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Biko Heart - Food with Mae-4

Ube Biko

Rice Cake Cooked in Coconut Milk, Mixed with Sweet Coconut Caramel

What is Biko

Biko is a sweet rice cake dish cooked with coconut milk and mixed with sweet coconut caramel syrup. Like other rice cakes, this is referred to as kakanin (derived from the word “kanin” which means rice) and is often eaten as dessert or miryenda or snack. Biko is one of many Filipino delicacies in the Philippines.

The recipe for Biko varies from region to region and there isn’t one way of making this dish. Every family will have their own way or twist to their Biko.  Biko is usally brown because the latik is normally cooked brown sugar but for my twist I used white sugar with Ube flavouring which has a purple colour.

Latik or Latik? The same word but different meanings from Luzon (northern part of the Philippines) and Visayas (middle part of the Philippines). 

In Luzon ‘latik’ means the coconut curd that was reduced from the coconut milk. This is used as toppings for rice cakes or kakanin. 

In Visayas ‘latik’ means the caramelised syrup from coconut milk and brown sugar and this is used to mix with rice cakes or as a topping (or drizzle) for rice cakes. 

For this kakanin we are using the Visaya version of latik. 

Biko Heart - Food with Mae-4


Rice Cake

200g glutinous rice (soaked overnight)
150g sugar
400ml coconut milk
1 pinch of salt


400ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon purple yam extract
200g sugar



To cook the rice cake, first soak the glutinous rice overnight or for 4 hours.


Using a large cooking pot, add rice, coconut milk, sugar and a pinch of salt.Bring it to a slow boil on medium heat, mixing it often. Once boiled, turn the heat to low, cover and leave it to simmer until the liquid disappears. Take off the heat and leave on the side for later.




To make the purple yam coconut syrup, add coconut milk and sugar into a pot. Bring it to a boil on high heat, turn the heat to low and let it simmer until it caramelizes and thickens. Add the purple yam extract or flavouring, mix them all together. To test if your syrup is ready, fill a glass with water and drop some syrup into the water. If it doesn’t break, your syrup is ready. If it still breaks then continue to simmer and repeat the testing process to see if it’s ready.


When the syrup is ready, pour some into a bowl for the topping and leave on the side. Add cooked glutinous rice into the syrup and mix them all well until there is no white rice. Do this while you continue to cook on low heat. 


Place the Biko into a serving tray, even them out and pour the saved syrup on top spreading them all over the top of your Biko. Leave it to cool down on the side. Once it’s cooled down, it’s ready to serve! 

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