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Ginataang Bili Bilo - FWM_-11

Bilo Bilo

Sticky Rice Balls Pudding in Coconut Milk

Sweet creamy pudding with sticky rice balls cooked with fruits, sweet potatoes and tapioca pearls in coconut milk. 

What is Ginataang Bilo Bilo?

Also known as Binignit or Ginataang Halo Halo and it’s eaten as merienda or snacks and sometimes as a dessert during festivals and celebrations. The word ‘ginataan [ge-na-ta-an] refers to boiled or stewed dishes that uses coconut milk. It came from the root word ‘gata’ [ga-ta] meaning coconut milk or cream. The ingredients can vary from region to region and each household has their own preferred fruits or tubers that they love to add. You can even add purple yams too! The main ingredients are coconut milk, glutinous rice balls, sugar and tapioca pearls. You can add whatever you like or fancy really.

Let’s talk about ingredients

Most of the ingredients are available at your local Asian store or Chinatown. I used any coconut milk available from local grocery shop but the rest of the ingredients I went to Chinatownto get them, for example the sweetened ‘saba’, a type of banana you will see in the Philippine but you can’t find saba you can use plantain too. I usually buy my plantain from Edgware Road or Church Street Market. You will probably see yam and plantain in Caribbean grocery stores.

How to cook Tapioca pearls or Sago  

To cook tapioca pearls, boil 1 litre of water in a pot, once boiled add tapioca pearls and cook for 10 minutes or until it’s translucent. Turn the heat off and leave on the side still in the hot water for another 5 minutes. *If your using big tapioca pearls you might need to cook longer and leave it on the side longer* Using a strainer, strain the tapioca pearls and rinse with cold water. Place the pearls in a bowl and leave it on the side for later

How can I make Ube flavour Bilo Bilo balls?

Follow the measurements from the recipe. Simply add 1-2 teaspoon of Ube or Purple yam extract into the water, mix it well and add it to the glutinous rice flour. Do not add the ube extract into the flour as you will not get the smooth colour on the balls instead you will get streaks. If that’s the look you were going for then why not. Haha!

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Ginataang Bili Bilo - FWM_-11


320 grams glutinous rice flour
300ml water
800ml (2 can) coconut milk
500g cooked tapioca pearls
150 grams sugar
1 big sweet potatoes – – peeled and cubed
1 jar of saba or 2 ripe plantain, sliced
250 grams jackfruit, drained & cut into strips



To make the bilo bilo or glutinous balls, using a medium bowl, add rice flour and water. Mix them well until it turns into a dough, roll about 24 small balls (or you can make bigger balls if you like) place them on a plate and cover it with cling film. Leave it on the side for later..


In a large cooking pot, add coconut milk, sugar and let it boil. Add sweet potatoes, cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Next, add plantain or saba (bananas) cook for 3 minutes.


Add rice balls, cooking them on medium heat for 10-20 minutes or until they float. Stirring it occasionally.


When the balls are floating, add jack fruit and tapioca pearl (see blog above on how to cook the tapioca pearls) and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.


Ginataang Bilo Bilo is best served hot or cold but it will continue to thicken.

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