19 Feb2007


I was in Cebu for several days last week and promptly fell off my healthy eating routine. Somehow, I apply the “if you are traveling, you can eat whatever you want rule…” heeheehee. While waiting to disembark from the PAL flight from Manila (which was 10 minutes EARLY), someone behind me said in a booming and jolly voice: “Hey, isn’t that Marketman” and he turned out to be a reader, and husband of a very regular reader of Marketmanila, who had been to the recent eyeball…hmmm, that is happening more often these days…maybe I should send a decoy to the eyeballs…haha! Other folks in the plane must have thought we were a bit odd. At any rate, as soon as I got to my office in the city, lunch was just an hour or two away. We had a small whole inasal or lechon and some bam-i as it was the Office Manager’s birthday celebration. In addition, one of the crew made this fantastic purple biko that was delicious. The photos here don’t do the dish justice but I tell you, the biko was GOOD!

My mom used to make biko when I was a kid, but I always found it a bit “heavy.” While I could definitely eat a few spoonfuls, that was about it for me. But the combination biko2of carbohydrates (rice) and sugar and coconut milk is just so ingrained in almost any pinoy’s brain that it’s hard not to like this concoction. And it is a natural choice for a celebratory meal as it feeds and fills up a lot of stomachs on ingredients that are readily available. Served with a good ripe mango, it is a match made in the Philippines (though the Thais do something very similar)! Often biko is made with just white sticky rice and a brown or white sugar based latik that results in a light to dark brown final product. What made this biko a little different was the addition of purple rice or tapol. To make, first boil the rice (1/2 purple, ½ malagkit) in water until cooked. The purple rice may need a little more time to cook so you may want to start with this and after a few minutes add the white malagkit. Once cooked, allow this to cool.

Next make the “latik” by cooking down coconut milk, brown or white sugar until this is thickened, but not the hard lumps some folks refer to as “latik.”. Mai-Mai, added some calamansi rind (no white pith) which I thought was an excellent citrus note and an unusual move (I usually see dayap rind added) and then the cooled rice was added to the latik and this was mixed up until the right consistency. Serve plonked into a large bowl or pre-form into single servings. Sorry, I don’t have the exact measurements as I didn’t pay attention while it was being cooked. It’s hard to do this wrong, however, and just err on the side of having too much latik which you can add to the rice as you see necessary. Delicious! I still can’t have more than one or two servings of this at one time but it was wickedly calorific nonetheless…



  1. millet says:

    MM, buti na lang in scoops ito..otherwise, just imagine how much you would’ve eaten if the biko was in one big bilao! purple bico (tapol) always looks more appetizing than the plain one.

    Feb 19, 2007 | 8:56 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    Better to eat well and die happy than worry about every new little risk that comes along. I suppose if the black bits on barbecued pork are carcinogenic, what’s the big deal with the stuff in the delicious browned caramelized bits on food? :) Humans were probably only originally designed to last till they were 35 or 40 at most. As soon as your progeny were off breeding at say age 13 in caveman times, it was okay to kick the bucket yourself. So at best 30 was a good age…and see how much roasted and caramelized meat they ate… Millet, you got it, small scoops was all I could handle! Crumbmaster, yes, maybe the brits would like our kakanins, though perhpas a little wetter with more moisture as their puddings tend to be creamy…

    Feb 19, 2007 | 9:21 am

  4. danney says:

    Well, we all are very concerned about what we eat nowadays but I’m still careful eating food with salitre like tocinos and longganisa but then again, the air that we breath from those cigarette smokers and smoke belchers are good enough to kill us. So what do we do to live longer? Enjoy food but with moderation. Here in the United States, most Americans are overweight. Why because they feed and inject chickens, turkeys, cows and pigs with strong hormones to make them grow faster and fatter. Later they butchered the animals and serve it raw or medium rare. The hormones get transferred to the human body. They inject cows to produce more milk and goes right into our digestive system. Should I say “Got milk! or “Get Fatter!? And worst of all, their food portion is humongous. I’m glad our restaurants are still serving the right portions and not imitating the American portion of serving food. Whoah they it a lot!!

    Feb 19, 2007 | 10:34 am

  5. wil-b cariaga says:

    I don’t know why but adding kalamansi rind to biko and some other similar kakanins always give a pleasant taste. . . im sure this one is really good. . . hmm i miss kakanins. . .

    Feb 20, 2007 | 7:19 am

  6. DADD-F says:

    I always cook biko with calamansi rind. It adds a kick to the kakanin that can’t be found elsewhere in the country. But I must confess that the original recipe came from a former officemate who was glad to share her “secret” with me. And since this “discovery” of mine, I now am even more adventurous with my baking and dessert-making exploits as I have always been with my other gustatory experiments.

    Everybody’s right, of course, about being very careful with what we put in our mouth. Still, like MM says, sometimes it is better to eat well and die happy than worry too much. I say, DON’T DEPRIVE yourselves. Just remember, everything in moderation; the fresher the food, the better; and don’t forget to keep that butt moving. Then, you don’t really need to worry.

    As I mentioned in earlier posts, our food is great and that other nationales do appreciate them. But first, we have to be aware of how great-tasting our food is and be proud to share it with the others. Adjusting the food somewhat to their taste follows.

    Feb 20, 2007 | 9:19 am

  7. Maria Clara says:

    Any sweet rice based dessert cooked in coconut milk is redolently delicious with sugar added and kept and/or wrapped in banana leaves. The aroma emanating from the cooked coconut milk is good. This one looks like a no fuss job with less grease elbow work involved and the purple rice added a heightened dimension of appeal and flavor.

    Feb 21, 2007 | 2:37 am

  8. Linda, The Village Vegetable says:

    woah. i don’t know what any of this is — my favorite foods to try! I can’t wait to start…. finding these ingredients will be an adventure in itself!

    Feb 21, 2007 | 12:36 pm


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