“The two basic items necessary to sustain life are sunshine and coconut milk.” – Dustin Hoffman
There is a native Filipino delicacy not very well known, savory and spicy, cooked mainly with coconut milk and santol (Sandoricum koetjape also known as cottonfruit) called Sinantolan or Guinataang Santol.
It is fairly easy to cook and very cheap, too. In the provinces where coconuts, santol and chili are grown in backyards, this dish can be had for free.
The part of the santol that will be used for cooking is the rind which one usually just throws away after eating the fruit. So enjoy the fruit and cook the rind, a great way to get your money’s worth.
The rind needs to be grated. There are two ways to do it.
- You can cut the fruit horizontally and use a native coconut grater to get fine santol meat. Or,
- You can peel the santol and grate the rind using a normal grater and get coarser meat.
Tip for cooking: once grated, the santol rind needs to be soaked in water with salt and wringed or squeezed dry by hand to remove the sap and excess sourness.
Santol, one (1) kilo
Milk of two (2) coconuts, more if you prefer
A lot of red chili, cut very finely
Garlic and Onion
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In a saucepan, boil coconut milk with garlic and onion while continuously stirring. Once it reaches the boiling point, add the santol, fish sauce to taste and the chili. Switch to low heat and stir only when necessary. Cook until dish is dry, oily and slightly toasted.
Enjoy with steamed rice and vegetables, and fried or grilled fish.
*I aspire to be justice and mercy combined.
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