I first heard of Buco Salad on Terri's blog. As she aptly puts it, it's absolutely refreshing and a hit at the barbeque. I was invited to a barbeque party not long ago by a Filipina. She is a PR married to a Singaporean and teaches in Ah Girl's school. Among those invited were fellow Filipinas/Filipinos who are working here as domestic helpers, engineers, teachers and of course, Singaporeans like me. Eversince I saw the recipe that Terri has put up (practically drooling at all her food pics), I have been wanting to try it. What detered me was the coconut scrapper. I couldn't find it anywhere here in Singapore. I am not sure if the scrapper is available at Lucky Plaza though.
So I told my helper about the scrapper thingy and she came up with this. I think it's brilliant!
She said she used to make this when the scrapper was not available. Just a piece of bamboo, metal strips cut out from a condensed milk tin and raffia string, you have a coconut scrapper! Sometimes we are just too reliant on gadgets. But having said that, I have asked my helper's sister to bring 1 along when she arrives here in December. Ahah. With the scrapper problem solved, nothing beats bringing Buco Salad to a Filipina party. In case you are wondering, Buco is coconut in Tagalog.
I couldn't find Nata de Coco that are in bigger chunks. I know that will give the salad a better texture. Instead, I got hold of a 1kg packet of Nata de Coco bite-size bits swimming in light syrup. I forgot the weigh the Nata de Coco after draining. Tsk. The wet market near my place is only selling old coconuts. I got those pretty-young-but not-too-young coconuts from Shop 'N' Save. Below is the recipe adapted from Terri's Marylou's Buco Salad. It is a rather forgiving recipe so you don't have to bee too particular about the measurement.
4 Coconuts, hacked open and scrape flesh
1 can 850g Fruit Cocktail, drained
1 Packet 1 kg Nata de Coco in light syrup, drained (I bought Strawberry Flavour for its pink colour)
1 Cup Whipping Cream
3 Tbsp Condensed Milk
1/8 Tsp Rose Essence
Toss everything together in a large bowl.
*Note : Remember to retain the coconut water for consumption, refreshing for a hot day! Do not scrape too deep into the coconut flesh or you will get pieces of husk attached.
** Note : Terri mentioned that Tropical Fruit Cocktail should not be used as there is too much soft papaya.
***Buco salad should be served cold. Best prepared the night before and freeze. Thaw before serving. Alternatively, make it a few hours before the party and freeze it.
Before the party was over, the salad was gone. That's how good it is. Give it a try!