These are the moments when you least expect it and it makes you feel special. So I was on our veranda that morning with the tropical summer breeze cooling me down. I saw this street vendor hawking buko (coconut), aimlessly driving his bike carrying a wagon-full of buko. Unlike Lance Armstrong, the vendor pedals his bike like he has no worries in the world. And this is what I like about my hometown - it is so laid back. Amidst the chaos in the streets and the cacophany from the cars and tricycles around, the site of this man was novel.
It created a subtle curiosity in me on how to buy from a street vendor. So I waved my arm and called him like one would hail a cab. And there he was..
I asked him if I could take pictures and he began to smile...
"Is this for a magazine?" he asked
"No it's for my blog" I said.
So he prepared the buko...
Popped the neon green straws, and voila, you definitely can't beat the freshness...
and the first sip was sheer delight....
It was even better when it was used to cook a pot of chicken soup ..as it added a sweet note to the dish!
So let me share with you the recipe that Lani served us in one of our meals. Enjoy!
Tinolang Manok sa Buko (Chicken soup in Coconut Juice)
2 lbs chicken breast, sliced in strips
3 slices of ginger (crushed)
3 slices of ginger (crushed)
1 medium onion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic(chopped)
3 cups coconut juice (note: this is different from coconut milk)
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup coconut meat, sliced in strips
2 pcs. chayote, slice
2 pcs. carrots sliced
Fish sauce (patis) to taste
In a heavy skillet, saute garlic and onions in oil. Give it a quick stir. Wait until the garlic and onions starts to soften and a fragrant smell wafts across the room. Stir in the ginger. Quick stir again and add the chicken cut ups. Allow the chicken to cook for 4-5 minutes. Pour in the coconut juice. Let it simmer. Add the vegetables and allow it to cook until tender. Season with fish salt. Add coconut strips and voila you are ready to enjoy the pleasure of slurping and tasting the tender goodness of the chicken and the coconut meat.
Buko vending in a bike is new in Tugue. I don't think I've seen that growing up. Very entrepreneurial in spirit huh?
I think so too. That's why when I saw the buko man, I kinda hesitated to flag him down. I thought he was going to the market or something haha.Delete
I think we had Aling Dideng walking around with her bilao, balut vendors, and buchi and pandesal in a bike early in the morning. Those are the iconic street vendors that I remember.Delete
Yes spot on! how about Taho vendor too? and Snow WHite and Tagumpay ice cream? Ahh those were the days!Delete
I tasted the young coconut for the first time last Fall at a tour of Melissa's Produce. It was very refreshing and unlike any other coconut product I have tried before:)ReplyDelete
My sister and her husband go scuba-diving to Philippines at least once a year, and one time, she was sitting at the terrace of their resort when a man appeared with a bunch of coconuts on a cart. She had her laptop with her and the guy did pretty much the same thing like your guy here, while I watched in California!
We might be from two completely different cultures, but there are so many things in common between our two countries:)
I am happy you had a chance to relax and spend some time with your family and friends - those experiences are always special:)
What a delight to read your comment. Lana we have to do what we've been talking about since last year hahah.Delete
So true that we come from opposite sides of the earth and yet we have common experiences and of course it's food that bonds us closer.
It's so great to see you again my friend!
WOW...ang sarap niyan!!!!! Pero nagulat ako sa tshirt nung vendor hahaha!!ReplyDelete
I just noticed it now that you've mentioned it. Matalas pa pala ng eyes mo haha. Thanks for dropping by, you head of the Pilya Tribe haha!Delete
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I've never had anyone chop a coconut for me and pop in a straw. It's a pleasure I look forward to.ReplyDelete
I love the chicken soup in coconut juice - it sounds heavenly.
It was a scene that I wasn't familiar with too, that's why it made the experience special.
Great to have you as always,
This sounds scrumptious. You have such a way with words. You make me feel that I am there with you.ReplyDelete
Aww Chaya, waking up to these kind words is heartwarming. I hope you have a great Sunday.ReplyDelete
Love this post and trying to imagine being able to call to a street vendor from my home. You don't get much fresher than that - unless you grow your own. The dish is wonderful - tropical, healthy and all I need is some coconut milk straight from the coconut tree!ReplyDelete
Claudia hello and good morning!Delete
I am glad to see you here this morning. It was a "novel" thing for me to do at that time... hihi. btw, the coconut juice im referring to in this dish is different from the coconut milk that we are used to. It's coconut water or coconut juice is what is used.
Always lovely to have you my dear friend,
I wish I had coconut vendors in the streets... It must taste heavenly.ReplyDelete
The soup sounds very original (at least to me) and really delicious. I have only used coconut milk in soups but never coconut juice. I might try maybe one day with canned one (although I can imagine it tastes worse).
When it was served to me, I thought that using coconut juice for the soup was something orginal. I loved it instantly. I will try with the canned one and buy the close to natural as possible.. if i could find any ;)ReplyDelete
have a great sunday,
I love coconut water, it is so refreshing but have ever thought to cook with it. I'm very curious about trying this recipe, it sounds delicious.ReplyDelete
It's so nice to have you back... after a long while. And you know what's funny, I thought about you a few hours ago. I should go back and check FLB soon too. Thanks for coming over!
I'd love to see how coconut drink is prepared in person! My brother lives in a small island in Thailand and he prepares coconut drink on his own. I just assumed that he's doing like this. And the chicken soup in coconut juice... I would loooove to have that. I'm missing out so much.ReplyDelete
Im pretty sure he chops the coconut shell just like this. I never did yet as I know it needs some skill to do... otherwise a 911 call will ensue if i do it haha.Delete
thanks for c oming over Nami
Nice post! I've never had that coconut drink before - sounds delicious. And love the soup! Great combination of flavors. Thanks for a fun post.ReplyDelete
The drink was indeed refreshing. It's like a sweet treat from nature, that's so fresh and clean.ReplyDelete
I am so happy to see you again. I hope to see you next time.
How fantastic. I can just imagine the subtle sweetness the fresh coconut meat and juice gave. Lol, it's a bit hard for me to get fresh coconut in Ohio though, I wonder if I could try using the canned coconut juice.ReplyDelete
I also wish I have fresh buko here. Ill check our local Asian store and see if they have them if not, Ill settle for the canned ones.Delete
I hope had a great Monday.
I always say I need to buy and coconut....then hesitate, because then I have to open it, LOL! I remember in Key West I loved getting fresh coconut, so delicious! Your soup sounds wonderful:-) Hugs, TerraReplyDelete
I know one time I saw coconut at the store when I still lived in San Diego but that was absolutely my problem haha.Delete
Great to see you again Terra. It's been awhile.
How cool! I should do this soon. Looks marvelous!ReplyDelete
That is so cool, something I could probably never manage, but love seeing how it's done :) A lovely recipe as well!ReplyDelete