Thursday, February 5, 2009

#74_Ginataang Bilo-Bilo (Kineler)

Ginataang Bilo-Bilo

This is another comfort food that I enjoyed growing up. Ginataan is usually a mixture of root crops or tubers, fruits and glutinous rice balls or bilo-bilo (kineler in Pangasinan) cooked with coconut cream. It is usually served as snacks or merienda and it is very popular food among the Filipinos that almost everybody knows how to make it. It is one of those make-it-up-as-you-go kind of cooking. Really easy to make.


To make Bilo-Bilo Balls: mix 2 cups of glutinous rice flour and about 1 cup water and stir well to form a soft dough, adding some more water if the dough is too dry and hard. Pinch off little piece at a time and roll into balls between the palms of your hands, tossing them in rice flour to prevent the balls from sticking together. These balls resemble miniature marshmallows.

To make the Ginataan: In a pot bring about 8 cups of water to rolling boil then drop these rice balls into the boiling water. As you drop them they go all the way to the bottom of the pot, then after a couple of minutes they float. Continue to boil uncovered for about 5 minutes after they float.

Add in the prepared tubers, 1 cup of white sugar, the cooked sago and slices of langka or jack fruit. Cover and simmer until the tubers are tender. Adjust the sugar, adding more according to taste.

Dissolve some rice flour with water and gradually pour this mixture into the pot and at the same time stirring it vigorously to thicken the sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add 1 can of coconut cream and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.


The reason I add in the coconut cream last is because when coconut milk or cream is cooked for a long time, oil will form and I don't want my ginataan to have coconut oil floating on it.


Kamote (Sweet potato), Gabi (taro), and purple sweet potato ( I don't know the name of this purple one)

Prepare tubers by peeling and slice them into cubes.

Cooking the SAGO is a little tricky. When I first cooked some, I boiled them for more than 1 hour and still weren't cooked. It was quite a frustration for me. Then I called my friend, Gloria Parayno, and she told me how she cooks them: Boil them twice.

First boiling:
In a pot bring water to a rolling boil then drop the sago into the boiling water. Quickly stir so they won't stick to the bottom of pot. Do not cover. Let it continue to boil, stirring ocassionally, until partly transluscent, the center opaque. Turn the heat off and put the lid on and leave it covered for about 1 hour.
Second boiling:
Discard the water and replace it with cold water and then return the pot to the heat. Let it boil uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take it off the heat, but keep it covered for an hour or longer. Then rinse the sago well with cold water in a colander.
Each piece of the sago pearls should be cooked all the way through but firm and a little chewy.

I also found out that after boiling them the first time, cover for one hour then put them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate, the next day before using rinse them out in a colander with cold water. I didn't have to boil them twice.


  1. I would love making this ginataang bilo-bilo! Thanks for the very informative tip on cooking sago!!!

  2. You're welcome, manang!
    I love ginataan too.
    Take care!

  3. OMG, I looooove this snack!! I love it with lots of camote, saba, sago and bilo-bilo!! And I eat it chilled... Yummm :D

  4. I am making this tomorrow. I don't like my roots to be too soft so I hope I can make it as above. thank you and always, I am a fan.
    Jane Embry

  5. Jane, how nice of you to leave me a comment here!!
    and thank you dear for being a fan!!Please let me know how your ginataang bilo-bilo turns out. Take care!!