16 Mar2009


Literally minutes after we finished our wonderful lunch at 21, we arrived at the home of Tita MM, where she had assembled several local delicacies for us to sample. Also present were a slew of shopping bags filled with various ingredients, as well as Tita MM’s family cook of nearly 50(!) years and another Manang, to show us how to make several local delicacies. Frankly, I thought we would literally burst at this point, but it is amazing how much one’s stomach can expand when challenged. First order of business was how to make bicho-bicho with a muscovado and coconut glaze. If you haven’t had these puffy, delicious, fatty, sticky, chewy and sweet fried dumplings with coconut, you are missing out on something wickedly good. And if you try it minutes after it is made, it’s absolutely wonderful!


Manang Liiia rattled off her heirloom recipe off the top of her head. I do not include detailed measurements here as I don’t want to give her recipe completely away. But with these steps, if you experiment, you will develop a wonderful version of your own.


Soak malagkit overnight and have in ground up at the market. Add shredded butong or young coconut along with some wheat flour and a touch of coconut cream and mix this all by hand lightly. No heavy mashing of the “dough” required.


Roll these in your floured or oiled palms into “three-bite-sized” dumplings and drop into a pot of boiling water. You know the dumplings are done when they float up to the surface of the water. Remove gently with a strainer and place of a pan or rack to drain a bit. Finish boiling all of the dumplings.


In another pan, heat up some vegetable oil and fry the boiled dumplings over medium-high heat until they turn a golden brown color. They will be crisp on the outside and chewy inside.


They will be risp on the outside but still chewy and airy inside. They are very good this way if you are watching your sugar intake. Or you could sprinkle them with some powdered sugar if you like. But you MUST take them totally over the top and taste them with this…


…make a muscovado coconut cream glaze with sesame seeds and coating the freshly fried bicho-bicho and serving them hot. Let them cool for a few minutes on your merienda or dessert plate and dig in. Heaven. Dessert with soul. So simple and yet so incredibly satisfying. Daghang salamat Manang Lilia! :)



  1. Quillene says:

    Now, this has made me fall in love!!!

    Mar 16, 2009 | 2:02 pm


  2. Notice: Undefined variable: oddcomment in /home/marketman/marketmanila.com/wp-content/themes/marketmanila-v2/comments.php on line 33
  3. Lex says:

    At this point of your trip, how many pound did you gain in 40 hours?

    Mar 16, 2009 | 2:43 pm

  4. Jun Bautista says:

    Wow – time to soak some malagkit…..MM….think this would come out just as good if I use the Mochiko brand sweet rice flour?

    Mar 16, 2009 | 2:43 pm

  5. Lava Bien says:

    Are these like the “carioca” served by the Ilocanos at their parties?

    Man they’re so good!

    Mar 16, 2009 | 2:44 pm

  6. bijin says:

    can I borrow the cook?

    Mar 16, 2009 | 2:55 pm

  7. linda says:

    What a treat! Now, I’m really homesick!

    Mar 16, 2009 | 3:30 pm

  8. cai says:

    MM, can you please feature the making of buchi as well?
    It’s similar to Bicho-bicho or Carioca but monggo filling.So sarap! My mom used to buy them at the Binan market.


    Mar 16, 2009 | 3:59 pm

  9. s says:

    OMG…. i sooooo love bicho-bicho. :) reminds me of of those “summer” spent in my granny’s place… haii…. those were the days. :)

    Mar 16, 2009 | 4:01 pm

  10. Katrina says:

    I have the same question as Lava Bien. In Manila, the bicho-bicho I know is more like a doughnut; the treat above is closer to the carioca that’s sold skewered on sticks by ambulant vendors. I like them both!

    “I thought we would literally burst at this point, but it is amazing how much one’s stomach can expand when challenged.”

    — These are exactly the sort of challenges I look for! Let it never be said that I balked when faced with one! :-D

    Mar 16, 2009 | 4:08 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    Katrina, this is like a wildly fancy donut. Minus the coconut, and the sugar/gata sauce, it would be a plain donut… cai, sorry, I have never made nor seen buchi made. Lava Bien, I don’t think I have ever had carioca in Ilocos/Ilocano households… Jun, not sure if this would work with flour, but it’s probably worth a try. Lex, I am pretty sure we put on several pounds in two days!

    Mar 16, 2009 | 4:25 pm

  12. luna miranda says:

    omg! my all-time favorite–bicho-bicho! we used to have a suki who brought us bicho-bicho every afternoon, just right after our nap. gosh, i miss it! sweet and crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. heaven!

    Mar 16, 2009 | 5:12 pm

  13. shella says:

    i’m getting hungry! i’ll make sure i’ll have one when i go home to davao next week…

    Mar 16, 2009 | 5:42 pm

  14. Ellen says:

    pucha! I’m sorry for swearing MM but that was my gut reaction reading this entry!! I LOVE BICHO-BICHO!! this just made me salivate while i ate my take-away roast chicken! arrgh!! the disadvantages of living by yourself and opting for convenience =( hmmm..i think this is easy enough to try though…Love Love Love your site MM…hayy..nakakagutom palagi mga pagkain dito! =)

    Mar 16, 2009 | 5:51 pm

  15. dee bee says:

    wah!!! i’ve never had bicho-bicho :(

    crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside…sounds so yummy… i’m also thinking of experimenting with flour (glutionous rice flour)

    Mar 16, 2009 | 5:56 pm

  16. Sanojmd says:

    I love bicho! Been doing that with glutinous rice, with red bean paste filling and then later rolled into sesame seeds before frying! It’s sooo good. We can also buy that here in Chinese bakery if I don’t have the time to do that. It is so yummy especially when it is still hot.. Hope you could make your own version of that MM and feature your recipe here.. Cheers!

    Mar 16, 2009 | 6:41 pm

  17. juls says:

    mm, that’s a lot of entries for Bacolod… thank you thank you so much…

    question is, have you seen Namets?

    Mar 16, 2009 | 7:04 pm

  18. mrs lavendula says:


    like lava bien and katrina, im know the pastry above as carioca and bicho to be like the plain donut rolled in white sugar. but anyway, whatever its called, it looks really good!

    cai, i know the buchi with mongo you’re describing, thats really good too!

    dee bee, you must try this!

    Mar 16, 2009 | 7:15 pm

  19. kulasa says:

    Like the other three ladies, the bicho-bicho I know is the elongated donut rolled in sugar. Something like a poor man’s churros only bigger and softer. The Bacolod bicho above is also carioca to me. The carioca I grew up with were put on sticks(just like banana cue).

    Mar 16, 2009 | 7:34 pm

  20. Mimi says:

    it’s karyoka! a simple version is galapong and some white shredded coconut meat, roll into palm-sized logs (oiled palms) and deep fry until they turn golden and rise from the bottom. i’ve used the dark-dark brown sugar (i.e. at the palengke where i go to there they have 4 colours – white, segunda, brown and the dark-dark brown). caramelize the sugar and throw in the fried karyoka, “tuhog” on bbq sticks like banana-q.

    Mar 16, 2009 | 8:09 pm

  21. RobKSA says:

    wow sarap, I like bicho-bicho and would definitely experiment with this. BTW MM out of topic and I’m sure you have mentioned or discussed it somewhere but I just want you to know that yesterday, I was watching the Travel Channel here in Saudi Arabia about Goa/Manila and I caught the last part of the show and I saw you which I think might be Salcedo Market and you are explaining something to the show host. Then I saw you eating puto ube with him and he also then ate halo halo. I also saw somebody getting thrown into the pool. There’s a portion of a Chef cooking adobo with lots (about 6 whole stalks) of lemongrass. I also saw that bald, pretty lady that I always see in your gatherings, forgot her name though. To cut the long story, may I know what show is that, i.e., who is the hosts?

    Mar 16, 2009 | 8:15 pm

  22. MAE says:

    can you buy this stuff she makes? Is it available for orders?

    Mar 16, 2009 | 8:53 pm

  23. Marketman says:

    RobKSA, that must have been World Cafe Asia with Bobby Chinn… it has already shown in Scandinavia, the Middle East, soon in Australia, but not until next week here in the Philippines! And OMG, Katrina who is a regular will be thrilled to find out she is in the final cut of the program! Katrina, did you read that? Heehee. Thanks, Rob.

    Mar 16, 2009 | 9:02 pm

  24. Angie from NY says:

    corrections Market Manila , you should say Madamo guid nga salamat. The chicken empanada is available in Manila at Bailons, where you can also order the lumpia and piyaya. Sorry I don’t have their telephone# on hand.

    Mar 16, 2009 | 9:20 pm

  25. simone says:

    The Bicho-Bicho that you are all talking about is the kind that is usually sold here in Manila and it is indeed doughnut-like rolled in white sugar.. the bicho-bicho in Bacolod and also in Iloilo is the kind made from glutinous rice, fried, and rolled in Muscovado sugar and sesame seeds. It’s only 1-2 pesos php. Yummy yummy yummy! now I am so missing home..

    Mar 16, 2009 | 9:58 pm

  26. Diwata08 says:

    Mimi… you are soooooo funny!!!! :-)) “tuhog” on bbq stick… JUST MADE MY DAY!!!!

    Mar 16, 2009 | 11:31 pm

  27. noes says:

    its called buchi-buchi.

    Mar 16, 2009 | 11:40 pm

  28. RoBStaR says:


    How long were you in bacolod again? Seems longer from the many posts…imagine if you had more time…the things and recipes that could be had.. Next time maybe you can try KBL or Kadios Baboy and Langka.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 12:13 am

  29. pinkay says:

    Yes, thats the real honest to goodness Ilongo and Bacolodnon bicho-bicho, the one thats elongated donut and rolled in sugar we called it bichokoy, which is quite similar to New Orleas beignet.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 3:08 am

  30. jack says:


    traditional way of how they did it was like making banana-que.

    fry the palitaw thingy then once crisp in the same oil add the muscovado sugar till it melts and coats the fried yummy palitaw.

    the bicho-bicho comes out with a darker hue almost chocolate color.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 4:01 am

  31. Maria Clara says:

    Thanks for providing the guide and tips in making them. They look very tasty in that rich caramel syrup. In my mind – they make a good dessert and little show presentation at the dinner table if you make them like flambee style. After making the caramel and mixing the bicho bicho in it on stove top – finish them off at the table or serving tray with a splash of rhum and ignite it with a lighter. Not that much rhum where it will burn my eyebrows or start a fire. I believe they made Bacolod the sugar capital of the country for its abundance of sugar and its derivatives for that matter – their pastries, desserts and savory dishes.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 4:07 am

  32. tna says:

    God I love this!!! Bicho Bicho…carioca…by any other name is heaven for me =) The one with monggo filling and crusted with sesame seeds is Buchi, me thinks..also delicious!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 5:32 am

  33. smiles4angels says:

    this is not helping my diet… hmmm maybe having one would tame my craving. :P

    Mar 17, 2009 | 8:17 am

  34. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Yup…that’s my favorite carioca…so delish when it’s hot…but whichever way…sarapppp….

    Mar 17, 2009 | 8:37 am

  35. RobKSA says:

    Thanks MM, so that’s Bobby Chinn, now I know. And yes, it’s Katrina; but her shot is short and quick towards the very end but at least it was clear and focused so you can see her beauty :)

    Mar 17, 2009 | 1:01 pm

  36. Mandy says:

    i love this!! i used to watch out for this in our college canteen. they made it like, once a month? such a treat for me. yummmm.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 10:22 pm

  37. cien says:

    The bicho-bicho sold here in Manila is similar to a plain fried doughnut.

    Mar 18, 2009 | 11:00 am

  38. Rose5 says:

    hi! have you tried or seen baye-baye in Bacolod…

    Mar 18, 2009 | 12:47 pm

  39. Sheryl says:

    And this, too! Sheer torture! :-D

    Mar 18, 2009 | 8:16 pm

  40. bheng says:

    I’m dying to make this for my husband to try but sad to say I failed. Mine did not turn out just like the picture. And after several try and after making such a big messed in the kitchen cause mine burst and oil splattered from the stove to the cupboards down to the floor….I GAVE UP.
    So, for those of you who would like to try this please be careful. The picture look so yummy.


    May 20, 2009 | 1:45 pm

  41. Pio M. Sian, M.D. says:

    Mga ka-upud nga Bacolenos,
    Now Filipinos are realizing how we were conned into believing coconut oil is bad for you so they can sell their
    corn, soy and canola oil. Unaltered coconut oil is as good as mother’s milk. We are also suckered into buying Palm oil,
    Why, it has a very long chain fatty acids like waxes. The extra Vitamin A it contains disappears when oil is heated.
    Watch for the Bacolod made fresh milled coconut oil, not from copra, not refined, not bleached, not deodorized as is usually sold. Coming soon in Bacolod is a fresh all natural all organic real gift of GOD form the TREE OF LIFE.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 11:35 am

  42. el_jefe@yahoo.com says:

    We call this bruelos in Batangas or Carioca in Laguna…..bitso bitso here are made of flour and not with galapong … sometimes with a cheeze filling…its sidewalk donuts…

    Nov 10, 2009 | 11:33 am


Market Manila Home · Topics · Archives · About · Contact · Links · RSS Feed

site design by pixelpush

Market Manila © 2004 - 2021