Wednesday, September 16, 2015


BIKO - - also called sinukmani is a traditional Filipino snack food made from glutinous rice,coconut milk and brown sugar or panocha. I have very fond memories of my Lola Beatriz' sinukmani and bihongke (sotanghon soup), traditional food in our large family gathering during Undras (All Saints Day)...

As far back as 4,000 years ago, the ancient Indonesian-Filipinos were already cooking this snack food with latik topping which they called 'wajik', from the Indonesian languange. The ancient Filipino meals at that time consisted of rice, fish, fruits, vegetables,bananas, yams, coconut and sugar cane.

Then the Indian influences reached our islands from the 10th thru the early 14th century. We were introduced to Sanskrit words, literature and culture. The word 'biko' was an ancient Sanskrit word that referred to an Indian sweetened steamed rice cooked in coconut milk and sugar cane. 

In fact, the recipe of wajik was inherited by the Indonesians from the Indians several milleniums back when they conquered the Indonesian archipelago. So the name 'biko' and the original recipe actually both came from India.

Here is my recipe of biko:
2 c malagkit (glutinous) rice
1 c very thick coconut milk
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 c very thick coconut milk (for making latik)
banana leaves

1. Cook malagkit rice. Set aside
2. In a large pan, boil the thick coconut milk and sugar. Add the cooked rice little by little, while mixing well. Remove from heat.
3. Spread wilted banana leaves on a bilao or tray. Put rice mixture.Spread evenly. Serve with latik on top.
4. To make latik, boil thick coconut milk until oil separates and the cream turns into brown, fragrant and crispy latik.

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