Ginataang Bilo Bilo – Sticky Rice Balls in Coconut Milk Recipe

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

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
  1. Mix the rice flour with 10 TBSP of water and form into small dough balls.
  2. In batches, cook rice balls in boiling water for about 6-8 minutes or until they float to the top.
  3. 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.
  4. To cook the tapioca:
  5. Strain the tapioca if you soaked them.
  6. Drop them into the same pot where you cooked the rice balls and let it boil.
  7. 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.
  8. To make the Ginataang Bilo Bilo:
  9. Mix 3 cups of coconut milk and 1 cup water in a large saucepan/pot and bring to a boil.
  10. Add sweet potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes under low heat.
  11. 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
  12. Add plantains and sliced jack fruit, let it cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
  13. Add remaining coconut milk, bring to a boil then remove from heat.
  14. Serve warm or chilled.

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