Childhood Treat: Ginataang Bilo Bilo (glutinous rice balls, sago + jackfruit in coconut milk)
It’s funny, I seem to be diggin’ desserts I loved as a kid even more as an adult! One theory was that it was due to my recent appreciation for specific elements. For instance, my recipe for Ginataang Bilo Bilo caters to my addiction to all things sago. Actually you know what, scrap that. I know what it is… I reckon it has to do with the fact that as we grow older, we’ve come to the sad sad SAD realisation that our metabolism is no longer working in our favour so when it comes to desserts my honey lova friend, we savour the sh*t out of it!
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to dining out, I look forward to dessert the most. It’s my kryptonite. In fact, when it comes to some of my favourite restaurants, I’d order the sweet stuff first before the mains come out. Don’t hate. I will not stand for “Oh, I’m too full for dessert blah blah wah wah” coming outta my mouth at the end of the meal. No. Nope. I may be wearing a watch, but I ain’t got time for that kinda foolishness!
On that note, may I present my recipe for Ginataang Bilo Bilo. ‘Ginataan‘ pretty much means anything cooked in coconut milk – sweet or savoury. In this case, think playful textures from the sticky rice balls that gets into all the crevices of your mouth in amongst a warm basin of creamy coconut milk swimming with chewy sago all sweetened by jackfruit and syrup. It’s the best winter comforter and it’s not too sweet either which makes for a great excuse to have seconds. Some even add saba bananas and sweet potato (kamote) but I like to keep mine simple.
Serves 7 or 3 absolute pigs
1 and 1/2 cups of glutinous rice flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 can jack fruit sliced (save half uncooked for garnishing, set aside the syrup)
2 and 1/2 cups coconut milk
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup tapioca pearls
1/2 cup of jack fruit syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1. Make dem balls. In a large bowl, drop in the glutinous rice flour then bit by bit add the water and coconut milk as you keep on kneading until it comes together and is smooth and firm enough to starting making miniature balls at 1/4 diameter. Set them aside.
2. Cook dem tapioca pearls. Get your large pot, fill with 7 cups of water, bring to a boil, chuck in the pearls, stir occasionally so they don’t stick until they’re transparent or until they rise. Don’t overcook! Drain into a sieve and run them under cold water to prevent them from forming into DNA like structures
3. In a large enough pot, pour in the coconut milk, water, bring to a boil then drop in dem balls. Reduce to a simmer for half and hour carefully stirring occasionally to yes, prevent them balls from sticking. Add the jack fruit juice, sugar, cooked tapioca pearls, stir then simmer for another 10 minutes until the balls have softened. TIP: If you don’t like it as thick, add an additional 1/2 cup of coconut milk.
4. This is best eaten when hot, so hurry up and scoop it up into a bowl then garnish with the remaining jack fruit.
You’ve been served!
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