Back when we were little children in Marag, Philippines, pako became a staple diet. It was in our dinner table at least once a week. We ate a lot of it so much that we kids 🙂 should have grown into goats 🙂 or hated it after a while. But I have always a vibrant and positive memory of pako.
Gathering pako is an adventure for us youngster. We had to roam a dense growth of greens at the mouth of a forest and try to pick the young furling sprouts of pako. Thank goodness they grow profusely together and therefore picking them one by one was not much of a chore.
Pako can be prepared in plenty of ways, it can be blanched and made into a salad, it can be left fresh as it is as a salad as well or cook and added into various kind of inabraw, an Ilocano way of cooking.
Below is another pako salad recipe.
1 large bunch pako (fern)
2 salted eggs or hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
sprinkling of salt to taste
Method of Preparation:
prepare the pako by removing any tough stalk.
Bring a large pot of boiling water. Blanch the pako by quickly dipping them into the hot water. Leave for a minute and drain.
Arranged the pako on a serving platter.
Put the tomatoes and onion on top then garnish with the slices of salted eggs.
Make a typical Filipino dressing by mixing the vinegar, fish sauce, black pepper, sugar and a very little salt. Stir it in thoroughly for the granules to dissolve.
This recipe is perfect for not too formal dinner party or just a treat for the family.
Method of Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 180º centigrade.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
Saute the garlic for just 1 minute, ensure not to burn the garlic to prevent a bitter taste.
Turn down the heat to low and then add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 tsp of salt. Stir well then pour into a large ceramic oven-proof
Wash the chicken and drain and dry with kitchen paper towels.
Put the chicken pieces into the ceramic dish and spoon into them the oil and lemon mixture.
Sprinkle with salt and a liberal amount of freshly ground black pepper.
Cover the ceramic dish with an aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutes, Then remove the cover, baste the chicken pieces with the juices and return into the oven and cook for a further half an hour or until the chicken is done.
Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes. Just perfect timing to prepare all the trimmings and setting the table.