Ensaladang Ubod (Hearts of Palm Salad)

Ubod, or hearts of palm, are the edible pith of the coconut tree. Yana Gilbuena, who's toured the world sharing her culture's cooking, considers this ingredient to be a great example of how Filipino cuisine honors a plant by using as many parts as possible. Read more about Gilbuena and this recipe.

Ensaladang Ubod (Hearts of Palm Salad)
Photo: Jenny Huang
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • cup coconut cream (see Tip)

  • ¼ cup calamansi juice (see Tip) or lime juice

  • ¼ cup coconut vinegar (see Tip) or cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (see Tip)

  • 1 (14 ounce) can hearts of palm, rinsed and cut into matchsticks

  • 1 cup diced tomato

  • ½ cup sliced shallots or red onion

  • 2 Thai chiles, coarsely chopped

  • 8 small leaves Boston lettuce or endive

  • 1 scallion, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon fried garlic (see Tip)

  • 1 tablespoon fried shallots (see Tip)


  1. Whisk coconut cream, calamansi (or lime) juice, vinegar and fish sauce in a large bowl. Add hearts of palm, tomato, shallots (or onion) and chiles. Toss to combine. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the salad onto lettuce leaves (or endive) and garnish with scallion, fried garlic and fried shallots.


Thicker and richer than coconut milk, coconut cream is the solid part that rises to the top of canned coconut milk. It's also sold separately. Skip anything labeled cream of coconut, which is sweetened and used to make things like cocktails.

A tart and floral relative of the kumquat, calamansi is the predominant citrus used in Filipino cooking. Look for the juice bottled or frozen. Lime or lemon juice can be substituted.

Made from the nectar of flowers from the coconut tree, coconut vinegar is mild, with a slightly sweet, coconutty aftertaste. It's a staple throughout Southeast Asia and parts of India. Use it in marinades and dressings or to make pickled vegetables.

Fish sauce is the ultimate umami sauce. Seek out one made with just anchovy, salt and water for the best flavor.

You can find fried garlic and shallots premade at Asian markets and online. To make your own, heat 1/4 cup canola or avocado oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add thinly sliced garlic cloves or shallots and cook, stirring often, until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes for garlic or 3 to 4 minutes for shallots. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Refrigerate any leftover flavored oil to use in savory recipes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

133 Calories
3g Fat
20g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 133
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 1g 2%
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Vitamin A 797IU 16%
Sodium 373mg 16%
Potassium 400mg 9%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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