The coconut is a versatile fruit, hence it’s called the ‘tree of life.’ For starters, the fruit’s meat itself can be eaten, and you can drink the juice as a finisher.
But that’s not where it ends. You can also turn dried coconut meat into coconut oil that can be used for cooking, moisturizing, and even oil pulling. The coconut husk, meanwhile, can be used as plant pots or even as a ‘scrub’ for tiled floors (bunot)!
But if there’s one iconic and very Filipino thing to do with coconut, that is to make gata or coconut milk out of it! We use it for desserts, merienda, and even viands that we’re used to eating. (Read: Yes, Watermelons Can Protect Your Skin From Sunburn!)
So in celebration of National Coconut Day, My Pope Philippines is listing some dishes that have a creamy gata twist!
Gata Recipes: Adobo sa Gata
We’re all familiar with adobo, and even foreigners love it! But did you know that there is a variation of this Filipino dish that makes use of gata?
The adobo sa gata is a creamier and richer version of the traditional ulam. The gata adds a distinct taste to the dish that complements the salty soy sauce and sour vinegar. It’s definitely a perfect match for freshly cooked rice! Get the recipe here.
Gata Recipes: Arroz Caldo with Gata
The arroz caldo or lugaw is a merienda favorite of many. It is almost a complete meal with rice and meat, plus it is very affordable— you can even buy it on the street! (Read: Why Do Filipinos Love the Essential Lugaw?)
And now, it can be leveled up and made even more delicious by adding coconut milk to it. A modern twist to a classic dish, indeed. Follow the recipe here.
Gata Recipes: Binagoongan with Gata
For anyone who is a fan of bagoong, the binagoongan is definitely a favorite. Meat, bagoong, garlic, and now, coconut milk? It’s a heavenly dish for sure!
The sauce is also a good topping to hot rice during a cold night. And you can even add some spice by adding chili (siling labuyo) to it! Read the recipe here.