Buko Pandan Salad Drink (a Filipino dessert) by Ray Gingco of Wok with Ray

explore the Philippines and its cuisine

The most vibrant culture in Southeast Asia?  One glance at the bright, colorful images on Wok with Ray – and the excitement and enthusiasm of every story – and you’ll know the answer must be the Philippines. 

Ray Gingco, the energetic foodie behind Wok with Ray, is now living in California, but the distance from his homeland has only fed his passion to cook and share his favorite dishes from the Philippines. 

Buko Pandan Salad Drink recipe featured on Season with Spice

As part of our ongoing series of exploring Southeast Asian spices and cultures, we welcome Ray – our representative of the Philippines on the New Spice Route – to share a rich, coconut dessert recipe that glows green from pandan leaves.

wok with ray asian recipes banner

When Reese tapped me on my e-mail shoulder and asked me if I would like to participate in their series - Explore Southeast Asian Spices & Herbs, I felt very much honored.  I am honored that I am representing my beloved land, the Philippines -- the country that I miss so much.  Also, I am equally honored that I am guest posting on a site created by the two young people that I admire.  Thank you, Mark and Reese for the opportunity.

pandan screwpine leaves

Pandan is a tropical plant that grows mostly in South East Asian countries.  In the Philippines, pandan is widely used in sweet dishes like cakes, ice creams, and other types of desserts.  It is also used as flavoring for drinks like hot or iced tea.

What we are going to make today is both dessert and a drink in a glass.  It can be eaten first, and then the remaining juice can be drunk.  Pretty neat ha!

pandan ice for buko pandan salad

After adding the dessert into the glass, we will then add the pandan ice cubes. Depending on the weather, pandan ice cubes will slowly melt and will give the pandan flavor to the dessert as you stir it.  So, be patient and hold on to that glass a little longer.  It keeps that good conversation going and who knows, you might find love while waiting.  Just like what Bill Wither says in his song, Just the Two of Us, “good things might come to those who wait.”

Thank you for reading everyone, and again, thank you Reese and Mark!

coconut jelly for buko pandan salad recipe

Buko Pandan Salad Drink 
by Ray Gingco of Wok with Ray

2 1/2 cups shredded young coconut
1 cup sweetened Nata de Coco (Coconut Gel)
3/4 cup condensed Milk (more if desired)
1/2 cup evaporated milk or whole milk
4 cups pandan ice cubes

1. Put all the ingredients together in a large bowl then mix thoroughly.
2. Scoop and serve in a glass.  Add ice cubes.  Serve Chilled.  Enjoy!

To learn more about the culture and food of the Philippines - and to read through many entertaining stories - visit the always funny Ray at his site, Wok with Ray

Thank you Ray! 
sunset along the coast in the Philippines
Food images courtesy of Ray Gingco, and images of the Philippines courtesy of Ray’s friend, Romie Angeles.