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How to Make Biko Using Original Filipino Recipe

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Written by ManfredSnelling   

Biko is a traditional kakanin (desert) in the Philippines. It is made of malagkit (glutinous rice), sweetened coconut milk and latik (curdled coconut milk). It is served as a snack or desert, but never a meal for the living. Yes, biko, like the other kakanin in the Philippines were popular during araw ng mga patay (all souls day) or semana santa (Holy Week). The kakanin in general is like “food for the gods” as they are offered to the altar with the images of the dead loved ones are displayed. This is usually accompanied with a half egg on top. Later people started to add pansit (rice noodles) and other viands.

Biko has its roots in the Visayan region where moscovado or brown sugar is abundant. It has its affinity with suman only that the latter is elongated and wrapped usually in banana leaves. Biko is usually just served like a mount of rice. But for some they are formed into flat circles with a square or circle banana leaf for its base.

Biko may still be a special preparation during special holidays but it could be readily available in some shops or in the pastry/desert section in the market. Some creative entrepreneur package it in high end shops making it at par with the western pastries.


2 1/2 cups of malagkit (gultinous rice)

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

2-3 matured coconut, grated (or four cups of )

1/2 pound butter

2 eggs, beaten

For topping:

1 can 15 oz. Condensed milk

1 cup coconut milk

3-4 tablespoons tapioca flour


Extract coconut milk:

1. Place the grated coconut into a bowl.

2. Put a 1/2 cup warm water to loosen/soften the coconut meat and to make extraction of the mild easier. Set a side for a minute.

3. In a strainer, squeeze out the coconut milk in a clean bowl. Use your hands in squeezing

4. Repeat procedure 1-3 until you get as much milk.

5. Discard desiccated coconut or set aside for another recipe (such as macaroons)

6. Strain the milk again to remove unnecessary particles

7. At the end of the process you should be able to get 5 cups of fresh coconut milk

To prepare the sticky glutenous rice:

1. Mix 4 cups of coconut milk and malagkit and boil in a heavy pot over medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Lower heat upon boiling. Cook until rice is done and almost dry.

2. Add brown sugar and butter. Mix well using a wooden spoon or strong ladle and set aside.

3. Add egg when cool.

4. Spread sticky glutenous rice in a well buttered baking pan. Mix well and set aside.

5. Bake in a preheated 300 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes. Let it cool.

To prepare the latik:

1. Cook condense milk, 1 cup coconut milk and tapioca flour over low heat. Stir constantly until thick for about 15-20 minutes. Until it becomes thick and sticky pour latik mixture on top of the baked sticky glutenous rice.

2. Bake in 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes or until top is brown.

Serve Biko with hot chocolate.

Tip: A good latik topping is when it is browned and that the natural oil of the coconut gives a glistening appeal to the dish.

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