Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yummy Phillipine delicatees RICE CAKE

Here's one of our delicious BIKO ( a glutonous rice) recipe were one of my reader ask for.

Enjoy the experiment and Good Luck! Ask me more for more palatable filipinos dishes.

Traditional biko in the Philippines consists of malagkit (glutinous) rice, coconut milk, sugar, and usually mashed cooked ube (purple yam). Whenever cooking the biko is suggested you could always hear the collective sighs of cooks nearby. For it is quite hard to do with the constant mixing and stirring involved to prevent the bottom from scorching until the malagkit is thoroughly cooked. It was a major undertaking each time biko is cooked. However, you can pre-cooks the malagkit to cut down the cooking time drastically and to have a more even consistency of the malagkit. Great idea, I thought and promptly forgot about it for years until I started making this.

In our gatherings among friends in Stockholm, we would always watch out for one's biko. It is almost always sold out at the end of the party and people would include it in their take home bags everytime. I love the treacly-molasses like taste with just enough sweetness blended in. Therefore mashed ube is out and muscovado sugar is in. I must stress that you should use the latter to achieve that scrumptious taste. If not available, use grated panucha or if absolutely desperate use dark brown sugar.

Biko Macapuno

6 rice cooker cups malagkit (glutinous rice)
5 rice cooker cups water
3 x 400gm cans coconut milk
500 gm muscovado sugar
1 x 340gm/12oz bottle of sweetened macapuno (mutant coconut)

  1. Half-cook 6 cups of malagkit in a rice cooker using only 5 cups of water. As soon as the rice cooker switches from 'Cook' to 'Keep Warm' unplug it to prevent the malagkit from further cooking.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375F/190C/Gas Mark 5.
  3. In a wok or big frying pan, boil the coconut milk. Add the muscovado sugar, stir to dissolve and bring to boil. Add in the sweetened macapuno (including the syrup). Bring to boil again and lower heat. Simmer until thick - about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add all the half-cooked malagkit to the wok and stir to mix well. Do this until the malagkit is fully cooked (but not mushy and too soft) and the sauce has thickened and covers/clings to the malagkit grains well - about 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a baking dish; pat level. Put in the oven for about 5 minutes or just enough to dry out the top a little. Cut into squares and serve warm or cold.

[Optional] Although in my opinion this does not need any more garnishings, you may add the traditional topping for biko - the latik.
*To make latik: Boil a can or two of coconut milk. Lower heat and simmer until the coconut renders fat and sediment sticks to the bottom of the pan. Once the oil renders and separates from the sediment you may stir it from time to time to keep it from burning. When the sediment becomes dark brown, remove from heat, drain the oil and scrape off the sediment. This sediment is now your "latik". Put about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp mound of the latik on top of each of the biko squares. (The coconut oil can be used for other dishes or as a natural body and hair moisturiser - but that's a whole different topic).

Variation: Add slices of sweetened langka (jackfruit) to the sauce together with the macapuno. This will make the biko more aromatic.

Note: A rice cooker cup is equivalent to about 2/3 cups.

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