January 5, 2013


natak – (na-t'k, na-tâk; Maguindanaon pith & flour) [n.] pounded sago palm pith; A crudely pounded pith of sago palm tree. It is often used as ingredient in making the Maguindanaon version of minatamis na guinataan.

Natak in the Cotabato City's Super Market (not Supermarket).

Natak in the Cotabato City's Super market.

Natak is mixed with water and shaken in plastic bag and the juice it produced is strained and then used in cooking the guinatan

The pounded natak is sold in the public market of Cotabato City stuffed in woven sago palm pouch

The browned and darker natak palm wrapper is made with strips of old sago palm, while the greener or lighter colored natak wrapper is from young sago palm.

If natak is processed finely it becomes flour which can be used readily in making pastries or as thickener in lugaw or ginataan, made into sago pearls, or added as extender to boiled rice. 

Natak in the Cotabato City's Super Market, a public wet market or flea market.

To do it, the squeezed milky juice is set to stand undisturbed in the container for about a day or till sago sediment has settled at the bottom. The liquid that floats on top is decanted or scooped out and discarded away. The  sediments are collected , dried, crumbled, then sieved to become a very fine sago flour.  
A Maguindanaon vendor selling natak in Cotabato City's Super market.
The collected flour is then dried thoroughly by sundrying (under intense sunlight) or  by heating and stirring it in the pan on medium fire keeping it away from getting scorched or from becoming browned. When very dry, it can be stored for a year or two.

Personal notes:

I just realized after my many interactions with our Muslim brethren in Mindanao and in Metro Manila that there are vowels in some of their words that they normally don't pronounce when they utter that word. "Natak" is one of them. It is pronounced as nat'k, with silent "a" in the second syllable. In particular, the Maranaos are fund also of keeping the vowel "u" and "e" silent in their dialect.

For more about Pinoy foods, see also my OPEN & FREE food dictionary.

A wealth of information about Pinoy foods, etymology, history, nutrition, how to cook it, culinary tips, how it is served and eaten, how it is called in other dialects, and more...


SEE THIS OPEN & FREE food dictionary now:



SUBSCRIBE Phil. Food Illustrated by email. No spam, promise.