Biko is a popular rice cake from the Philippines. Glutinous rice (or sticky rice) is cooked together with coconut milk and brown sugar. It is often topped with latik, a brown coconut curds cooked from pure coconut cream. Biko is often served as merienda or for special occasions.
Biko during Undas
I am not sure how this tradition started but I noticed that during All Soul’s Day, people seem to be having biko in the households. During Undas, All Soul’s Day in the Philippines, my father cook a bunch of Biko with latik toppings.
We often serve some of it in alter as an offering for our loved ones who passed away. We believed that somehow, this food will “feed” the souls of our loved ones as we visit us during Undas. Like I mentioned earlier, I am not sure if this tradition is just in our place or people from other regions practice this too.
How to Cook Biko with Latik
The cooking starts with preparing the glutinous rice or sticky rice. It is cooked just like regular rice. Once cooked, the combination of coconut milk and sugar mixture is boiled until thick. The cooked glutinous rice will then be added to the sweet mixture. Next step is the constant stirring. You’ll need a helping hand in this part specially if you’re cooking in large batch.
The sticky rice with sweet coconut mixture is cooked until the sauce dries up and becomes hard to stir. You have to make sure that the mixture is fully cooked to make sure that it will last longer. Once the sauce dries up, transfer to a tray with banana leaf. Bilao or handcrafted plates are the best container to lay the biko in.
- We use less water to “half-cook” the glutinous rice or sticky rice. You can either cook it using a pot in a stovetop or use rice cooker.
- If you don’t have pandan flavor, you can use fresh pandan leaves when cooking the mixture. Put 2 to 3 pieces of pandan leaves as your boil the coconut milk mixture and remove it when you are about to add the cooked sticky rice.
- If you are going to use fresh coconut, use 3 large pieces. Press two times to get coconut cream and coconut milk.
Biko with LatikCourse: RiceCuisine: Filipino
3 cups glutinous rice
2 cups water
3 cups coconut milk
1 ½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 drops Pandan Flavor (optional)
1 cup coconut cream (for latik)
- Wash the glutinous rice well until the water is clear. Drain. Add 2 cups water to cook with. Cook in low heat or in rice cooker (just like cooking regular rice).
- Once the glutinous rice is cooked, set it aside. In a large wok or pan, boil the coconut milk. Once boiling, add the brown sugar. Mix well until fully dissolved. Cook in low heat until it becomes thickened.
- Once the mixture is thickened, add salt and pandan flavor. Then add the cooked glutinous rice. Stir and mix well until fully combined. Continue cooking in low heat until the sauce dries up and becomes sticky.
- When the sauce completely dried up and the mixture becomes hard to stir, it’s ready. Transfer to a greased tray or dish lined with wilted banana leaf. Flatten and let it cool to set.
- TO MAKE THE LATIK: Boil the coconut cream until it starts to curdle. Use low medium heat. White curds will start to form as it boils and the oil will start to separate. Continue cooking until the curd turns brown. That’s the latik. Separate the latik from the oil by straining.
- Serve your biko with latik. Enjoy!
BIKO WITH LATIK RECIPE TAGALOG
- 3 tasa ng malagkit na bigas
- 2 tasa ng tubig
- 3 tasa ng purong gata
- 1 ½ tasa ng pulang asukal
- ½ kutsaritang asing
- 3 patak ng Pandan Flavor (optional) or dahon ng pandan
- 1 tasa ng kakang gata (for latik)
1. Hugasan Mabuti ang malagkit na bigas hanggang sa malinaw na ang tubig. Lagyan ng 2 tasa ng tubig. Lutuin sa mahinang apoy hanggang sa maluto o kaya naman ay lutuin sa rice cooker na kagaya ng pagluluto ng regular na bigas. Pagkaluto, itabi muna.
2. Sa isang kawali, pakuluin ang purong gata. Kapag kumukulo na, ilagay na ang asukal. Haluin Mabuti hanggang matunaw. Lutuin sa mahinang apoy hanggang sa lumapot.
3. Kapag malapot na, maglagay ng asin at pandan flavor. (kung gagamit ng fresh na dahon ng pandan, isabay na ito sa pagpapakulo ng gata, alisin lamang pag kumukulo na). Ilagay na rin ang nalutong malagkit na bigas. Lutuin sa mahinang apoy hanggang sa maiga o mawala ang sabaw at maging malagkit.
4. Kapag Nawala na ang sabaw at mahirap nang haluin, luto na ito. Ilipat na sa lalagyan na may dahon ng saging. Palaparin at pakinisin ang ibabaw. Itabi muna habang ginagawa ang latik.
5. Sa paggawa naman ng latik, pakuluin ang kakang gata sa isang kawali. Lutuin hanggang sa magbuo-buo. Yung buo-buo ang magiging latik. Magsisimulang humiwalay ang mantika at yung latik. Lutuin ito hanggang sa mag-brown ang latik. Pag luto na, salain ang latik para maihiwalay ang mantika.
6. Ilagay ang latik sa ibabaw ng biko. Enjoy!