04 Jan2011

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I think I first tasted a version of this salad at a Cebu restaurant several years ago. The first memory was that it was cold, and second, delicious. So I tried to figure out what it was, only to have the entire office crew look at me a little funny, saying it was just a simple “kilawin of langka” — kilawin referring to a style of preparation/sauce used on lots of stuff including kinilaw na isda or ceviche. So I immediately set out to make my own and over the past few years, the recipe has evolved slightly and this is how we do it today.

First of all, let me first say what I like about the salad. It is extremely economical, since unripe jackfruit is cheap and plentiful during certain times of the year. It is served cold and as such, incredibly refreshing and the perfect foil for fatty fried or grilled seafood or meats. If “properly made”, in my opinion, it has a terrific mouthfeel, and feels rich without being “ngilngig” or overly rich, because vinegar modulates the freshly squeezed coconut cream. And finally, it has tiny bursts of flavor and bite from julienned strips of young ginger, shallots, chilies, etc. You can create a large batch of it ahead of time, let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two, and feed a small army of guests. And oddly, nearly everyone who has tasted it has asked how it is made… :)

As with any recipe on this blog, the key to success has to be the freshness and quality of your ingredients. Start with sub-standard goods, you’ll get a sub-standard dish. I merely “assemble” in many ways, and it’s the ingredients that matter most. Purchase some freshly cut young (unripe) jackfruit in the market. Have them cut it for you into rougly 1/4 inch slices, roughly an inch squared or slightly larger. Do NOT purchase pre-cut langka if possible, and do not purchase it in thick french fry style cuts. Trust me, a pro langka peeler and slicer will know how to do this. Buy your other ingredients, particularly the shredded coconut to make gata and head home. Back at home, and hopefully within an hour or two of the langka being sliced (better yet if you do this at home, assuming you know how), blanch/boil the langka in a large pot of water until tender and drain(roughly 8-12 minutes or so). You may wish to plunge the boiled langka into an ice bath to stop further cooking, though I admit I rarely do this myself. :) When the langka is cool, you are ready to mix it with the dressing or sauce…

Make a good coconut cream by adding coconut or sugar cane vinegar to your grated coconut and squeeze like its the neck of some twerp who has just recklessly ruined your most prized personal possession. In other words, make a first pressing of coconut cream, but no water, just vinegar. Then do a second pressing of coconut milk with some water and vinegar mixed in. You will now have two consistencies of coconut cream and milk. Slice some native tomatoes (a mixture of half-ripe and ripe), some shallots (the red ones) and julienne some young ginger and toss them in a large mixing bowl together with the cooled langka. Add some chopped chilies if you desire some spice. Season generously with salt (others sometimes add patis), add some coconut cream, then some coconut milk until you get to the consistency you prefer. Taste it. Add some vinegar or other seasonings until you have it just right. Boiled langka is bland, so you need to season well. And if you happen to have pickled japanese ginger (like the stuff they serve with a plate of sushi), slice it up thinly and add it to the dish. We did this last week. And I think it was the best version of the salad we have ever made. Garnish with chopped wansoy or cilantro or coriander leaves if you desire. Chill and serve.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. joyce says:

    great idea. i never thought of chilling it first. we also cook this in the house with coconut cream, onions, and tomatoes. you are right about jackfruit being cheap although the vendor did warn me that prices tend to spike sometimes

    Jan 4, 2011 | 11:15 am

     
  2. EbbaBlue says:

    Oww.. when I come home Pinas in May, my langka trees that my cousin tended still has green fruits and it makes me wonder whatI can do with them..now I know. Hindi ko na kailangan antayin pa yung pag-hihinog. Thanks for the recipe. You think my mandoline will be a great tool for slicing the right size?

    (P.S. – do you mean “ngilig” ? Like shivers? or “nginig” ? )

    Jan 4, 2011 | 11:24 am

     
  3. Marketman says:

    EbbaBlue, in Cebu, they say “ngilngig” to describe something that is just too rich or too sweet to the tooth… :) A mandoline would work, but a knife would work just as well. The slices don’t have to bee too thin… joyce, yes, sometimes langka is not available, hence the price spikes.

    Jan 4, 2011 | 11:32 am

     
  4. cusinera says:

    THANKYOU…THANKYOU! for the recipe, will be on the lookout for unripe langka=)

    Jan 4, 2011 | 12:01 pm

     
  5. Mimi says:

    A little off topic: at the Mandaluyong markets they have a coconut press/ machine which does a pretty great job of squeezing the milk from freshly grated coconut. First they grate a minimum of two coconuts, put it inside net bags and press with a machine which looks like a hodgepodge of car jack-cum-weight plates. Squeeze the heck out of those coconuts in just a few seconds, with the thickest pure cream streaming down the spout of the coconut press. Don’t know if your neighbourhood market has this machine, as I have not seen it at another market.

    Jan 4, 2011 | 12:24 pm

     
  6. bearhug0127 says:

    Thank you very much for the recipe!!!

    Jan 4, 2011 | 1:19 pm

     
  7. Bubut says:

    @Mimi, the coconut press machine is also available at Guadalupe market. You choose the size of the coconut that you want to buy then you specify if you want the 1st extract, 2nd extract or even 3rd extract of coconut milk.

    Jan 4, 2011 | 2:12 pm

     
  8. grace says:

    My favorite side dish – but have never done at home. Thanks for the recipe, Will try it next time i’m in Davao

    Jan 4, 2011 | 3:10 pm

     
  9. atbnorge says:

    Ginataang langka is one of the dishes I miss—terribly miss.

    Jan 4, 2011 | 4:03 pm

     
  10. Daniel says:

    Hi MM,

    I’ve had unripe jackfruits served in several types of cooked dishes, but never in a salad. This certainly looks interesting, thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Making fresh coconut milk will be the challenge though. (hard to find fresh coconuts here).

    Jan 4, 2011 | 5:09 pm

     
  11. Mimi says:

    Bubut: nice to know…wonder where they buy the coconut press or do they just make themselves, looks handmade.

    Daniel: go to Tekka Market (Next to Little India MRT), lots of freshly grated coconut where they sell cassava, pandan, chendol ingredients. There are 2 kinds, the very white one and another with some husk? mixed in, get the latter as it’s the one for milking, pangbudbod yung white.

    Jan 4, 2011 | 7:45 pm

     
  12. EbbaBlue says:

    Mimi, are you talking about the commercial coconut press…the big ones that the seller owns and keep in his store? I too has been looking for the smaller electric portable home use type, wala pa rin kong makita. I know the Jamaican shreds theirs by hand, pero naku ang hirap po nuon dahil you have to take out the hard meat off the shell. I own the Kabayo type, pero with my age, my hand is not that strong anymore to use this kudkuran.

    (MM – owww.. alam ko na ang ibig mong sabihin sa ngilngig, sa amin sa Quezon – its ngilo. wow, very rich talaga ang dialects natin, ano)

    Jan 4, 2011 | 8:12 pm

     
  13. Mimi says:

    EbbaBlue: the coconut press I’m talking about is as big as those antique halo-halo ice shavers na bakal. The coconut press itself literally looks like the jack for fixing flat tires, with two stainless plates where you put the grated coconut. It does look like someone’s welding project. Will have to ask my brother to stop and urirat the niyog vendor…

    Jan 4, 2011 | 8:42 pm

     
  14. millet says:

    one of my favorites, too! because the “dressing” is not cooked, i would not get gata that had been pressed by the mechanical pressers in the market. only hand-pressed in my own kitchen. another level of flavor is added if you put a piece of burning charcoal for a few minutes into the pile of grated coconut before you squeeze out the milk.

    joyce, you don’t need fancy slicing here because after the jackfruit is boiled, you can shred it by hand.

    Jan 4, 2011 | 8:48 pm

     
  15. kim e says:

    sarap! i dont know of any resto that serves great langka salad, so thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

    Jan 4, 2011 | 9:33 pm

     
  16. Marketman says:

    You can buy the polyester or synthetic “net bags” in some markets, but the scraped coconut inside and twist it. This is an easier way to extract the cream/milk. We have done this several times, and it really helps, but I don’t always remember to have a bunch of these net things in stock everywhere we cook… :)

    Jan 4, 2011 | 9:33 pm

     
  17. Junb says:

    @ Mimi and Daniel, yes fresh coconut is available in almos every wet market in Singapore but I do prefer Tekka market. Chu’s vegetables sells fresh herbs such as Rosemary, oregano, dill, sage etc as well as fresh baBy spinach, rocket salad and other salad leaves. Other vegetable stall sell familiar pinoy vegetable such as bamboo shoots, fresh sampalok, native ampalaya, siling labuyo, puso ng saging, and i do see an unripe looking langka although my brother said it is not langka.

    Joe’s butchery sells papaitan, bulalo, kare kare, tapa and other Filipino cuts, there’s also a shop selling air flown Australian goat meat.

    A great selection of seafood such as fresh bangus, sometimes still alive tilapia, lobster, tamban, dulong, galungong and lapu lapu.

    Jan 4, 2011 | 10:22 pm

     
  18. Junb says:

    I’ve seen a show where they put a coconut meat into a blender with a bit of hot water then strain. I’ve Not tried it though!

    Jan 4, 2011 | 10:25 pm

     
  19. Botchok says:

    I think every market nowadays has at least one stall with that coconut press, the other vendors just pays the owner for their coconut to be pressed.
    My suki used to sell the grated coconut by the kilos so you can buy all the coconut milk you need and they’ll put it in the plastic (ng yelo), then they’ll ask you if you want to take with you the shredded coconut meat.

    Jan 5, 2011 | 12:16 am

     
  20. betty q. says:

    Yup, MM….boiled or blanched langka is totally bland. That is why I blanched the sliced kamansi (can’t get fresh unripe langka here but we have fresh whole kamansi at the Pinoy store here) in CHICKEN STOCK until tender. A neighbour made a state of the art KUDKURAN for me so no canned coconut cream for me this time! Also instead of the water to extract the coconut milk and cream, I used chicken stock as well…finished product, ATBNORGE…tasted just like GInataan Langka…OH, I forgot, I added poached prawns! Hubby also bought several packages of those candied ginger from Hongkong which he is making everyone at home eat a HEALTHY dose everyday. So, I added a healthy dose of it (julienned and added a bit of rice vinegar) since I was too lazy to go out and get some pickled ginger!

    Thank you ,MM for the inspiration!

    Jan 5, 2011 | 12:29 am

     
  21. psychomom says:

    would have loved to try this recipe, but i do not have access to fresh unripe langka (the best i can get is the frozen ones from pinas and canned ones from thailand). and no fresh coconut to make fresh gata. oh well, when i go home to pinas in june, will have to try this. thanks for the recipe!!!

    Jan 5, 2011 | 1:21 am

     
  22. Sayong says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try this with freshly picked unripe langka from my tree.

    Jan 5, 2011 | 5:48 am

     
  23. melvin says:

    Thanks mm. This is one childhood food that I really missed when when were still living in Mindanao. I have try this out this weekend….

    Jan 5, 2011 | 2:58 pm

     
  24. Gina says:

    Langka Salad and Kinilaw na isda is in my top 2 list of favorite comfort food. I just had Langka Salad for lunch yesterday at Golden Cowrie Restaurant (Cebu) and upon seeing your post, it made me salivate like crazy. Arrrgh! Its an hour before dinner now and I just called my hubby asking him to pass by in Golden Cowrie Lahug (we live in Busay) to get some Langka Salad take-out.

    I’m pregnant and for the past days I have been indulging in the freshest, juiciest, crisp and ripe jack fruits. The langka salad satisfies my cravings even more.

    Will definitely try your version this week! Thanks MM! :)

    Jan 6, 2011 | 6:28 pm

     
  25. jessi says:

    :) I put the grated coconut in a clean muslin (katsa) flour sack in a kitchen basin, pour in the water and squeeze to extract the coconut milk. Can’t wait to try this recipe – thank you so much!

    Jan 7, 2011 | 1:51 pm

     
  26. lotlot says:

    When I blanch or boil the unripe langka it darkens to a reddish color. I see it served sooo deliciously white in restaurants. How is that done? I want to prepare it that way at home. What’s the secret?

    Apr 20, 2011 | 1:05 pm

     
  27. Marketman says:

    lotlot, you need to remove the seeds and trim the pieces. Blanch for just a few minutes. I have never experienced it turning red. There is no secret if you start with good unripe langka, have a pot of boiling water, and clean up your peeled pieces before you blanch them…

    Apr 20, 2011 | 5:27 pm

     
  28. angelo of gensan says:

    i miss langka salad when i browse this blog.i remember when i was in gensan city i always ask a favor of my sister in law to cook for this dish.

    Jun 12, 2011 | 7:18 pm

     
  29. eld says:

    Just tried this with labong instead of langka syet! ang sarap with plain fried tuna! You don’t need to blanch the labong. Just make sure to put in the ref for a minimum of 30 mins. before serving. Next I shall try it with puso ng saging.

    Also I can’t eat afritada and kanin without langka salad. Dapat combo talaga sila then may coke.

    Jul 27, 2011 | 10:27 pm

     
  30. eld says:

    Ahahaha nakalimutan kong lagyan ng ginger. Pero masarap pa rin. Marami pang natira. Putting ginger now. lol

    Jul 27, 2011 | 10:31 pm

     
  31. Jackfruit Recipes says:

    It seems wonderfully done. I shall try to do this with dried wasabi paste as japanese ginger is hard to find here!

    Aug 13, 2011 | 8:37 am

     
  32. ebet flores says:

    Thank you very much!!! for the delicious yet cheap recipe. I love it very very much….

    Jun 2, 2012 | 11:17 am

     
 

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