In Tagalog region, Biko is also known as “Sinukmani” (sweet sticky rice). The Biko Recipe is the all-time favorite dessert or “meryenda” (mid-afternoon snack). A native Filipino Delicacy. It is served during special occasions such as town fiesta, reunion and parties.
Yesterday when I was working at home, my kids called me all of the sudden. They want something sweet. They said they misses my “Sinukmani” or “Biko” and ask me to cook their favorite dessert. They called my “Biko” as the “Best Biko recipe” ever. Well, that’s my kids, I can’t say no.
- 2 cups glutinous rice, washed and drained
- 2 cans (about 800ml) coconut milk
- 2 cups water
- ¾ - 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla - optional
- ¼ cup dark crown sugar
- veg. or coconut oil for greasing the pan
- In a large pot over medium heat, mix together the 3 cups coconut milk and water.
- Add the sticky rice and bring to a boil.
- Once it starts to boil lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer, stirring constantly to keep rice from burning.
- Add more water in ½ cup increments if rice mixture is drying before rice is cooked.
- When rice mixture begins to thicken, add ¾ - 1 cup brown sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved and fully incorporated.
- Continue to cook, stirring regularly, until mixture is very thick and sticky. Biko is ready when it is already very difficult to stir and it pulls away from the pan.
- Pour the rice into the greased pan.
- Spread out evenly and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F/180°C for 15-20 minutes.
- While waiting, prepare the coconut caramel topping by combining the rest of coconut milk and ¼ cup sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat while constantly stirring until the liquid thickens and is reduced by almost half.
- Take the rice out of the oven and spread the caramel topping evenly over the rice and bake for another 15 minutes or until caramel is browned.
- Remove from oven and let it cool down before serving.
There are two ways to cook this sticky rice, one is by cooking the glutinous rice first before adding the coconut milk and sugar. The other one is the rice is cooked in the coconut milk and brown sugar until the rice absorbs the flavor as it cooks
Biko is a type of sticky rice pudding. In Thailand they put coconut milk with sugar after cooking the glutinous rice while in Malaysia they cook it with pandan and wrap it in banana leaves but here in the Philippines the traditional way to cook is to mix all the ingredients together in a thick Filipino frying pan, this way the coconut milk and sugar will be cooked properly with the rice blending all the flavors together.
Biko, being a native sweet can be bought in many places as well as along the streets of various towns and cities. You can find it together with other “kakanin”. The typical Biko is also topped with golden brown coconut shavings and because it has been turned a little crisp, it gives a slight saltiness to this sweet treat. Additionally, “kakanin” came from 2 Tagalog words which are “kain” or to eat and “Kanin” meaning rice. Just like other “Kakanins”, Biko is a staple in many households as a dessert or snack. It is heavy on the tummy because its main ingredient is rice so make sure you leave room for it if you’re having it as a dessert.
If you are going to invite people to your house and you are going to serve Biko for dessert, make sure you cook it a few hours before they come because the quality of this sweet is so much better when you have just cooked it. Slice it diagonally and don’t forget to top it with its signature toasted coconut shavings. It’s also wonderful to pair it with hot tea or coffee or if you’re feeling fancy hot chocolate drink. A lot of tourist friends now know about this native delicacy by word of mouth and we Filipinos should really be proud because we get to offer an amazing food.
Biko Recipe & Preparation
My Biko recipe is so simple to make. I just need 4 ingredients which are Malagkit (glutinous rice), Coconut milk, brown sugar, and butter. Nowadays, you can buy ready to cook coconut milk in the supermarket but I used fresh coconut meat. You can find coconut in the market and ask the vendor to finely grated it by machine. Then I add a little hot water on the coconut meat, using my hand I squeeze the mixture for a thicker cream. This is the first squeezing, this process is repeated depending on how much you needed.
I rinse the glutinous rice and steam it. The rice must partially cook. Meanwhile, I bring coconut milk to boil, add the brown sugar and boil for few minutes until sugar melt and mixed into the coconut milk. Stir occasionally and add the glutinous rice until it becomes sticky. Brush the pan with butter first then pour in the sticky rice and spread it out evenly. You can use banana leaves, though optional, give the dessert a distinct taste and fragrance. Sprinkled the crunchy bits of “Latik” (toasted coconut milk crumbs) on top of sticky rice.
Best paired with Pancit Bihon and soft drinks. Yummy!
Note: You can also watch this video from Youtube as a reference in making Biko.
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