From roots to tips, there is no doubt that Coconut Tree is called "The Tree of Life". A good source of food, shelter and even fuel ! In my hometown Santa Cruz in Laguna, there is an abundant coconut supply from endless plantations. At the topmost part of the trunk, the finest vegetable can be found. Known as ubod or heart of palm, it is popular ingredient to salad and a local hit during feasts.
My late Lola Auring used to make Fresh Lumpia Ubod during Aglipayan Santacruzan and Fiesta. Just like the Romano (Roman Catholic), the Aglipayans celebrate their Santacruzan during Flores de Mayo season (May). Being the Hermana Mayor and one of the festival organizers, both friends and starangers are welcome at the table. She made sure everyone is fed and sometimes guests even have "bit-bit" or "take-home" treat.
For the month of Fiestas, Mother's Day and my birthday, KCC's Dudut and Elizabeth challenge is regional specialty prepared by moms. Let me take you back to my grandmother's kitchen with her Lumpiang Ubod in Pandan Wrapper..
2 tblspn Vegetable Oil
1 tblspn Pandan Extract
1 1/2 cup Water
1 cup Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
Mix eggs, oil, pandan extract and water. Add cornstarch and salt until combined and smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour a scoop of batter onto the pan, approximately 1/4 cup of batter. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook for about 1-2 minutes, until bottom is light brown. Loosen with spatula, turn and cook the other side. Repeat to the rest of the batter.
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 pc White Onion(medium), chopped
4 cups Fresh Ubod (heart of palm),cut into small strips
1 cup Singkamas
½ cup Carrots
½ cup Shrimp (small), peeled (save skin and head to make shrimp stock)
½ cup Shrimp Stock
½ cup Wansoy leaves, chopped
Fish Sauce and Pepper
Lumpia wrapper (see malunggay wrapper recipe)
Sauté garlic and onion in vegetable oil. Add ubod, singkamas, carrots and shrimp. Stir in shrimp stock. Cook until reduced and vegetables are cooked. Mix in wansoy leaves and season with fish sauce and pepper.
Garlic Peanut Sauce
¼ cup Peanuts unsalted, ground
½ bulb Garlic, chopped
1 cup Water
½ cup Brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper, black
Slurry , mix ½ cup water to 4 tbsp constarch
Roasted Peanuts, ground
Combine all sauce ingredients in a sauce pan or small pot, mix and let it simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Thicken with slurry.
Using Pandan Wrapper, scoop about ½ cup of ubod mixture over the wrapper and roll.
Serve with Garlic Peanut Sauce (topped with roasted peanuts and fresh minced garlic)
Food Notes :
- Take out the wrapper and it is called Lumpiang Hubad(naked lumpia) !
- Heart Palm or Ubod contains essential vitamins. Specifically Vitamin A which aid cellular reproduction. Vitamin B-9 or folate which promotes brain function.
- They are also good source of potassium.