Why You Should Milk Sayote Before Using
Once you start peeling or slicing sayote, you’ll notice a milky-white fluid sweating out from the rind. This is the sayote’s sap, or dagta in Tagalog. While technically harmless, the sap can get in the way of prep and make your hands very sticky—or worse, cause skin irritations.
What is Sayote?
Sayote, also known as tsayote, chayote, or choko, is a pear-shaped squash grown mostly in the mountainous regions of Northern Philippines. It's technically a fruit, but is considered a vegetable in taste and preparation. Sayote has a firm, crisp texture similar to singkamas (jicama), and a mildly sweet flavor comparable to cucumbers and apples.
To get rid of the sap, you need to “milk” your sayote first. Here’s how to do it:
- Slice the sayote with a sharp knife. You can either divide it in half, or slice off a small, 1 inch-thick piece at the tip.
- Rub the cut sides of the sayote in a circular motion to draw out the sap. A white, milky foam should form around the edges and on the cut surface.