I always love looking and buying produce at the wet market. One can find fresh things there that you rarely and never see in an air-conditioned supermarket. Seafood and vegetables come in plenty and everything looks fresh. Since I have a restricted diet, I always try to find something delicious and healthy and easy on the budget. I crave for this edible fern every time I have the chance to do the marketing.
We simply call it pako in our native dialect. These are grown in some remote areas and they are not your regular choices of vegetables in the market because it takes months before they harvest them again (that’s according to the lone vendor who sells it now and then).
What a nice surprise! Can’t help but buy at least three bundles for lunch. There are lots of ways to prepare this edible fern – you could have it fresh as veggie salad mixed with radish, fresh tomatoes and any dressing that you want. You could have it cooked in coconut milk or simply blanched and mixed with grated green mango and onions. But one sure way of having a really yummy treat is to saute it in a little oil, add about 2 grams of ground pork and top it with two sliced hard-boiled eggs.
Or you can try this other recipe which is as nutritious and delicious as this one.
2 bundles of pako
6 pieces of fresh tomatoes
1 head of onion
a pinch of salt
coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup of small, fried dilis for toppings
Saute the tomatoes with the onion and diced ginger, set aside. Fry small dried dilis, the smallest ones are better, since they are crispy when cooked. Blanch the pako in hot water for a minute or two then put them in cold water to keep its crunchy taste. Top it with the sauteed tomatoes and serve!
And have you ever tried this crunchy and edible seaweed as starter? This is perfect for those freshly catched tilapia or that daing na bangus. One kilo goes for P120.00 and I bought about 400 grams and mixed it with fresh tomatoes, sliced onions, julienned ginger and a dash of paprika.
There you go, you might find these a little exotic to your taste but they are family favorites – pako and ararosep. You couldn’t go wrong having these on your table.