Biko is popularly known as a Filipino rice cake made from sticky rice (locally known as malagkit), brown sugar and coconut milk. Just like other cakes, Biko is referred to as a kakanin – originated from the word ‘kanin’ that means rice. Oftentimes, this delicacy is eaten as a dessert or as a snack in the afternoon.
Naturally, this mouth-watering rice cake is placed over banana leaves in a bilao – a round woven bamboo tray. The best part about Biko is that it is topped with latik or cooked coconut milk residue. Furthermore, it is delightfully served during special events like birth parties, reunions and most especially at town fiestas. Without a doubt, this delectable treat is included in the list of top Philippine cuisine.
There are actually two ways to cook Biko. One method would be steaming the glutinous rice until it’s partially cooked. Then you finish it off with latik or the coconut milk with sugar.
Another technique is to cook the rice straight with the coconut milk. Through this, the Biko will have a richer flavor since it gets to absorb more of the coconut milk during the cooking.
Now, are you dying to give this Filipino dessert a try? Prepare yourself as you put your cooking skills to a test! Here, we will show how to cook Biko that will surely make your family ask for more!
For the Biko:
1-1/2 cups glutinous rice
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons coconut oil (from making latik)
For the Latik
2 cups coconut cream
Make sure the you wash and drain the glutinous rice.
With coconut oil, grease the bottom and sides of the casserole and set aside.
In another wide pan over medium heat, mix water, coconut milk and rice and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally until the rice becomes tender. However, if you see that the rice is drying before it is cooked, you can add more water in ½ increments.
When the rice mixture starts to thicken, add the sugar and give it a good stir until fully dissolved.
Continue cooking and stirring regularly until the mixture becomes very thick and sticky. Remember that the Biko is ready only when it’s difficult to stir and it pulls away from the pan.
When it’s fully cooked, pour in greased casserole and pat down to flatten and remove air pockets. Let it cool and set aside.
For the Latik:
Add the coconut cream in a skillet over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Continue cooking while stirring it occasionally until the liquid starts to thicken. Lower the heat and let it simmer.
When the oil starts to separate and solids are forming, continue to mix. You also need to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan to avoid from burning. Continue until the curds turn golden brown and drain the latik from the oil.
When the Biko is cool, lightly brush the top with coconut oil and garnish with the latik. Cut it into portions and serve.
There you have it! Your very own sweet squares of Philippine cuisine heaven! Can you taste the flavor it brings? Surely sinking your teeth into this sweet treats will make you want to bake more for your family and friends! For sure, this delicacy will always be a part of your celebration!