When the summer season comes along, so many of the fruit bearing trees become abundant. One such fruit is the Santol or Cotton Fruit. Some people do not like to eat the outer meat and just suck on the flossy seeds. One of the things one can do is make use of the meat covering the seeds. You can make candy; or a cordial; or sinigang; or you can make Guinataang Santol. Depending on the santol that you pick, that is the flavor that you will get. It can be sweet or it can be tart. To make the Guinataang Santol, you may pick either the sour or sweet kind; but with making the sinigang, use the sour kind.
Guinataang Santol (Sinantolan)
Santol (Cotton Fruit) meat simmered in gata (coconut milk) seasoned with bagoong (fermented shrimp paste) making the most of the whole fruit.
- 6 pieces of santol fruit
- 1 coconut grated for the milk - place 2 cups water to extract gata (coconut milk)
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon Bagoong (fermented shrimp paste)
- 1 lady finger chili - seeded and sliced julienne
- 200 grams pork belly - boiled and sliced into 1 inch strips
- Salt and pepper to taste
First, you must remove the outer skin of the santol:
The traditional method is, after the skin has been removed, hold the fruit with one hand and with the other hand, start chopping motions into the flesh of the santol. The santol must be scored all over finely. Then using the same knife, slice off the chopped flesh and place them in a container that has 4 cups of water with 1 tablespoon salt dissolved in it.
Do this until you have removed most of the tan looking flesh of the santol. Leave it to soak in the salted solution for a few hours or overnight. Then drain the flesh and squeeze as much to remove the liquid. You are doing this to remove the acrid (dagta) taste of the flesh.
Now to start the cooking part:
In a non-reactive saucepan, over medium-low fire, pour in the cooking oil and place inside the garlic and the onions and start to sauté. Do this for about 2 minutes or till the onion has wilted but the garlic is just a tinge of tan.
Now add in the sliced, boiled pork and continue to sauté for about 1 minute.
Then add the Bagoong and continue to sauté for another 1 minute.
Pour in the gata and bring to a slow simmer.
Add the chopped santol flesh and mix.
Put in the sliced siling haba.
Season with salt and pepper to your taste and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Serve hot with rice.