cake / dessert Filipino

Buko and Fruit Salad (Young Coconut Meat Salad with Fruit Cocktail)

Monday, December 29, 2014Enz F

One of the things that I always anticipate during special occasions, say Christmas and New Year, and even fiestas, weddings or birthdays, is the dessert. When I was a child, I remember my Kuya Edward and I would always make desserts for our family dinner celebration. While grandma was busy cooking the main dishes, my kuya and I would take charge of strolling to the grocery to pick up the ingredients up to the preparation of one of our most favorite after-meal treats, Buko and Fruit Salad or Young Coconut Meat Salad with Fruit Cocktail. Since both of us would love to eat and food is our common interests (and guilty pleasures!), the supermarket and the kitchen had become our bonding and “catch-up” place. Holiday season is the time of the year that makes me not only delighted to prepare food but this also creates that sort of excitement of looking forward to those intangible and irreplaceable moments. Kuya Edward is already based in the U.S. while I am left along with my younger brother here in Manila, and several Christmas and New Year celebrations had already passed that I have been preparing desserts all by myself. Needless to say, I just could never miss the old good times better than this.

This is the dessert that really completes my holiday!
Very similar to Buko Pandan Salad (Young Coconut Meat and Pandan Jelly Dessert), Buko-fruit salad is also mainly made from strips of young tender coconut meat, nata de coco (coconut gel), kaong (sugar palm gel), cream and sweetened condensed milk. They only differ in some ingredients as the former is added with jelly flavored with pandan leaves or screw pine whereas the latter is mixed with fruit cocktail which is usually a combination of small chunks of tropical fruits (whether fresh or in heavy syrup) like pineapple, papaya, mango, cherry, peaches and a lot more. For added texture and crisp, I would always add sliced apples, seedless grapes and raisins. I have learned from my kuya that adding cheese creates a balance on the overall sweetness of the salad dessert. Aside from the mentioned ingredients, I oftentimes experiment with other fresh seasonal fruits whatever is available at hand. Buko-fruit salad is definitely a mainstay on our table in every special occasions. Holidays will never be the same without it. How about you, what desserts that usually complete your holiday season? Feel free to comment it below.

Buko Salad is one of the main stars in every Filipino occasions.
Buko and Fruit Salad (Young Coconut Meat Salad with Fruit Cocktail)
Number of Servings: 30

  • 1 huge can (3 kg. / 6.7 lbs.) tropical fruit cocktail in heavy syrup (mixture of pineapple, papaya, cherry, mango, peaches, coco gel, etc.), drained
  • 5-6 cups shredded buko (young coconut meat), shredded
  • 3 fresh Gala or Fuji apples, peeled, deseeded and diced
  • ½ lb. fresh seedless grapes
  • ½ cup dried raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup nata de coco (coconut gel) in heavy syrup, drained
  • 1 cup kaong (sugar palm gel) in heavy syrup, drained
  • 2 cans (300 mL each) condensed milk
  • 3 pouches (250 mL each) all-purpose or heavy cream
  • ½ cup finely diced cheese

  1. In a large salad bowl, put all together the fruit cocktail, young coconut meat, apples, grapes, raisins (optional), nata de coco and kaong. Thoroughly mix to distribute all the ingredients.
  2. Pour in the condensed milk and cream, and drop the cheese. Mix everything until well-blended. Place inside the fridge for an hour or so. Transfer to a dessert cup and serve chilled. Enjoy!

  1. Add berries and other fresh seasonal fruits if you fancy.
  2. Top your buko-fruit salad with choice of ice cream upon serving.
  3. Do not freeze the buko-fruit salad as this would affect the texture of the ingredients and the salad would become watery. Just place it in the lower section of the fridge to chill.
  4. This recipe intends to serve a bunch. Just reduce the ingredients according to your desired servings if you wish to prepare it in smaller quantity.

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