Growing up I called this Filipino dessert “Biko”, but I’ve learned that it’s also called “Bibingka”, “Malagkit” or even “Bibingkang Malagkit” which is probably the best name for it.
Bibingka is basically a cake made with sweet glutinous rice or sweet glutinous rice flour aka Mochiko flour. Malagkit literally means “sticky”. So Bibingkang Malagkit translates to Sticky Rice Cake which is exactly what this dessert is! What we called Biko is a sticky rice cake that is topped with a coating of thickened coconut milk; it is simply put another name for the same dessert.
Anyway whatever you call it it’s delicious. It’s one of the dishes that fall under the “kakanin” category of Filipino food which are sweet treats usually made with rice, coconut, and root vegetables.
Recently I got a yen for some Biko and buying some was not an option. I always find that when I buy any type of Filipino food at restaurants I always end up disappointed and make it the way I like it at home.
I looked at several recipes for Biko or Binbingkang Malagkit and they all involved more steps and ingredients than what I recalled from childhood. I guess the recipe got fancier since I was a kid! So I thought back to how my Lola (grandmother) Juling told me to make it. Her way was way too easy and used 3 ingredients! So I decided why not, do it Lola’s way, her Biko was always delicious. Besides I wanted good old fashioned and simple. None of that fancy stuff for me! And not soaking rice overnight!
So without a recipe and with just 3 ingredients I set out to make my Lola’s Biko and let me tell you it came out perfect! My grandkids and kids all loved it! In fact it’s so easy I could make it everyday; but I won’t, it’s way too fattening!
I thought I’d share this simple recipe with you. You will love it!
I use my rice cooker to cook the rice, but if you don’t have a rice cooker you can cook the sweet rice on the stove just how you’d cook regular rice.
4 Cups uncooked Sweet Rice (you can find this in Asian Markets, there are many brands to choose from)
Water to cook the rice
2 Cans Coconut Milk (you can find this in Asian Markets)
2 Cups Brown Sugar
Place sweet rice in Rice Cooker or in a pot.
Add enough water to reach a bit under the water line in the rice cooker (if you’re cooking in a pot on the stove use a little bit less water than what you’d normally use to cook rice). You want the rice to be just a bit undercooked.
Wait for the rice to cook. Again you don’t want the rice mushy, you want it a bit undercooked.
Meanwhile oil a 9×13 baking pan well, bottom and all sides. Set aside.
Place brown sugar and coconut milk in a pot and bring to a boil, stir constantly so the coconut milk and sugar combine well and is smooth. Set aside.
When rice is done put it in the baking pan and smooth out evenly.
Pour the coconut mixture over all.
Bake in a pre-heated 350º oven for about 1 hour or until all the liquid thickens. The top will bubble as it bakes.
Remove from oven and cool.
Cut into squares and serve.
Cover leftovers and leave on the counter, it has a shelf life of about 2 days. If storing longer than 2 days place it in an airtight container and refrigerate but it can get a bit hard. To soften place a damp paper towel over a piece and microwave for about 30 – 45 seconds. You can also freeze it in airtight freezer bags and thaw at room temperature before serving.