Labanos at Pinaitum: radishes, burnt coconut crema, pistachio dirt

Adapted by
December 2019
Yield: 30 servings


Burnt Coconut Ash
2 coconuts
Burnt Coconut Crema
6.945 kilograms coconut milk
lime juice
120 grams Datu Puti sugar cane vinegar
Pistachio Dirt
3 pounds shelled, unsalted pistachios
1 gallon canola oil
To Assemble and Serve
10 pounds purple radishes peeled, taproot intact
Zest of 5 lemons
1 clamshell microgreens
Maldon sea salt


For the Burnt Coconut Ash

With the back of a cleaver, break coconuts in half, reserving coconut water. On a wire rack set over burners, place coconuts meat-side-down. Turn on flame and cook until meat is no longer white; it must be completely burnt. Flip coconut halves to start burning the other side; this will help ease the popping of the meat from the shell. When exterior of coconuts are completely black, transfer to a third-pan and cover with a wet towel. Cool coconuts for 5 minutes. When just cool enough to handle, scrape meat from the shell, making sure all husk is discarded. Transfer burnt coconut meat to a food processor and pulse to a fine consistency

For the Burnt Coconut Crema

In a medium rondeau over medium-low heat, combine coconut milk and reserved coconut water and reduce by half. Add 125 grams Burnt Coconut Ash and reduce until coconut milk separates. Transfer to a Vitamix blender; purée. Season crema with lime, vinegar, and salt. Cool in a bowl set over an ice bath; refrigerate overnight. (Coconut crema should resemble a paste. If not, you fucked up, and I’ll know if you did, so don’t fuck it up.) 

For the Pistachio Dirt

In a large, heavy pot over high heat, combine pistachios and oil. When nuts starts to sizzle and pop, decrease heat and gently fry 10 to 15 minutes, until pistachios start to brown. Do not burn. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. With an immersion blender, coarsely blend pistachios and oil until nuts are junky little jewels. 

To Assemble and Serve

Spoon a generous amount of Burnt Coconut Crema onto the center of a small plate. Nestle 6 to 8 radishes into the crema, with their taproots in the air. Around the Burnt Coconut Crema, spoon small piles of Pistachio Dirt and drizzle honey. Finish with lemon zest, micro greens, and sea salt.