How to Make Nata de Coco
Nata de Coco is a chewy, translucent, jelly-like substance produced by the bacterial fermentation of coconut water. It is mixed in one of the most popular refreshment, the halo-halo, with other stuffs like red beans, macapuno, sweetened bananas and sweet potatoes, ube and leche flan. There are others stuffs that I forgot to mention but nata de coco is a mainstay maybe because of it’s unique taste and consistency. There have been a craze of this product in the past because it became a hit in Japan and exported in that country so many ventured on making nata de coco due to the high demand. But today, the fad diminished but the local demand is still there because you can still see bottles of nata de coco being sold in the supermarkets. If you are thinking of business and have plenty of coconuts, then this might be a good start. The below procedure have two versions, using mature coconut and using fresh coconut.
NATA DE COCO (coconut water) – Version 1
1 kg. fresh coconut, grated
325 mL or 1¼ cups glacial acetic acid
600 g or 3 cups refined sugar
500 ml or 2 cups coconut water
12 L tap water
2 L nata starter*
1. Mix grated coconut with water. Strain thru cheesecloth.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
3. Pour the mixture into clean sterile fermenting basins or jars (2 inches depth). Set aside starter for use in 3-5 days.
4. Ferment for 12-14 days.
5. Harvest. Wash.
6. To cook it into a dessert:
– Cut nata into cubes or desired size.
– Boil in several changes of water until acidic taste or smell is completely removed.
– Cook in sugar at 1:1 ratio. If desired, add pineapple tidbits or nangka as flavorant.
NATA DE COCO (tap water) – Version 2
1 kg matured coconut, grated
400 ml glacial acetic acid
2 kg refined sugar
28 L tap water
5 L nata starter*
1. Mix grated coconut with tap water. Strain through cheesecloth.
2. Mix the rest of the ingredients.
3. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
4. Pour into clean, sterile fermenting basins or plastic trays. Cover with clean paper.
5. Ferment for 8-10 days.
6. Harvest, remove scum, wash and cut into cubes or desired size.
7. Boil in several changes of water until acidic taste/smell is completely removed.
8. Cook in sugar at a 1:1 ratio (1 kilo sugar to 1 kilo nata or 3/4 kilo sugar to 1 kilo nata). Boil until nata cubes become transparent.
* Pure culture is available at the Microbiology & Genetics Division, ITDI