Whether as a dessert or snack, biko kalamay fits the bill. Sweet, sticky rice cake made with glutinous rice, coconut milk, and brown sugar. Top it off with latik or coconut curd and you’re good to go!
I can’t remember how many times I had this as a kid or even as an adult. A favorite snack or dessert in our household that we can’t get enough of. This Filipino sticky rice cake is easy to make and only needs a few ingredients. This is probably the reason why many turn biko kalamay into a business.
It’s not complete without latik!
Most of you will likely agree with me on this. Latik or coconut curd goes on top of this rice cake, period! Latik gives biko kalamay texture and the aroma is just so inviting. Every time I make latik my daughter will peek over my shoulder to see what’s cooking. You won’t even break a sweat when making this and you’ll just need one ingredient.
You do not need any special technique to make coconut curd. Basically, you just simmer coconut cream in a pan until the cream curdles and turn golden brown. You just eyeball it and occasionally stir to avoid burning. You can find step-by-step instructions in my suman sa lihiya recipe.
Different ways of making Biko
This recipe is simple as it gets but there are other ways to make it. Aside from glutinous rice, black rice can also be used. Brown sugar gives the dessert its color and sweetness but muscovado or panutsa (jaggery) can serve as alternatives.
Variations of kalamay
Kalamay is an umbrella term for sticky desserts in the Philippines. Normally, one can find these desserts on special occasions such as birthdays or fiestas.
Kalamay hati – is kalamay from Iloilo and Negros, above all kalamays, this has a more thicker consistency.
Kalamay perya – of Antipolo are chewier and dense and traditionally served as flat round cakes on banana leaves.
These are just some variants of sticky desserts from Philippines and there are several others depending on the location in the archipelago.
Tips for Biko Kalamay
Soak the rice overnight or at the minimum, 30 minutes. This will cut down the cooking time because the rice had time to soften and absorb moisture.
Do not add sugar when cooking the rice, adding sugar can under-cook the rice.
The secret ingredient is always LOVE
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- 2 cups glutinous rice (soaked overnight or 30 minutes)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- Place 2 cups of glutinous rice in a bowl and soak for 30 minutes or overnight
- Drain water and rinse rice thoroughly. Transfer in rice cooker then add water and coconut milk. Set rice cooker to cook setting until done.
- Heat pan over medium heat and tip in coconut milk and dark brown sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves and well incorporated.
- Add cooked glutinous rice and stir until well incorporated. Continuously stir and cook the rice until it doesn't stick to the pan or for approximately 15 minutes.
- Transfer into your preferred molding dish then flatten the top with a spatula. Let cool down to set then divide to preferred serving size. Top with latik or coconut curd. Bon appetit!
- To make the coconut curd or latik, follow my step-by-step instructions here.