Buko Pandan is a popular Filipino Dessert; this is made using young coconut and Screwpine leaves (locally known as “Pandan”). At first glance, this sumptuous dessert can be mistaken for Buko Salad because of the similarity in texture and dairy ingredients used. However, the green gelatin which contains the aroma and flavor of the Pandan gives the distinction.
This is traditionally prepared by boiling several Pandan leaves until all the juices are released. The leaves are then removed from the boiling pot and gelatin bars (locally referred to as “Gulaman”) are added to cook until diluted in liquid.
The variation that we have here uses buko Pandan flavoring instead of fresh Pandan leaves. Since Pandan leaves are not always available in our location, I tried looking for alternatives and the flavoring was the best that I can find. I think that the flavoring is even better because it tastes and smells exactly like the Pandan leaves with an additional hint of buko. This also saves you some time and effort by eliminating the boiling process.
I love having this dessert with tapioca pearls that is why I included it in the recipe; you may also add kaong and nata de coco if desired. I also topped each serving with vanilla ice cream to make it more rich and heavenly.
This recipe is good for 2 persons; feel free to double or triple the ingredients to serve more people. For those who want to use fresh pandan leaves, try boiling 3 leaves in 2 cups of water. The liquid derived from this should replace the water and buko pandan flavoring.
Try this recipe and let me know your thoughts.