Out of the long and varied list of Filipino sweets and delicacies, I have to say, nilupak leads as my all-time favorite. For a midday treat, I regularly enjoy the soft bites of mashed cassava and grated coconut pulled together by sweetened condensed milk and a generous slathering of margarine. But not only is this popular Filipino snack addictingly delicious, it is also pretty uncomplicated to make. Aside from minimal physical effort from the pounding of boiled root crop, this nilupak recipe is simple enough to have ready in no time.
- 2 pounds cassava, peeled and cut into short lengths
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup margarine (and more for serving)
- In a pot over medium heat, combine cassava, salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain from liquid and allow to cool. Remove the tough, stringy core and discard. With a mortar and pestle or in a food processor, mash boiled cassava to desired consistency (I like my nilupak with some bits and pieces for texture but you can process the cassava until smooth).
- In a wide pan over low heat, combine cassava, condensed milk and margarine. Cook, stirring regularly, until thickened and mixture begins to pull from sides of pan. Spoon mixture onto banana leaves, smoothing surface and sides with back of a spoon. Top with margarine and coconut.