Over the years, despite strange inconsistencies in availability of ingredients at the local market at the beach, we have managed to come up with many dishes that rely on what we can and do find in the markets that day. This jackfruit in coconut cream recipe with prawns is a new favorite…


Buy some sliced unripe jackfruit, a kilo worth in this case I think. The cream from 3-4 coconuts. Some sliced ginger, onions and garlic. Several chillies, sliced. Some bagoong or shrimp paste. Medium sized shrimp or prawns, I prefer the lighter or more translucent shelled shrimp for this dish rather than the hardier black tiger prawns. Some folks insist on blanching the jackfruit first in boiling water, but I find that this can overcook the jackfruit and the dish has a tendency to get overly soft. Blanche if you like, but VERY briefly, then follow with a ice bath to stop cooking. Dab with paper towels to remove excess moisture before proceeding. In a pan/pot big enough to hold all the ingredients, add the second squeezing of coconut milk and the ginger, onions and garlic and bring to a simmer for several minutes, add the jackfruit and cook for a few minutes, and add the bagoong and sliced chillies and the first pressing of coconut cream to thicken up the sauce. Add the prawns and cook until just done. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The jackfruit should not be mushy and I like the sauce to be thick and rich, with hints of ginger and a bit spicy. This is delicious with simply grilled or fried fish.



  1. cherryo, yvr says:

    Yum! This one brings back childhood memories. If only I could find some unripe jackfruit in these parts… MM, would you know of a suitable North American subsitute?

    Jan 6, 2010 | 10:44 am


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  3. astrea_luna says:

    Hi marketman! How do I tell if the coconut cream is the “first” or “second” squeezing? I have never come across this method before…

    Jan 6, 2010 | 10:49 am

  4. diday says:

    The blend of jackfruit, coconut and prawns gives out a pleasant smell which tempts one to gulp down two bowls or more of hot jasmine rice. wicked!!!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 10:55 am

  5. pegi says:

    OMG, this is my favorite! I don’t know where to buy the unripe jackfruit here in CA.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 12:11 pm

  6. Fred Lopez says:

    You can also use Kamansi or bread fruit in this recipe instead of Jackfruit. Extremely good if you cooked it so that the coconut cream gets thick and slightly oily. More rice please!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 12:37 pm

  7. millet says:

    my youngest son’s favorite. he’s a carnivore but he goes nuts over this. we sometimes substitute bamboo shoots for the jackfruit.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 1:05 pm

  8. kim e. says:

    i might try this tomorrow,thanks MM. although i dont know if i can get unripened langka. ok din kaya ang puso ng saging with this? thanks!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 1:20 pm

  9. Ann Cas says:

    This made me miss home.. Since i can’t get fresh unripe jackfruit here, i normally used the canned green jackfruit from the oriental stores, I would sometimes substitute the shrimp with crabs that I cut into half. Yummmy!!!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 1:23 pm

  10. Mimi says:

    add tanglad/lemongrass and galangal/ blue ginger plus patis to taste, more yummy!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 1:46 pm

  11. Lou says:

    @cherryo, the Pinoy stores in BC and elsewhere stock canned unripe jackfruit – I snagged me some just last month.

    MM, I am sooooooo making this dish. thanks for the inspiration!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 1:53 pm

  12. Cecilia says:

    This sounds absolutely yummy, although perhaps a bit too exotic for my family … Hopefully, will remember to make this for some Filipino party/reunion. It would surely be a hit.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 1:56 pm

  13. betty q. says:

    another option, Cherryo…which is also an excellent substitute is EGGPLANT. …it is also makanin! I am sometimes too lazyto go to Fraser St. to buy Kamansi…Eggplant is readily available too…Try it and I am positive you will get hooked on Guinataan Eggplant…

    Jan 6, 2010 | 1:58 pm

  14. joan says:

    One of my favorite dishes!!! MM, just curious, can we use turmeric here in replacement of ginger?

    wow bettyq, I would love to try guinataan eggplant. do we roast or boil it first before adding to the rest of the ingredients?

    Jan 6, 2010 | 2:04 pm

  15. bagito says:

    Yum! Anything ginataan reminds me of my late dad. (sniff)
    @Pegi, I live in the LA area and buy my canned unripe jackfruit at Seafood City. There’s bound to be one near you. They have stores at many filipino communities in both Northern and Southern Cali.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 2:08 pm

  16. coolSrCRA says:

    this just made me miss my mom and dad…used to eat this a lot…dad was from Quezon province and so liked those recipes that called for anything with “gata” including his favorite chicken adobo with gata and green papaya…those were the days

    Jan 6, 2010 | 3:25 pm

  17. emsy says:

    @astrea_luna If I may answer that :) the first pressing, or also called coconut cream or kakang gata is literally the creamy, white liquid that comes from the grated coconut when you squeeze it the first time. It’s creamier and heavier than the succeeding pressings. The second pressing is when you add a bit more water to the grated coconut after the first squeeze and squeeze it again. The resulting liquid is usually called coconut milk or just gata.

    So if you pressed/squeezed your own grated coconut, you can easily tell which is which. I guess MM first used the coconut milk or gata from the second pressing to boil the langka because it has a lower tendency to curdle. Adding the coconut CREAM should be towards the end of cooking time to prevent it from curdling and to maintain it’s creaminess and silkiness.

    But if you’ve only used canned/packed coconut milk before, then look for labels that say coconut CREAM if you need the first pressing and coconut MILK if you need the thinner variant.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 3:30 pm

  18. emsy says:

    And btw, MM, gata-anything is really a hit for me. Growing up in Zamboanga where the Muslim community is pretty strong, there were a lot of gata-based dishes and curried dishes that I have gotten used to. These are “home” recipes for me, really!


    My mom used to cook this as well, sometimes using blanched bamboo shoots and small crabs. Or she would also add some pako tips as well. Good stuff.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 3:35 pm

  19. Ariel says:

    I like this dish. Our Manang Zeny from Bicol used to cook this dish with Tulingan sa Kamias. Brings back memories.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 3:58 pm

  20. Lava Bien says:

    Now you’re talking MM. In Quezon prov I love love love ginataang langka or any ginataan period hehhehe. Ginataang pako, ubod (palm), bamboo shoots with shrimps, snails (all kinds), tilapia (grilled first), crabs, and whatever small crabs we have in Cavite too (forgot what it’s called).

    Anyways, your ginataan looks good and Isaw you again for the 101st time on Travel Channel, they were doing a lot of marathons during the holidays. Cheers!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 4:01 pm

  21. i love sta.rosa says:

    ipagluluto ko po ang asawa ko nyan sa weekend,mahilig kasi ya sa seafood….

    Jan 6, 2010 | 4:10 pm

  22. Connie C says:

    @astrea_luna: When using canned coconut milk, I usually invert the can and open the bottom part. You can then pour off the thinner watery portion to use as the second pressing. The thicker and creamier portion which is now in the bottom of the can is the equivalent of the first pressing.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 5:35 pm

  23. Marketman says:

    emsy, thanks for answering that question, and so well described as well…

    Jan 6, 2010 | 6:19 pm

  24. hungrycurious says:

    emsy, korek! when we cook guinataang anything, the first pressing is the very last to be added. if the cream boils for too long, the dish tends to become oily and in bisaya, “baho lana”.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 9:05 pm

  25. thelma says:

    i will try to cook this dish this weekend. it looks so good. i love food
    cooked in gata like the bicol express. and now this one…..thanks
    for this recipe, mm…..

    Jan 6, 2010 | 9:46 pm

  26. kurzhaar says:

    I am one to try anything at least once, but jackfruit (unripe or otherwise) is something I have yet to taste (it may be available in Asian markets in California, but if so I don’t recall having noticed it). Can anyone describe the flavour? And does one eat ripe jackfruit as a fruit or is this generally treated as a vegetable?

    On the cooking technique with coconut milk, I was taught by a Thai friend how to make coconut milk from scratch (I do generally use canned). What he taught me was that (at least for Thai curries) you start out with the heavier cream, which is essentially rendered in a pan for first frying the curry paste, and the thinner milk is added later. So it is interesting that the jackfruit recipe goes the opposite way. Of course I have never tried inverting the order heavy–>light in a Thai curry, and I wonder how that would turn out. I am sure there is quite enough fat content in the thin milk to extract the oil-soluble flavours in the curry paste.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 11:25 pm

  27. kate says:

    I love this dish with lots of sili and patis! Hope we can cook this for lunch or dinner this week :)

    Jan 6, 2010 | 11:44 pm

  28. betty q. says:

    joan: I just cut the baby eggplant into quaters justlike an egg. But for the long Chinese eggplants, I cut then into 3 or 4 pieces and each piece inthirds or quarters. I do not roast them. Just add then to the simmering gata. Then for the shrimps, I panfry them first quickly in garlic butter and add them last to the dish….garlic butter and all…as if we don’t have enoough calories in it…mwahahaha!

    Cherryo: Fresh Kamansi is available on Fraser St. either Wed. or Fri. Howver, it doesn’t come cheap. I think they cost about $4.99 perpound….the same as fresh Ubod. But using eggplant is equally good and cost effective. To cook this dish for a family of 4, you might need 4 tins and would cost you 2 x the amount than using eggplants. And no, I am not a member of the EGGPLANT MARKETING BOARD!!!!!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 11:55 pm

  29. mrs lavendula says:

    This sounds and looks so good im craving for it at 1 in the morning! aaarggghhh! i knew i shouldn’t have gone to your site at this time of the day!

    Jan 7, 2010 | 1:02 am

  30. faithful reader says:

    Just wondering if fresh Kamansi is available here in Northern California?

    Jan 7, 2010 | 1:30 am

  31. Cynthia says:

    Kurzhaar – Jackfruit (langka) if unripe is prepared as a vegetable, and if ripe, eaten as a fruit. The ripe fruit is very fragrant and sweet and is included in the dessert called halo-halo (you can buy canned ripe langka in any Asian store).

    I believe you mentioned that you live in NJ. If you’re close enough to NY, you can buy fresh langka in Chinatown.

    Regarding coconut milk or coconut cream, I buy the low fat coconut milk. This is usually not available in Asian stores but is available in regular supermarkets. Of course, low fat coconut milk doesn’t have the full flavor of coconut milk or cream due to the siginificantly lower fat content, but I’m happy with it.

    Jan 7, 2010 | 3:53 am

  32. kurzhaar says:

    Thanks, Cynthia. I’ll keep an eye out next time I’m in a larger Asian market for the fresh fruit…unripe though as I don’t have a sweet tooth and although I tried halo halo once, I didn’t care for it (I almost never eat ice cream either).

    Jan 7, 2010 | 7:07 am

  33. marilen says:

    Yummy, MM, this hits the spot – the world is full of guinata-an lovers. betty Q, thanks for the eggplant variation.

    Jan 7, 2010 | 7:12 am

  34. emsy says:

    hungrycurious! OMG! Baho Lana!!! I haven’t heard that term for the super-longest time!

    Jan 7, 2010 | 7:48 am

  35. astrea_luna says:

    Thanks Emsy and Connie!
    I think I’ll try my hand at making this dish now. My family hails from Bicol so we are really big gata fanatics :)

    Jan 7, 2010 | 9:08 am

  36. Libay says:

    For this dish, you could also use minced pork if you do not have shrimp. My mother add sitaw also for some green color and lots of bagoong. Yummy! Magana sa kanin lalo na pag medyo maanghang.

    Jan 7, 2010 | 9:16 am

  37. bernadette says:

    The kasambahay of my parents (she hails from Daet, Camarines Norte) cooks very delicious gata (coconut cream) dishes (naturally). She told me that to always start cooking using the third squeezed gata (so that will be quite watery. Then add the second squeezed gata as the cooking progresses. When the cooking is about done, then add the kakang gata. The dish always come out so creamy. I even asked her a stupid question—do you add cornstarch? (haha!)

    Jan 7, 2010 | 9:17 am

  38. emsy says:

    @kurzhaar I sort of get the logic of the Thais using the heavier cream because curries DO get much more aromatic when they get in contact with hot oil. Muslim food (at least in my part of the world) also follows this practice. However they don’t usually use heavy coconut cream but rather coconut oil to sort of sautee the curry powder until it is aromatic, before adding the thinner coconut milk. But I do remember this dish of braised beef (or maybe goat meat) where they add the coconut cream first with the curry paste/powder, ginger and other seasonings and then allow it to render over low fire until the coconut cream turns into oil and again, blooms the aroma of the curry. However, the resulting dish is oily and dark colored, like adobo, not like the “ginataan” recipes we’re all used to in the Philippines.

    Jan 7, 2010 | 10:13 am

  39. kurzhaar says:

    Emsy, yes, you are quite right…once the oil is rendered (or the water evaporated) from the coconut cream it must heat to a much higher temperature than the raw coconut cream. So I am guessing that the cooking temperature is why the Thais use the heavy–>light order for cooking with coconut milk…it’s not just the fat content in coconut milk extracting the oil-soluble flavour components. As for the final texture, if I don’t screw up my curries are usually quite creamy, not oily (due to the proportions used, I guess).

    I don’t have any experience with coconut oil per se…I have seen it written up somewhere, but I generally cook with olive oil, and occasionally grapeseed oil, unless I am using duck or goose fat (yum!). :)

    Jan 7, 2010 | 10:27 am

  40. alisa says:

    My father’s side is from Quezon and I remember all the gata dishes I had when I was young. I haven’t tried making this on my own, but thanks to all the comments here, I’m adding guinataang hipon in my to-do list.

    Jan 7, 2010 | 2:32 pm

  41. denise says:

    i showed my mom this post and asked her to make it…she rolled her eyes and said, we’ll buy from the neighborhood carinderia (she and my aunt just buy ready-cooked viands to make more time for their gimiks!)…waaah…tho i do remember that place makes a mean ginataang langka…but i have to wait until it’s on their menu of the day!

    Jan 7, 2010 | 2:46 pm

  42. vicki2 says:

    For the fresh ripe jackfruit, I’ve found that if you freeze it in a ziplock bag and eat it frozen, it tastes like the langka popsicle Magnolia had a long time ago. I was told that the reason Magnolia stopped making that flavor of popsicle was that the formula for it was supplied by one man and when he died, he never passed it on. Of course it sounds like a super urban legend–maybe it just wasn’t mabenta.

    But I love frozen langka and this post reminded me that I have a few more langka “butils” in the freezer that has been there since time immemorial. I will eat them now.

    I love gata recipes. Thanks for this.

    Jan 7, 2010 | 8:31 pm

  43. Marketman says:

    vicki2, try drizzling the frozen langka with good brandy, it is superb. :)

    Jan 7, 2010 | 10:14 pm

  44. atbnorge says:

    Magluluto ako nito—bukas! Bibili muna ako ng de-latang langka or manghihiram sa kapitbahay na Pinay (sana meron siya). ‘Yung ibang sahog, meron na ako. Kapag ganito kalamig (ranging between -10 deg. C and -15 deg. C)—one needs all the comfort one can get!

    Jan 8, 2010 | 5:14 am

  45. lojet says:

    Without the hipon and adding some vinegar and a little sugar will this becomes the kinilaw na langka ? Has anybody tried that dish?

    Jan 8, 2010 | 5:36 am

  46. lojet says:

    Never mind, i thought this had been discussed before and some back reading showed betty q’s recipe, I just thought this salad could be prepared as the above way rather than applying the coco cream dressing at the end.

    Jan 8, 2010 | 5:49 am

  47. Machinokokoro says:

    MM you should try it with alimasag. its a bit messy at the table but its also very good like the shrimp :D

    Jan 8, 2010 | 9:05 am

  48. leigh says:

    this is really lovely, MM. truly a pinoy comfort food for me …

    Jan 8, 2010 | 11:04 am

  49. cherryo, yvr says:

    Thanks for the tips Lou and BettyQ! I guess I’ll have to set aside my New Year’s Resolution first… =)

    Jan 8, 2010 | 11:08 am

  50. Lilibeth says:

    Wow Marketman, you did it again! You just got me salivating. I will surely make this one soon! Thanks for the recipe. Thank you too to bagito for informing us that the unripe jakcfruit is available in Seafood city. I’m really getting hungry right now!

    Jan 8, 2010 | 2:46 pm

  51. alicia says:

    This is a “why did I never think of that?” moment. Apparently everyone else has! Two of my favorite dishes (ginataan hipon and ginataan langka) in one- yum! Over the holidays, someone gave us some ginataan dulong that was really good too- lots of sili! That on top of hot rice…ay heaven!

    Jan 8, 2010 | 7:07 pm

  52. Jewel says:

    Mmm, that sounds great. I don’t know if I can find jackfruit around here, but certainly the shrimp. I love anything with coconut.

    Eating at the beach is the best. Once we went to Banana Island in Palawan and had a spread from the tour company, and I thought, these people know how to please!

    Jan 9, 2010 | 2:04 am

  53. thelma says:

    when my husband and i were in the philippines last october, my friends took us to
    camayan beach resort in olongapo city. we brought all kinds of food for our picnic
    including rice wrapped in banana leaves and the laing which was also made with
    gata. yes, nothing like relaxing by the beach… swimming, snorkeling and gathering
    sea shells…

    Jan 9, 2010 | 7:25 am

  54. i love sta.rosa says:

    yan naipagluto ko na asawa ko ng ginataang langka at hipon.. salamat MM
    sayang naman ang pagbabasa ko ng mga post ni MM kung di ko naman mailuluto… salamat MM

    Ginataang langka at hipon: http://ilovestarosa.blogspot.com/2010/01/ginataang-langka-at-hipon.html

    Jan 9, 2010 | 12:29 pm

  55. el_jefe says:

    Sarap! paborito ko ito sinula bata pa…usong uso ito sa batangas…masarap din itong lagyan ng alamang at tinapa…definitely one of my all time favorite ulam…yum!!!

    Jan 10, 2010 | 2:41 pm

  56. cumin says:

    Hello, MM. I cooked this dish on Sunday with great success. The langka took longer to cook than I thought it would, or maybe I was just too greedy to start eating. Threw in two kaffir lime leaves which added yet another zing to the wonderful mix of flavours. Thanks for writing about this and inspiring us in the kitchen.

    Jan 12, 2010 | 11:18 am


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