A delicious tropical treat that you may even have seen your grandmother prepare when you were young, ginataang bilo-bilo is one of those merienda goodies that’s sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. Imagine a milky, slightly syrupy coconut milk concoction that’s packed with chewy, sticky glutinous rice balls which serve as a perfect foil to the cubes of sweet potato, sliced plantains and strips of langka (jackfruit) that are so sunshiney-sweet that they burst in your mouth. Paired with the little tapioca balls and enough brown sugar to satisfy anyone’s cravings, this can be a great dessert after your dinner or simply a bowlful of happiness in the midday. Cold or warm, ginataang bilo-bilo is just as delicious. You can adjust the sweetness or creaminess as desired, or add other ingredients like pineapple or ube, but this recipe is a great start.
Ginataang Bilo Bilo – Sticky Rice Balls in Coconut Milk Recipe
- 2 cups glutinous rice flour
- 1 cup dried tapioca pearls (soaked in water for at least 4 hours)
- 4 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 ripe plantains (sliced)
- 1 large sweet potato sliced into small cubes
- 1 cup of sliced jack fruit
- Mix the rice flour with 10 TBSP of water and form into small dough balls.
- In batches, cook rice balls in boiling water for about 6-8 minutes or until they float to the top.
- Set rice balls aside. *tip: When ready to mix this with the rest of the ingredients, just pick them up with clean wet hands. Otherwise they will stick to each other.
- To cook the tapioca:
- Strain the tapioca if you soaked them.
- Drop them into the same pot where you cooked the rice balls and let it boil.
- Simmer over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until they are soft and translucent, strain then set aside. *tip: soak them in cold water when set aside so they don’t stick together.
- To make the Ginataang Bilo Bilo:
- Mix 3 cups of coconut milk and 1 cup water in a large saucepan/pot and bring to a boil.
- Add sweet potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes under low heat.
- Add tapioca (strain the water from the tapioca pearls if you followed my tip), brown sugar and rice balls into the pot, simmer for 10 minutes
- Add plantains and sliced jack fruit, let it cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
- Add remaining coconut milk, bring to a boil then remove from heat.
- Serve warm or chilled.
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