Palau (Oceania) 11 April 2021

Palau is located in the western Pacific Ocean and has the Philippines to the northwest, Guam to the northeast, West Papua (Indonesia) and Papua New Guinea to the southeast.

The capital is Melekeok, on Babelthuap.

The official languages are Palauan and English.

The climate is tropical, and humidity is constant.

“Staples include root vegetables, like pandan and taro. Also integral to the diet are pumpkins and yams. Interestingly enough, taro roots are, by a long-held tradition, harvested exclusively by the women. Passionfruit, breadfruit, dragon fruit, papaya and mango will be found, as well as soursop and the superfruit, rambutans. Coconut is a major ingredient in many stews, soups, and seafood dishes, as well as being used as a sweetener in desserts and drinks. Along with root vegetables, rice is also a staple, and an important part of a great deal of Palauan meals” (https://ethnicfoodsrus.com/around-the-world-recipes/smallest-countries-worldwide-cuisines/palauan-cuisine/#:~:text=Some%20of%20the%20more%20popular,%2C%20plantains%2C%20coconut%20and%20jackfruit).

https://www.britannica.com/place/Palau

PALAUAN ULKOY SHRIMP FRITTERS (https://ethnicfoodsrus.com/around-the-world-recipes/smallest-countries-worldwide-cuisines/palauan-cuisine/palauan-ulkoy-shrimp-fritters-recipe/):

  • ½ lb medium to large sized shrimp (prawns), peeled, deveined, and chopped into ¼” cubes
  • 1 tsp Creole seasoning (plus more for dusting fritters)
  • 2 TBSP salted butter
  • ½ C white or yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 large eggs, whisked until frothy
  • 1-1/2 C whole milk
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt (plus a little more, to taste)
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 lb summer squash, peeled and grated
  • Pure peanut oil for deep-frying
  1. Lightly season the shrimp with the Creole seasoning and set aside for now.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the onions and saute, stirring for 2-3 minutes, until soft, translucent and fragrant.
  3. Add the shrimp pieces and just a dash of salt (or to taste. Don’t oversalt or it will ruin the finished product). Continue cooking, stirring for another 2-3 minutes until the shrimp turns pink. Set aside for now, allowing them to cool.
  4. In a deep fryer or a large cooking pot, heat the oil to 360 F.
  5. While the oil is heating up, make the batter. Whisk the milk, baking powder, salt and cayenne together with the eggs.
  6. Add and stir in the flour ¼ C at a time, beating and incorporating until all the flour is in the mixture and you have a nice smooth batter.
  7. Add and stir in the chopped parsley.
  8. Add and stir in the shrimp mixture, then the grated summer squash. Fold the batter together gently until fully mixed.
  9. Use a large ladle to scoop up portions of the batter, and carefully lower them into the hot oil.
  10. The cooking fritters will pop to the surface. When they do, use a slotted cooking spoon to roll them in the oil so that they will brown them evenly. Keep cooking until they are nice and a golden brown all over – about 3 minutes should do it.
  11. Remove the cooked fritters from the oil with a slotted spoon, and place on a paper-towel-lined tray to drain.
  12. Serve your Palauan Ulkoy while still nice and hot, with some Creole seasoning on the table for people to dust on to their own tastes.
Here are my Palauan Ulkoy Shrimp Fritters. They really had a fantastic flavor!!

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES (https://cafedelites.com/roasted-sweet-potatoes/):

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, cut into 2” pieces
  • 2 TBSP olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TBSP garlic (8 cloves), finely chopped
  • 2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Lightly spray a baking sheet or tray with cooking oil spray.
  2. Arrange the sweet potatoes on the sheet in one layer, and add the oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss until the potatoes are well coated and seasoned.
  3. Roast in the oven for 45-55 minutes, while flipping occasionally, until fork tender.
  4. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and season with a little extra salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over with parsley and serve immediately!
Here are my Roasted Sweet Potatoes. I typically really like sweet potatoes, but I really LOVED these!!!

HALO-HALO (https://www.internationalcuisine.com/halo-halo/):

  • 1 C shaved ice
  • 1 TBSP sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 TBSP evaporated milk
  • 1 TBSP sweetened red mung beans
  • 2 TBSP Coco de Nata (white coconut in gel in syrup)
  • 1 TBSP macapuno (gelatinous coconut meat with little or no liquid)
  • 1 TBSP jackfruit in syrup
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Ice Cream
  1. Put shaved ice in a bowl.
  2. Pour over the sweetened condensed milk and then the evaporated milk.
  3. Arrange the rest of the ingredients on the ice and then scoop vanilla ice cream in the middle. Enjoy!!
Here is the Halo-Halo. I was able to purchase the mix from Amazon, which was MUCH easier than trying to find it all individually.

Note: I purchased the entire dessert in a jar from Amazon except for the shaved ice, milk and ice cream, which is easier than finding each of the ingredients.

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