Wednesday, September 24, 2008

#7_ Biko ( Rice Cake)

In Pangasinan, this is BIKO. I know that different regions in the Philippines have different names and versions for this kakanin, but for me, this is "the" BIKO and I'm sticking to it!

Originally, Biko is topped with ganosal, in Tagalog, latik, which is the curdles from the coconut milk when making coconut oil. Well, there were two reasons I didn't make latik for the topping: One, I don't know how to make it. Two, I know it is so tedious to make it because I had seen my mother make them all the time and I don't have any interest whatsoever in learning how to make it. My friend, Aida, substitutes toasted coconut for the latik. It's a very good substitute and in fact it's as good as the latik if not better. Personally, I like the toasted coconut better because it gives crunchiness to the BIKO.

This version of biko is from my friend Gloria. There is no soaking the malagkit in water for hours,(which causes the grains to break up when cooked). You don't need to cook the sugar and coconut milk on top of the stove. This is very easy to make and yet its very good and it is the way I like biko to be, not mushy and the grains retained their shapes, they are not broken up to pieces. I've been doing it wrong until just recently Gloria told me to fully cook the malagkit. I cooked it that way today and also my water-malagkit ratio was precise. It came out so perfect!

4 cups malagkit
4 cups water
1/2 can coconut milk (updated)
2 cups DARK BROWN sugar, firmly packed
Sweetened Flaked coconuts, toasted (optional)

1. Rinse the malagkit and cook it in rice cooker with 4 cups water
2. Grease a 9"x13" baking dish with butter and line it with a piece of banana leaf. Grease top of banana leaf also.
3. When the malagkit is fully cooked, turn power off but leave the malagkit in the rice cooker pot. In it, while the malagkit is still hot, add the coconut milk and the sugar stirring well but gently until everything is all blended together.
4. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan. Do not press down, just smooth the top out
5. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degrees oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
6. Sprinkle toasted flaked coconuts on top.

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Notes from MaMely:
I found that using dark brown sugar brings better result. Taste, texture and color are better. No, there's no taste of molasses. The amount of water used in this recipe is the key. Make sure the ratio is 1:1

Lining the bottom of pan with banana leaf is optional.


  1. mamely... regarding this biko, is there an alternative for the banana leaf? i don't i can secure that one here in uae. hehehe...
    tnx... :))

  2. Hi Ing, know what ? you don't even need to line the pan with banana leaf. It doesn't affect the taste of the finished product.Just make sure you grease the pan well with butter or any shortening.
    Thanx a lot!

  3. another thing mamely, how many cups is 1 can coconut milk and can i used powdered coconut milk instead of the canned ones? lastly po, what would be the proportion if i only use 2 cups malagkit rice?
    tnx mamely. i'm planning to make biko this weekend.
    ingat :p

  4. Hello Ing, sorry i didn't get back with you sooner.I think there are 2 cups in a can. i've never used powdered coconut milk, but i'm sure you can use it. there might be directions on the package on how much you need for 1 cup.Let's need half the recipe, so you need:
    2 cups malagkit
    2 cups water
    1 cup coconut milk or coconut cream
    1 cup brown sugar

  5. I made this the other night and posted my feedback on the glutinous rice cake. I am very pleased with the result and am enjoying my biko right now! How cool is that, from now on, when the craving for biko hits me, I can easily make it without looking at the recipe- that's how easy it is to do and remember. I love you MaMely!!!

  6. anonymous, thank you! thank you! thank you!!! your last sentence makes me so emotional!!!
    I'm glad that you're so pleased with the outcome of your biko. I get some e-mails from readers like you (I guess it's hard to leave comments on the comment box?)telling me how happy they are for the recipes. This is one reason why I try hard to keep this blog going even tho sometimes I get lazy and neglect it a little. there was a time i didn't post anything for a week, my sisters thought i was sick. thanks for motivating me!!

  7. You are welcome! And a big thank you to you because if it were not for your simple, yet delicious recipes I would not have been able to make it. I wasted so many hours and ingredients in my quest to make biko in the past until I came across your site. I feel so lucky to have found your site! (By the way, it is easy to leave comments in the box).

  8. thank you again, and thanks for letting me know about the comment box. they said that there's few questionares and asks for ID or something.I'll have to get somebody check it for me. Take care!

  9. hi,since I'm here in the phil.(cebu) is it possible to use gata (extract using hands) instead of the one in the can?and also the coconut flakes,how to toast it?
    annie( from the one asking u about the oatmeal)
    P.s thanks for the step by step photos,these really helped me. I'm gonna make it over the weekend.

  10. oh,with the dark brown sugar,u mean muscovado?

  11. Hello Anonymous, since you have access to fresh gata over there, that will be wonderful. the reason we use canned gata here is bec. there are no good coconuts around. If you see some they are old because they are imported from Asia. another reason is for convenience. I don't think I want to grate coconuts by hand.
    To toast coconuts: use dessicated coconut (dried, in plastic). Put coconuts in a kawali or sauce pan on the stove over medium heat. stir constantly until coconuts turn light brown.OR, spread coconut in a shallow baking sheet and put it in a 325 degrees oven for about 20 minutes or til coconuts turn golden brown.
    I'm so glad that you find my recipes helful. good luck on your Biko. Pls. let me know how it turns out.Thank you very much!

  12. Anonymous,RE: mascuvado sugar
    Over here we have 2 kinds of brown sugar: golden, which is light brown sugar and the dark brown sugar. When I started making the biko I used the dark brown, then I experimented with light brown sugar, my friends like the ones made with light brown sugar...I guess its a personal preference, you can use either light or dark brown.
    Mascuvado sugar is very coarse and crystal-like sugars...I haven't tried using it to make biko, but I have used it to sprinkle on top of muffins.

  13. hi mameLy,i did make the biko sushi style. it taste gud but my sushi was so big, i put too much. so it looks like brazo de mercedes.hehe...even if i didn't measure properly,due to limited time,i end up just putting everything all together. but it does taste gud.two thumbs up!!thank you...ill practice on my sushi art.
    P.s do u have a recipe for ice candy?
    ill do the oatmeal cookies tomorrow,since i lack oatmeal

  14. annie,they say that practice makes perfect. As long as it taste good, that's important because you'll want to make some more next time and as you do more of it you'll improve on your skill of rolling the sushi. sorry, I don't know how to make ice candy.Take care!
    More power!!

  15. the recipe was good. biko was not too sweet. the top of my biko was hard, would covering my pan when baking will not make the top hard?

  16. anonymous, covering it with aluminum foil might help, but you might also want to check your oven temperature because it might be hotter than what it registers, then you can make some adjustments. Or maybe you should just bake it for 30 minutes instead of 50 minutes. My first 2 biko were burnt around the sides, then I adjusted the rack to second from the bottom, now I don't have problem. So, try making some adjustment because ovens function differently.Thank you for giving me your feedback on this and please let me know how you did after making some adjustments. Take care!

  17. Very timely! We will have a meeting this weekend with my kababayan, I have all the ingredients. I have the dessicated cocunut which I use to make macaroons. Although I will be making it, I am not eating....

    I am training for our hike in Sedona in April.

    Thanks for your wonderful comments sa FB.

  18. Hello, Ebie! thanx for coming by. Oh wow, hiking in Sedona sounds like fun! okay dear,take care!

  19. MaMely, I just saw this. You can make latik the easy way (though not as good as the authentic way with fresh coconuts) by using canned coconut milk. Pour the coconut milk in a wok and let it cook in medium heat for about 30 minutes then put it on low and stir occasionally until the oil comes out and the latik forms. The best brand of canned coconut to make latik is Savoy Coconut Cream (blue can) which come in 14 oz. can. This is not the same as those coconut cream which is sweetened. Virginia Rodriguez

  20. Hi Mely! I notice that your recipe states 1/2 (half) can coco milk. But when you gave the quantities for half the recipe, you put in 1 can coco milk.

    Is this a typo error??? I want to make biko next week :) Thanks!!!

  21. Hi Virgie! thank you for coming by and share your latik-making method with us. I was thinking of making some coconut oil but don't know how to go about it. I'll have to try your method, then I can make some latik and coconut oil at the same time.
    YEs, Savoy is what I've used for a long time until last month when they jacked up the price to 1.30 a can. I gave this one brand a try which is only 95 cents and I like it. It's actually creamier than Savoy. The brand is Pacific Friends, and there's only one store here in Salt Lake that carry it.

  22. Hi Mumsie, I apologize! its not typo, it must be me and my division skill! haha! 1/2 can is equals to 1 cup. So it should be 1/2 cup.Sorry!!

  23. HI, Ma Mely!
    What's good bread maker/machine at a reasonable price?

    Ann B

  24. Hello Ann B! the bread machine I currently use is Zojiroshi. I have it for almost 5 years now and I'm very happy with it. I bought it for $199.00, I don't know if that's a good price, but I can tell you that I already got my money's worth considering I use it on an average of 3-4 times a month.If you go to my Pan de Sal post, I posted the picture of the bread machine there. Thanks Ann! take care!!