Homemade Pili Nut Kernels in Bicol Region

Pili nuts (Canarium ovatum) grow lavishly in several Southern Provinces including Romblon, Samar, Luzon Tablas, Mindanao, Visayas and all over the Philippines. The Pili nut kernel is cooked and coated with a thin sugar coat, nut butter, or sometimes roasted with sea salt/plain, Mazapan de Pili, tarts, and cakes.

Special Homemade Pili Nuts Kernels
Pili Nut Kernel by Kenneth Agudo

It can also be eaten raw and contains a good source of oleic Glycerides and Palmitic acids (60:40) which are very similar to olive oil. The countries that import Pili nut products are the USA, Europe, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

So, why do I mention “homemade” in the title? It’s because in the picture I’ve included it shows the finished product of Pili nut kernels which were cooked by my mother. They are very crispy, sweet and yummy and work best as dessert after a meal. They are coated with a thin film of sugar that was melted in a pan at an average temperature. Pili nut kernels are great for “pasalubong” or a homecoming treat for your family and friends, as well.

Is it difficult to make Pili nut candies/kernels?

No. It’s easy to prepare and cook Pili nuts because it only requires a few ingredients and simple cooking instructions. Even I can make these. You simply need to shimmer the Pili nut kernels and remove the pulp; after that, heat the frying pan and add some brown sugar. Then, wait until the sugar melts before you put the Pili nuts into the pan. When they become golden yellow they are ready to serve.

Is this picture of Pili nut kernels yours?

Yes! It is a photo of the finished product – the Pili nut candies/kernels which at this moment, we are eating.  This is a product of my country and we are proud of it. It’s something that tourists like and it helps businesses here. You will notice whenever you visit Bicol, Philippines, that lots of vendors sell Pili nut candies/kernels, especially in terminals.

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