Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Minatamis na Bao (Filipino coconut jam) Recipe by Mia P. Manansala @MPMtheWriter

The coconut tree is known as "The Tree of Life" in the Philippines because every part of it is used for various goods in daily life. The juice, meat, and milk of both young and ripe coconuts feature heavily in our cuisine, especially in our desserts. The recipe I'm sharing with you today is a rich, delicious coconut jam, though to the Western mind it's more similar to a coconut caramel spread. It's a decadent addition to any breakfast or tea table, and is as delicious on plain toast as it is spread on pandesal (Filipino rolls), rice cakes, or between cake layers. In my book, ARSENIC AND ADOBO, it's one of the protagonist's grandmother's specialties. Hope you enjoy!

Coco jam on toast with a side of medium-boiled eggs splashed with soy sauce and pepper, plus a cup of tea

Lola Flor’s Minatamis na Bao (Coconut Jam) This rich coconut caramel spread is one of Lola Flor’s specialties. It’s traditionally served with pandesal (Filipino soft bread rolls) and kakanin (Filipino sweet glutinous rice cakes) but it’s delicious in many other applications (Lila once used it to fill a layer cake!). A great way to jazz up breakfast and tea time. Yield: about 1 cup Ingredients: 1 can coconut milk (13.5 fl oz) ⅔ cup of dark brown sugar* 2 pandan leaves, tied in a bow, or 1 tsp pandan extract (optional) Instructions: Put all the ingredients in a thick-bottomed medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and stir the contents until the sugar dissolves. Using a rubber spatula, stir the jam until it thickens to a honey-like consistency and is a lovely dark brown, about 45 minutes.** Make sure to stir the contents, scraping the bottom and sides, often so that the jam doesn’t stick to the bottom. If you want to be sure it’s done, drop a small amount into very cold water and see if it forms a soft ball. Remove from heat and pour into a clean glass jar. Allow to cool and thicken a bit more before using. *If you don’t have dark brown sugar, you can substitute the same amount of white sugar plus about 2 TBSP molasses. I actually prefer doing this because it gives a deeper flavor. **You might want to remove the pandan leaves about 30 minutes into the cook time, when the mixture is still fairly liquid. If you wait till the end, the jam clings to the leaves and you’ll lose quite a bit of it. It’s too delicious to waste!

Cast of Characters

Add all the ingredients to a thick bottomed, medium sauce pan and bring to a boil

Once boiling, lower to a simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves. Continue stirring with a rubber spatula, scraping sides and bottom, until the mixture thickens to a honey-like consistency and is dark brown, roughly 45 minutes. Remove the pandan leaves.

Remove from heat and put in a clean glass jar. Allow to cool and thicken before using.

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One of BuzzFeed’s Highly Anticipated Mystery Novels of 2021!
The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer….
When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.
With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…

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  1. Yum! I can almost taste this. I wonder how it would be over some ice cream!

    1. I've never tried it, but that's an AMAZING idea! And gives me an idea for a recipe for Book 2, which takes place during the summer. Thanks, Peg!

  2. Coconut cream goes to heaven!