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Fruit Salad   (Desert)
  -   Buko Salad
3-1/2 #  
3+ hrs  
Considered almost essential for parties, this salad is very easy to make - thought some of the ingredients I've listed may not be easy to find in Red States. About the only things all recipes agree on is the amount of Fruit Cocktail to start with, and that there will be gelatinous coconut (at least Buko), cream and condensed milk. There are endless variations in fruit and cheeses.

14 oz
14 oz
14 oz
Fruit Cocktail (1)  
jar Macapuno (2)
jar Nata de Coco (3)
jar Kaong (4)
Apples (5)
Pineapple (6)
Raisins, golden
Edam Cheese (70
Cream Cheese (8)
Heavy Cream
Condensed Milk (9)
Make   -   (20 min work - plus draining and cooling time)
  1. Drain all Canned Items (jars and cans) very well, around 30 minutes in a wire strainer.
  2. Dice PINEAPPLE in size just a little larger than the stuff in the Fruit Cocktail. Mix with drained fruit.
  3. Dice EDAM CHEESE similar in size to the Fruit Cocktail items.
  4. Whip together Cream Cheese (if used), Cream and Condensed Milk until smoothly distributed.
  5. Mix in Drained Fruit, Cheddar Cheese and Raisins until evenly distributed.
  6. Dice APPLE about the same size as other items and mix in immediately to prevent browning.
  7. Refrigerate well before serving, a couple of hours or so.
  1. Fruit Cocktail:   Weight given is as "in the can". That's a 30 ounce can or 2 14 ounce cans before draining.
  2. Macapuno:   This is strips of mutant coconut - a variety where the flesh never solidifies but remains a stiff jelly. This is available in well stocked Philippine markets. For details see our Palm & Coconut Products page. Subst: you can use grated flesh from inside a fresh young coconut (the kind with the husk on that's sold for drinking). These are widely available, and the semi gelatinous flesh is called Buko, thus "Buko Salad". For details see our Coconut Page.
  3. Nata de Coco: This is a stiff gel made from fermented coconut water. It is usually cut into dice and packed in a sweet syrup. It is available in well stocked Philippine markets. For details see our Palm & Coconut Products page.
  4. Kaong:   This is the small immature fruits of the Arenga sugar palm, packed in a moderately sweet syrup. It is available in well stocked Philippine markets in three colors, dyed bright green, dyed bright red, and the natural translucent white. The red is usually used for this fruit salad, taking the place of maraschino cherries (the Philippines have lots of palm trees and very few cherry trees, which wouldn't fruit in the tropics anyway). For details see our Palm & Coconut Products page.
  5. Apples:   These are important for the texture of the salad, adding some crunchiness.
  6. Pineapple:   This may be fresh or canned. Canned is most often used in the Philippines.
  7. Edam Cheese:   Red wax coated balls of Edam cheese are popular in the Philippines, This is a hold over from sailing ship days when European countries shipped Edam cheese to all their colonies because of its good keeping properties. A Gouda or mild Chedder could also be used.
  8. Cream Cheese:   Not all recipes include this, but it makes for a creamier dressing. Amount varies from 4 to 8 ounces.
  9. Condensed Milk:   This ingredient provides most of the sweetness, as condensed milk is so heavily sweetened it tastes like liquid caramel candy.
  10. Details:   This salad was adopted from the Americans during the time the Philippines were a U.S. Commonwealth. The cans provided fruits not available in the tropics but traditional in fruit salads. Canned fruit salad is now so traditional no-one would think to use fresh, but the tropical fruits included may vary, and some recipes add canned peaches.
  11. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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