Ensaladang Paco (Fiddlehead Fern Salad)

October 17, 2019
Ensaladang Paco - Featured Image

When I was a young child, our in-house dressmaker (Victorina ‘Toreng’ Sicat) would come home bringing a bundle of young fiddle ferns. Yes dear, ferns!  I would watch her delicately cut the tender ferns and make them into a salad.  Now it’s nouvelle cuisine to have them in restaurants. 

The ferns are very delicate and cannot stand too much travel nor too much handling and are not available the whole year round.  When they are available or when you take that holiday to the province, see if you can make this very nutritious salad.

Ensaladang Paco (Fiddlehead Fern Salad)

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By Marianne de Leon Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

This is a simple salad of delicate fiddlehead fern or paco topped with salted egg, shrimps, tomatoes and onions served with a sweet and sour dressing.


  • 500 grams of tender fiddlehead ferns - using your fingers, break off the ferns into bite size pieces (taking out the part where you cannot easily break off from stem)
  • 100 grams of shrimps - cooked and peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cooked salted egg - sliced into 8 half moons
  • 1 whole tomato - sliced into tiny 1-inch squares
  • 1/4 Spanish onion - sliced thinly
  • For the salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salad oil



Wash the ferns and drain well.


Arrange ferns in serving bowl.


Top with cooked shrimps, salted egg, sliced tomato and Spanish onion.


Set aside.

Make the dressing


In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients until the sugar and salt are dissolved.


Taste and adjust to your liking.


Let sit for 1/2 hour to mellow.


When ready to serve, let each person dress the salad accordingly.

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