"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fiddleheads with Coconut Milk

I was craving for some vegetable-based dish one day, then one of my co-workers left a gallon bag full of fiddleheads inside the fridge for anyone interested to take home. The unit sec and I decided to divide that. That's what I cooked in a laing-inspired fashion, although I decided to add some vinegar toward the end of cooking.

My craving was satisfied, and my sons enjoyed it as well.

1/4 lb pork liempo, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
2-3 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
1 (13.5 oz) can premium coconut milk (first press)
1/2 cup to 1 cup water
qt fiddle heads
salt and pepper to taste
dash of ground basil leaves
2-3 tbsp cider vinegar

Add about 1/4 cup water to pork and sautee until pork renders fat. Add salt and pepper. Add garlic and sautee until light brown. Add onions and sautee until caramelized. Add patis and let sizzle. Add coconut milk and fiddle heads. Add about 1/4 cup water and stir. Let simmer uncovered until coconut turns creamy (add water if it turns too dry). Season with salt, pepper and ground basil leaves. Add vinegar and let simmer another 5 minutes. Serve with plain rice.


  1. Manang, I've never heard of fiddleheads. What do you compare their taste with...artichokes? collard greens? Thanks!

  2. wow, i like it bulanglang or just salad with buro ....

  3. MaMely, I have not tasted artichokes, but it is very different from collard greens. There is a certain veggie in the Philippines that are like slender fingers that my Tatay used to add in dinengdeng, but I don't know wht it is called.

    Nina, before you said bulanglang, I never really knew what it was. Reading about it, I realized it is pretty much like our dinengdeng.

  4. fiddleheads are 'pako' in tagalog.

  5. Hi Anonymous,
    That's right! pako...pero I don't think we ate pako for veggies.
    The one I mentioned above that are slender finger-like veggies are not related to ferns. I think those were actually flowers of some plants, but I don't know what it is called. Medyo pareho ng texture at lasa ng fiddleheads.

  6. that looks so yummy. i am drooling looking at your pic.

    thanks for the visit, manang. really appreciate it. about the orchid, it is not really that hard to grow them as long as they have the right fertilizer and sun position (they love sun but direct sun can burn them). they don't need even constant watering. the only thing that stop me from getting more orchids for my collection is they are a bit expensive.:)

    have a nice day

  7. Hi Manang. I'm not so crazy about fiddleheads but now I'm craving for a coconut milk-based dish!

  8. Lannie,
    I remember the first time I tried to cook fiddleheads (ginisa lang), I felt giddy...but one of my friends served it like laing, and I loved it!

  9. Manang...try using it as a pasta sauce next time but not too watery so it adheres to the pasta. Another good substitute is those Chinese long eggplants cooked like laing and added to pasta...it is quite addicting!

  10. That looks so delicious. I've been looking around here for fiddlehead fern. Unfortunately, even the farmers markets don't sell them. I may have to grow my own but I'm late already, I think.

    I love those steamed and sprinkled with calamansi and sea salt. Sarap!


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