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When I was still in college, there was one place I always go to whenever I crave for Biko. It is a small restaurant which specializes in “batchoy“, located in the heart of Valencia City. Surprisingly, people are lining up to get seated in a small, cramped space. And while most of them are there for “batchoy”, I was there for one particular kakanin, the Biko with Buko.
Biko with Buko is one of the variants of the Filipino sticky rice cake. It is a delicacy made by cooking white glutinous rice, coating it lightly with “latik”. While the traditional biko requires latik (toasted coconut milk curds) as topping, this recipe is topped with fresh young coconut and latik syrup.
How to cook sticky rice perfectly
The most effective way of cooking sticky rice to use for Biko is to add only 1 1/2 cups of water to 2 cups of glutinous rice. We want the rice half-done for it will be cooked again in latik. It will take about 15 – 20 minutes for the sticky rice in cook in the rice cooker. However, if you do not wish to coat the rice with latik, you may prepare it well done by adding equal amounts of rice and water. Once cooked, spread it directly in the serving dish and just top it with the latik syrup and coconut meat.
What is latik made of?
“Latik” is the Filipino term used to refer to coconut milk curds or coconut milk syrup. Latik or coconut milk syrup, is prepared by boiling coconut milk and sugar until it reduces its volume and becomes sticky. This syrup is used to combine with sticky rice for making biko and many other Filipino snack items and delicacies. On the other hand, latik or coconut milk curds are made by boiling coconut milk until it evaporates all the liquid leaving the toasted coconut milk curds and coconut oil in the pan.
Other things you can do with this recipe
If you do not want to top this biko with young coconut meat, let it serve as a filling instead. To do this, spread half of the sticky rice evenly at the bottom of the dish. Layer the sweetened coconut meat over the rice and top it with the remaining half of the sticky rice. Finish off by topping the Biko with the coconut milk syrup. Enjoy!
Biko with Buko
- 2 cups glutinous rice
- 1½ cups water
Latik (Coconut Milk Syrup)
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 can (565 g) young coconut meat in syrup or fresh coconut meat
Cook the sticky rice
- Wash rice in cold running water and drain.
- Combine glutinous rice and 1 1/2 cup water in the rice cooker and cook for 15 minutes or until soft and fluffy. Set aside.
Make the latik syrup
- Pour coconut milk and coconut cream in a karahay or deep skillet. Cook on high heat and bring to a boil.
- Once the milk bubbles, add the brown sugar and let it cook for a few more minutes. Stir the mixture every once in a while to keep the bubbles from overflowing.
- Once the latik has reduced in half, turn the heat to medium and stir it continuously to keep it from sticking into the pan.
- When the latik is already sticky and has reduced to about a quarter of its original volume, add the young coconut meat. Stir constantly. The goal is to soften the coconut meat and sweeten it for about 5 minutes.
- Once done, remove coconut milk with the latik syrup, leaving just a little bit of the syrup in the pan. Add the cooked glutinous rice to the pan and stir to coat it lightly with the latik syrup.
- Once the rice has absorbed and lightly coated with latik, take the biko off the heat and spread in a dish or non-stick pan. Top it with the coconut meat and remaining latik syrup. Enjoy!