Monday, June 30, 2014

A Visit to the Pacific Islands: Kelaguen

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! Although one of the sources said the Spam version is only popular among beer drinkers.

Draw your own conclusions :)

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?


  1. This is very strange...but I am open.

    I like a nice chopped salad and watermelon for desert on a hot day. Actually watermelons are so abundant now, some days I only eat watermelon.

    1. I thought it was very strange at first, too - but then I tried it!

      The flavors blend, and it's such a refreshing change from the usual chicken salad with mayo (although I love that, too!)

  2. Like Tina, I do lots of cold, chopped salads. I love them. And I love chopped chicken salad, but I'd have never thought of it like this! My other comfort food in summer is grilled burgers with cheese, no bun. They're delicious and it helps keep me focused, but the salads definitely come first. And Cabot's sharp cheeses. Oh, the Vintage Cheddar, the Seriously Sharp cheddar, I love Cabot's cheeses. They make me happy!

    1. I do lots of chopped salads, too. One of my favorites is the broccoli slaw you shared here a couple years ago! It's one of those "add anything you want" type of dishes, so it's never the same!

      And yes! The grilled burgers...yum!

  3. Blogger is having issues here today. I will speak to him/her/it ASAP!!!!

  4. Is ice cream/frozen custard a comfort food????? I have to vote yes!!!

  5. Howling with laughter at the last picture. I'm thinking, "What does she mean ; someone else thinks so too'?" LOL corgi in camouflage!!!! Hysterical. And he is just as handsome as ever.

    Did I tell you I have my eye on a corgi/sheltie mix at a local rescue? She's not available yet...I have a sneaking suspicion she's pregnant and they're waiting until the litter is born. I keep watching their website, hoping...

    We're in the middle of a nasty heat wave -- advisory alerts and all -- and I'm living on salads and fruit. It's too yucky for anything else. I'm thinking tofu would have to be flavoured with something stronger though to be palatable though. The addition of coconut is interesting. Speaking of which, I had a bounty bar in your honour yesterday. :-)

    1. A Corgi/Sheltie mix? Sounds divine!

      My daughter recently met a sheltie, and now she says she's found her ideal dog. I'm all for it...after she has her own place :)

      And yuck on the heat wave! We got up to 90° one day - but I know more days like that are coming. I'm just loving our days in the 70's-80's and nights in the mid-50's. You can't much more perfect than that!

      I hope you enjoyed your bounty bar! Mmmm. I'm going to have to make some more of those.

      AFTER I MEET TODAY'S DEADLINE! See you all later!

  6. Sounds interesting! But very tart. Although I guess the coconut helps tone that down. :) Thanks for sharing!