Santol and Pakwan Peels on TV

I left home about 7:30 a.m. but came back 12:30 a.m. of the next morning. I took the long and heavy traffic ride from Indang to GMA-Kamuning MRT Station. Thanked goodness, the electronically operated train was fast moving.

The tropical storm Helen was coming hastily to northern Luzon. I was hesitant to come. I was afraid I might end up stranded on my way back. The late international storm Haikui brought a widespread flood in the metro and nearby provinces. Lots of houses were destroyed and lots of people abandoned their homes. The storm Helen might caused the same situation. I took the risk for the sake of palabra de honor.

Someone asked me If I was available for a feature shoot for television segment. If ever, I was going to demonstrate two products making, the nata de pakwan and the santol peel candy.

Santol peel candy is made of thick rind which is usually thrown away. Nata de pakwan is not a real nata, it is just a sweetened pakwan rind. I got excited after the experiment and spontaneously called it nata de pakwan. I am sorry fellow food technologists!

The shooting commenced. The superhero named Super Peel was looking for ways to use peels. Using his super senses, he found Marvin Vicedo and asked his assistance in making sweetened peel products…  In the end, Super Peel liked the two products.

The super hero left to do his next two missions. Finding people who use peels for art making and for beauty purposes.

The shoot started about one p.m. and finished about six p.m. The ride back home took more than six hours due to heavy traffic between Diosdado Macapagal Road and Coastal Road Bacoor exit.

Watch the segment!

How To Make Santol Peels Candy

This is an extension and a modified version of sweetened santol peels, the sweetened dried santol peels or the santol peels candy.

Step by step…

1) Wash santol. This is necessary cause the rough outer skin will be included. Wash thoroughly to remove all adhering dirts.

2) Cut to halves taking care not to cut the seeds. Santol seeds are extremely bitter. Chewing such was one of the punishment during our COCC ROTC training. I guessed it’s not poisonous cause all of us are still alive and kicking.

3) Scoop out the seeds and the soft part of the rind. Use it for making santol enzyme or santol wine.

soaking santol rind in water

4) Soak the rind in clean water to prevent too much browning reaction. Slice it thinly, about three to five millimeter thick to facilitate rapid sugar absorption during cooking.

weighing santol peel slices

5) In a pan, add 500 ml water, 250 grams brown sugar and 250 grams sliced peels. Let boil over low flame for 40 minutes or until half part of the rind become translucent. The part starting from rough outer skin toward the middle is harder. More time is needed for sugar to penetrate this part.

boiling santol peels in syrup

6) Drain excess syrup. Arrange the slices in trays and dry under the sun for two to three days.

draining excess syrup

sun drying santol peels

The excess syrup has sweet and sour taste. Use it for:

a) juice – as sweetener for other fruit juice or just dilute it with enough water to achieve the right blend.

b) cooking second batch – Get the soluble solid reading before and after cooking. Do the MATH and adjust accordingly.

and c) …

Note: Removing the superficial outer skin is an option. See, “A Way to Remove Santol Superficial Skin”.

How to Make Santol Fruit Enzyme

bangkok santol fruit

How much is the price of santol per piece? Sorry! I never know. But I have the idea of the pricing per sack. Based from what I heard the cost per sack ranges from 150 to 200 pesos for the large variety or bangkok. Pricing of small and sour varieties is lower. The cost go as low as 50 pesos per sack during peak season. I am talking about the farm gate cost. Father never do harvesting when the price go lower than 50.

Pricing scheme might be different in your location.

Why do santol fruit has a low value? Because this fruit has low processing potential. Sweet santol is delicious but processing is hard, especially the juice extraction. The fruit has a thick non-juicy rind. Opening it will reveal the large seeds covered with pulp. The yummy pulp can be enjoyed only by sucking the whole seed. I never heard of any technology able separate the juice or pulp from seed. Seeds are very bitter and might contaminate the juice when subjected to mechanical process. Pressing it in a cheese cloth inappropriate either.

Is there a way to extract santol juice? I think there is a way, turn it to a fruit enzyme. My setup for dragon fruit peel enzyme is on going. I noticed that peel juice is extracted naturally from the pulp.

I setup my experiment for this.  I made a fruit santol fruit enzyme.

I peeled the santol using a sharp knife. I  left some soft skin. Cut it gently sideward and upward until the whole fruit looked like a patches of cubes.

peel santol fruit

I separated the seeds and arrange it in a glass jar. The fruit to sugar ratio and layering style is similar to dragon fruit enzyme.

santol fruit packed in jar

santol fruit enzyme

See the results!

Pinaasiman na Uguraming Dagat

She noticed the slices of dried santol peels. She knEw that I need to put it to a test so she volunteered to do the honor. Her test recipe was “Pinaasiman na Uguraming Dagat”. Uguraming dagat is a fish – a fish with unfamiliar taste to me. She said the fish taste is good. Here is her recipe anyway.

6 uguraming dagat
1 whole dried santol peels, bangkok variety
1 cup water
2 onions, sliced
2 teaspoons salt

Arrange the fish in a cooking vessel. Add water and the rest of ingredients. Cover and bring to slow boil for 15 minutes.

The soup taste is perfect. I can conclude that santol peels can be dry and use for cooking. Sweet santol is also fit for this purpose. In fact I used sweet bangkok. The sour variety will probably give more sour flavor.

How about the fish? The fish taste is good but tilapia is far better.

I gonna dry all santol peels that cross our dining table.

cooked uguraming dagat

uguraming dagat on plate with rice

How To Make Sweetened Santol Peels

Its another addition to my peel experiments, the sweetened santol peels.

Let us admit the fact that more than 90 percent part of santol is wasted. Eating is done by breaking the fruit apart. Getting the pulpy seeds, sucking it, spitting and throwing the thick rind. Some curve out the fleshy part of the rind and eat. Others peel the fruit until only the soft rind is left, then eat the soft rind and suck the seeds.  Still, considerable amount of rind is thrown away.

One way to save those peels is by processing it to sweetened santol peels. Unprocessed peels have a sharp sour and slightly astringent taste (mapakla) that last for few seconds. A simple cooking process is a good remedy.

Seeds are extremely bitter. There is nothing I can do with it. Throw it away or grow it.


1) Wash santol fruits and rinse well. Remove the thin outermost rind. Please remember that we need the thick rind. You can also skip removing the outer skin. Please tell me how it taste!

2) Break to halves. Remove the seeds (suck and threw it away). Scrape off the soft part of rind with spoon. Eat it right away or set aside if you want a santol jam – discover it for yourself.

3) Cut the rind to desired sizes. I prefer cubes.

santol peel cubes

4) For every cup of cubes, add 1 1/2 cup water and seven tablespoon sugar.

5) Bring to slow boil for 30 minutes. Prevent drying by adding water occasionally.

6) Remove from fire and transfer to a clean glass container. Cool. Let stand for at least five hours before eating.

sweetened santol peels

The resulting product is a sweet and sour santol peels with slight kick or astringency. Add more sugar for a sweeter product.

Make a dried santol peel candy by drying it under the sun.