This post on biko was first published on 20 December 2007, but I am re-posting it here for the benefit of folks who havenâ€™t previously come across it, and who are at looking for a classic, delicious but relatively simple kakanin to make for yourselves or for gifts this holiday season.
If you will recall, Manang Lima is the fabulous lady who shared her recipe for budbud kabog with us last year, then appeared in the non-attributed article in Mabuhay Magazine last month, and has since been super busy with orders for her budbud kabog. After she picked up a copy of the magazine that I had set aside for her, she brought a FANTASTIC dark, rich and sweet biko that was much better than most of the bikos I have ever tasted. This was also slighty chewy with a few crunchy bits from the bottom of the pan with a terrific latik spread on top. I didn’t have my camera at the time, so I didn’t get a photo of the biko, but Manang Lima immediately rattled off the ingredients she used and said it was really easy to make so I was hoping I could replicate it at home. So here is the recipe she gave me, though mine turned out a little less dark than hers and I will explain why below…
Biko a la Lima
2 kilos pilit (sticky or glutinous rice)
2 kilos of already grated coconut
about 6-7 cups of water
1.5 kilos of central (dark brown sugar, muscovado would do nicely)
For the topping:
1 kilo of already grated coconut
3-4 cups of water
1/2 kilo of central (dark brown sugar)
1 can condensed milk
Pre-soak rice grains for several hours to soften them a bit, then steam the sticky rice until cooked. Already at this point the rice that you used can dramatically change the moisture and texture of the final product. Next add the water to the grated coconut and smush it all up until you extract about 6 cups of coconut milk, which you need to strain before using. You may have to add a little more water to get to the coconut to end up with 6 cups of coconut milk total. Heat up the coconut milk until boiling and reduced, then add the dark brown sugar and reduce a bit, and add the steamed sticky rice until well blended and at the moisture level you like. Here you can decided if you want to cook it till it “crisps” up a bit or keep it soft and pliable.
For the topping, make about 3 cups of coconut milk and heat it up in a pan until boiling, then add brown sugar and lower the heat and stir, then add the condensed milk and stir until thickened but still very spreadable. Place this diabetics nightmare spread on top of the biko and voila! Biko a la Manang Lima! Our version tasted delicious, but I didn’t have muscovado in the house so it was a little blonder than I wanted it to be, it was also a touch sweeter because the light brown sugar is sweeter than muscovado… However, it is the perfect kakanin to have around for the holidays, and not so difficult to make at all… A great starter kakanin for novice kakanin cooks, if you ask me!