Make Suman: Filipino Sticky Rice Cake
Suman is a Filipino delicacy made from glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk. The rice is wrapped in banana leaves, coconut leaves, or palm leaves, then steamed. It is typically eaten with a sprinkling of sugar or a drizzle of coconut caramel sauce called latik.
There are also many regional varieties of suman! Some include suman tapol (black rice suman), which is popular in the surf town of Baler, tupig (grilled suman), popular in Pangasinan, and binaki (suman made from corn), which is common in Cebu. With so many delicious varieties, it’s clear that suman is an important part of Filipino culture. Grab the family and dive into the flavors of the Philippines with our suman recipe!
- 3 cups glutinous rice
- Banana leaves
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup sugar or coconut sugar
- Steamer or large pot
Step one: Place rice in cold water and soak for one hour. Drain well.
Step two: Prepare banana leaves by cutting off the ends. You can also buy precut banana leaves at many Asian grocery stores. The banana leaves should be pliable. If they’re stiff, briefly pass them over a gas flame to soften them.
Step three: Combine salt, coconut milk, and sugar in a medium-sized pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Add rice and stir.
Step four: Cook rice mixture over medium heat and stir occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking together. Cook until the liquid is absorbed.
Step five: Remove rice from heat and cool. Place about two to three tablespoons of rice on a banana leaf, leaving about one inch of empty space on each side. Roll banana leaves tightly around the rice to form a log and fold both edges to seal. You can also tie it with banana leaf strips. Congratulations, you’ve just formed suman!
Step six: In a large pot, arrange suman seam side down and add enough water to cover. Place a layer of banana leaves over suman. Place a heatproof plate on top to weigh them down. Cover the pot with a lid.
Step seven: Over medium-low heat, cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until rice is fully cooked. Remove suman with tongs and allow to cool on a baking sheet.
Step eight: To serve, peel leaves and sprinkle with sugar. Kain na tayo! (Let’s eat!)