myFresha-licious: Ginataang Pako (Wild Fern in Coconut Cream Sauce)

Ginataang Pako (Wild Fern in Coconut Cream Sauce)

Last December, one of our housemates, Frank Sanchez, came back with several bundles of fresh pako wrapped in anahaw leaves from the Philippines.  It was my first time to see such pako species -they were too long and huge and chubby as compared to the pako I am used to that are thin and small.

You might be wondering what on earth pako is.  Pako refers to the edible ferns, mostly the fiddlehead ferns, the furled young leaves of a fern.  I am not sure however, if all fiddleheads are edible or what the species of ferns have edible fiddleheads. 

These are some photos I have lifted from the internet just to show what pako or edible fiddleheads are:

     – this is  similar to the pako that our housemate brought back from the Philippines (photo courtesy )

  – this is the type of pako I am used to (photo courtesy of )

Trivia:  I have always thought that only Filipinos eat pako.  Only when I searched the net about pako / fiddleheads have I known that it is a common food from the US of A to Japan

The recipe below are not ours but Alma’s (Airene’s helper)



Pako (edible fern) – 2 bundles (more than 1 kilogram)
Kara coconut cream – 500 ml
Ground Pork – 250 g.
Onion, diced – 1 medium
Garlic, crushed and chopped – 5 cloves
Ginger – 1/2 of a thumbsize
Vegetable oil – 1 tbps
Fish Sauce – 2 tbsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooking Procedure:

1.  Clean and cut the  pako.  use only the part of the stalks that are soft.
2.  Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the galic, onion, and ginger.  Then add the ground pork and pan simmer it until the pork is cooked.
3. Add the coconut cream and simmer for 5 minutes.  Season with fish sauce, ground pepper.  
4.  Add the pako / fiddleheads.  Adjust taste by adding more salt.  Simmer until the pako / fiddleheads are cooked.
Serve with steamed rice.  The kids (Airene’s)  said that it tasted like egg and they love it J


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 © Fresha-licious (04February2012)