Pako salad recipe (paco): Delicious & healthy fiddlehead fern

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  May 27, 2022

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Pako salad (paco) is one of the fern vegetables that Filipinos love to eat.

This vegetable (fiddlehead fern, scientific name Athyrium esculentum) is usually eaten as a salad like Filipino fruit salad or as a side dish to a main viand.

Aside from its distinctive taste, pako is very well known to be healthy among Filipinos!

Filipino Pako salad recipe

However, people aren’t really aware of what the nutritional value or benefits of this vegetable are. So here are some of the nutritional benefits of pako leaves!

As a vegetable, paco leaves are rich in fiber, which is an entirely healthy diet for people who are losing weight. Fiber takes time to digest, which allows people to feel full and lose the craving to eat.

It’s also good for people with heart problems and diabetes.

Check out this video by Simpleng Putahe PH to see how to make pako salad:

Other health benefits of pako salad

Calcium

One of the top mineral content of pako is calcium. This is a mineral that’s helpful for our bones and teeth, and we normally get it from drinking milk.
Pako Salad Recipe (Paco)

Because of this, many people (especially old folks) claim that pako helps young people to grow taller. It doesn’t spur growth though, but instead, helps support it by providing calcium to the growing bones.

Calcium is also useful for the proper functioning of the heart, nerves, muscles, and other body systems. For someone who’s suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and high blood pressure, a deficiency in calcium aggravates the problem.

Favorite Asian Recipes
Favorite Asian Recipes

So edible fern (pako) can be of great use. Researchers indicate that this indigenous vegetable is a good source of calcium. That’s why an ample serving of this food in your meal would help alleviate calcium-related problems.

Phosphorus

The second mineral in pako is phosphorus, which makes up 1% of our body’s total weight. This mineral helps our bodies to burn carbohydrates and fats into energy.

It also helps create protein for growth and cell and tissue repair. So pako is said to help in speeding up the healing of wounds. It can also contribute a satisfactory amount to the suggested daily needs of phosphorus in the body.

Iron

The third important mineral in pako is iron. Iron is critical for distributing oxygen in the body through our blood.

Iron is what carries oxygen, which is essential to fuel our cells in performing their functions. It’s also helpful for people who easily get woozy and weak due to an iron deficiency.

The consumption of carefully selected fruits, vegetables, and herbs (like pako) can help you get back to normal life and solve iron deficiency without needing to buy costly supplementary iron capsules.

Thiamine (Vitamin B)

Pako salad is also rich in thiamine, which is more commonly known as vitamin B. Vitamin B is especially important for facilitating the smooth operation of our nervous system.

This water-soluble vitamin helps break down carbohydrates into simple sugars.

Since pako is classified as a green leafy vegetable, this fern variety helps relieve known vitamin B deficiencies.

Vitamin A

This is a vitamin that helps maintain healthy eyes, skin, and respiratory system. So including pako as a part of your diet helps you have good eyesight, healthy skin, and respiratory system.

Pako Salad ingredients

Pako Salad ingredients

Pako salad recipe (paco)

Joost Nusselder
Pako salad (Paco) is one of the fern vegetables that Filipinos love to eat. This vegetable (fiddlehead fern, scientific name Athyrium esculentum) is usually eaten as a salad like Filipino fruit salad or as a side dish to a main viand.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups pako leaves
  • 2 tomatoes sliced
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 salted egg sliced

Dressing

  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp sugar

Instructions
 

  • Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.
  • Mix well and set aside.
  • Wash and spin-dry pako leaves.
  • Combine pako, tomato slices, and onion slices in a bowl and mix well.
  • Drizzle with dressing and toss.
  • Top with salted egg slices.
  • Serve.
Keyword Vegetables
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Pako Salad Combine ingredients the dressing
Bowl of Filipino Pako Salad
Pako Salad with a salted egg

Salamat po.

Also read: Chicken macaroni salad recipe (Filipino style)

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.