Monday, July 16, 2018

A Visit to the Pacific Islands: Kelaguen

by Jan Drexler

I have a summer re-run for you today. Between writing, heat, and allergies, I haven't been doing much cooking this summer. We haven't even gone hiking in more than a week!

As I was looking for some no-cook recipes, I came across this one that I shared several years ago. I think it's time to make it again!

(I also love the cute corgi photo-bomb at the end!)

Here we go, back in time to 2014....Enjoy!


Because of my husband's job as a hospital food service director, he goes to a lot of food blogs. And he comes into contact with a lot of different recipes.

Recipes he rarely brings home!

So imagine my surprise when he gave me this recipe a couple summers ago!

He says the guy who posted the original recipe on the blog is from the Philippines. I Googled the dish, and learned that it's found all over the Pacific Islands.

Originally, it seems the islanders used this recipe to ferment seafood - basically "cook" it in acid and salt. When other meat sources were introduced to the islands, the recipe was adapted to include them. Even Spam! 

The version I make uses cooked chicken.



2 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 hot pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup lemon juice (or juice of 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut - dried or fresh

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least two hours. Serve with warm tortillas or with a green salad.

Since this is an ancient recipe, pretty much anything goes.

Use whatever meat - or even tofu - you choose. I use diced, cooked chicken breasts. You can also use seafood, beef, canned tuna...whatever!

Use whatever pepper you want - or even none. I like the zing a hot pepper gives the dish - although I don't like too much of it. I used one of these - I think it's a Serrano?

Green Bell Peppers would work well, too.

And, of course, for the coconut I used some of the huge bag that I dug into last week to make my Delightful Coconut Dreams (recipe here).

Paired with a green salad, this makes a wonderfully quick, nutritious cold dish for summer!

Someone else thinks so, too!

What's your favorite go-to dish for hot summer days?

Jan Drexler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and growing family. When she isn't writing, she loves hiking in the Hills or satisfying her cross stitch addiction.

You can find Jan on Facebook, Jan Drexler, author, or her website, Jan


  1. I left a lovely comment on the coconut candy page, LOL! And it's too hot to make it, but I must not forget it because it looks marvelous!!!!!

    1. Don't forget - those coconut dreams are a no-bake recipe, too! The only "cooking" you need to do is to melt the coconut oil, and as hot as it's been, you won't even need to do that (its melting point is 76° F). So all you need is a nice cool refrigerator. :-)

  2. Ha! Corgi photo bomb -- love that! And how tempting that you have a see through table. How do you resist those pleading puppy eyes? I know it must be hot if you haven't hiked in a week. It's been brutal here too and continues on. Everything in my garden crunches...except the weeds which are thriving. Sigh.

    1. Today finally cooled down enough to get out and get some hiking in today. Custer State Park does a challenge every summer - hike eight selected trails between Memorial Day and Labor Day and you earn a special badge. So hubby and I did trails #2 and #3 today.

      My incentive? We heard that a 91 year old energizer bunny did all eight trails in two days! That's my goal - I want to be her!

      And it's easy to resist Thatcher's pleading eyes. Have you ever seen an overweight Corgi? Yeah. Not a pretty sight. Not healthy for the pup, either. So I resist!