Biko is a traditional Filipino dessert that is popular for birthday parties and religious holidays. It is traditionally made with a glutinous rice called malagkit, a common ingredient in Filipino sweets and snacks. The malagkit in biko is sweetened with coconut milk and brown sugar, and the dish is served on banana leaves. While most recipes for biko suggest baking it in an oven, you can make it on the stovetop instead. However, this method does require a little more attention, because you have to stir it frequently during cooking.
Combine 1 cup of coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Put the mixture in a pot and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
Add 1 1/2 cup of malagkit. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the rice, stirring constantly, until the rice becomes sticky and the liquid is mostly absorbed.
Mix 1/2 cup of coconut milk and 3/4 cup of brown sugar in a saucepan. Heat the mixture and stir until thick, then add it to the cooked rice. Stir them together thoroughly. Continue cooking the rice until it is moist but no longer watery.
Spread banana leaves across the bottom of a serving pan. Coat a large wooden spoon with butter to prevent it from sticking to the rice, then use the spoon to transfer the rice to the pan. Pat the biko smooth.
Combine 1 cup of condensed milk, 1/2 cup of coconut milk and 1 cup of brown sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When it thickens to a pudding-like consistency, remove it from the heat and spread it across the top of the rice. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded coconut evenly over the surface, and serve.
- To lower the sugar content of the dish, cook 1/2 cup of coconut milk in a saucepan until it begins to separate into solids and liquids. Skim out the solids, combine them with 1/4 cup of softened butter, and spread the mixture on top of the rice instead of the topping described in the recipe. Add shredded coconut, if desired.
- David Silverman/Getty Images News/Getty Images