Also known as kaliskis-ahas, which translates to “snake’s scales”Rich in calcium and iron, a good source of vitamins B and E, and high in antioxidants.

A forager’s delight. Pako remains a seasonal plant, and makes its appearance with the advent of the monsoon. It grows well in the wild, usually in shaded areas, the edge of forests, or near bodies of water such as riversides or swift-running streams, although they can also be domesticated and grown as companion crops for shady trees. Because not all ferns are edible, it is best to source them from people who know them. These indigenous ferns are from Capas, Tarlac.

Store and prep

  • Pako is best eaten immediately. 
  • Use the curled tips, leaves, and tender parts of the stems, and discard the tough parts. 
  • If you must store them, pick the edible parts, keep them in layers of damp paper towels, covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.  

Some people say it’s OK to eat this vegetable fern raw, while others recommend a quick blanch to remove mild fern toxins. Blanch them in boiling water for a few seconds, then dunk in ice-cold water to retain the bright green color and keep them crisp.


  • Steamed and served with toyomansi, patis, or bagoong with kamias.
  • A good filling in fresh or fried lumpia, or in omelette. 
  • Stir-fried with garlic and tinapa
  • Cook guisado-style with sardines.
  • Use it as greens in your favorite curry. 
  • Serve as a side dish to grilled fish and buro. 

Ensaladang Pako at Tokwa
Ginataang Pako

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