All The Mistakes You Make When Making Buko Pandan

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Anyone who loves buko pandan dessert will be happy when it's the dessert on menus. It's a super creamy, sweet, and refreshingly light jelly dessert that is easy to put together. 

So what mistakes could you possibly do to make this fail? Here are the mistakes you might be making: 

Mistake 1: You make it too far ahead of time.

The anticipation of eating this dessert might prompt you to make it ahead of time before you need to serve it. This is great advanced thinking but you can plan ahead too far ahead. When you make your buko pandan too far ahead, your coconut cream and the coconut strands can turn bad and the pandan gulaman strands can water.  

The best timing for making buko pandan is the night before. This not only gives the dessert enough time to chill completely through but it is not too far ahead that you are in danger of your ingredients going bad. 


Mistake 2: You added the gulaman when it's still warm.

Sometimes, time is not our friend when you're making dishes that need to chill. For the buko pandan, this means the gulaman needs to be cooked and set before it can be added to the rest of the mix. 

What's wonderful about gulaman versus gelatin is that it sets fast. It also normally sets harder or firmer than gelatin so you use less than what you would normally need. Plus, it doesn't melt in the heat which makes it the perfect kind of jelly to use in tropical countries like ours. 

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However, the fast setting ability of gulaman might make you want to take shortcuts and you may add the firmed-up gulaman before it's completely cooled. This residual warmth is what can spoil your buko pandan

Avoid this and always completely cool your gulaman as well as other ingredients before mixing it together. 

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Mistake 3: Your container was not dry and not full.

If you're making buko pandan dessert to sell or to simply store, you may be using containers to pack these in. However, are these containers dry when you add the buko pandan in them? The best reason to always dry your containers is to avoid contamination from the water you used to rinse these containers in. 


Water unless boiled for at least 5 minutes may still contain microbes that combined with your dessert when you added it in, making it spoil faster than you anticipated. 

You may have also not filled your containers enough. Air, just like water, contains microscopic organisms that can make your food spoil. To avoid this, fill your containers to their maximum capacity to make them air-tight. You can also vacuum seal it in if available. 

Mistake 4: You left it out too long and did not chill it immediately. 

The biggest mistake you might be making is not chilling it immediately after making the buko pandan. Coconut is one of those ingredients that easily spoils so chilling it or even freezing it is the best way to preserve it. If you allow your buko pandan to thaw to room temperature and keep it out for longer than two hours and up to four hours, the coconut ingredients may be starting to spoil, especially if you're using fresh coconut cream and strands. 


Remember to always keep your ingredients cold when making buko pandan so you can keep it for longer.


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here.

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