Sticky rice mold with dulce de leche and toasted coconut topping

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Inspired by how wonderfully the suman with dulce de leche dipping sauce turned out, I decided to create a similar dessert (or snack) using practically the same ingredients -- sticky rice, homemade dulce de leche and coconut. But instead adding the coconut or its extraction to the rice, I used toasted flaked coconuts to top my creation.It's very simple, the only thing … [Read more...]

Is machang lo mai gai or zongzi?

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It's sticky rice filled with chicken (or pork) and black mushrooms, sometimes with peanuts or chestnuts or both, wrapped in leaf then steamed. In the Philippines, it is known as machang and it is often listed under the dimsum items in Chinese restaurant menus. That the dish is Chinese in origin, there is no doubt. But is it lo mai gai or zongzi?Lo mai gai is wrapped … [Read more...]

Suman (rice cake) with three dips: dulce de leche, Nutella and fruit jam

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Some five days ago, craving for something sweet past midnight, Speedy started spooning dulce de leche from its container. He was in the kitchen and a few inches away was the jar of Nutella. I don't know provoked him. He scooped some dulce de leche with his teaspoon then scooped Nutella. He ate the two together and exclaimed to me with that look on his face as though he … [Read more...]

Sticky rice congee with chicken, lemongrass and quail eggs

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Speedy and I are nursing a sick daughter at home. Alex has a cough that's been going on and off for weeks. She's lost weight, she feels weak and her much-needed sleep is often interrupted by her coughing. Speedy took her to the hospital, had her x-rayed, and tuberculosis and pneumonitis were ruled out. According to the doctor, it's one of those respiratory infections that … [Read more...]

Suman: rice cake in a tube. In three flavors.

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To say that the English translation for suman is rice cake is a bit confusing since the term "rice cake" encompasses more than suman. When cooked in a tray or dish, rice cake is called bibingka, kakanin or kalamay. If cooked to achieve a bread-like texture, it is called puto. But, the thing is, a traditional Christmas fare, a pancake-like rice delicacy topped with slices … [Read more...]

Sticky rice and mangoes with sweet coconut sauce (khao neaw mamuang)

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If you're a Filipino living abroad, craving for suman with ripe mangoes but suman is not available, this Thai version of basically the same dish is something that you can prepare at home. Canned coconut milk can be substituted for fresh. Glutinous rice is not hard to find although they may be called by other names depending on your location. And mangoes are popular the … [Read more...]

Nian Gao (tikoy), a Chinese New Year tradition

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Known as tikoy in the Philippines, nian gao is a traditional Chinese New Year dish. Why it is so has many aspects. One account has it that it is an offering to bribe the Kitchen God (see reference in Amy Tan's The Kitchen God's Wife) who reports everyone's behavior to the Jade Emperor. Another interpretation is that "nian gao is a homonym for 'every year higher and … [Read more...]

Suman at latik (rice cakes with coconut jam)

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Suman is a rice cake and there are as many varieties as there are towns and villages in the Philippines. Most are made with glutinous rice; others are made with cassava.This recipe uses suman sa ibus (ibos) which is made with glutinous rice and coconut milk and wrapped in fronds of buri palm. In the photo above, the arrow points at the suman sa ibus, the same suman … [Read more...]

Glutinous rice balls with strawberry syrup and toasted coconut

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Think palitaw. Imagine that in lieu of something flat, the rice dough is shaped as tiny balls no more than an inch in diameter. Now imagine that instead of rolling the cooked dough in grated coconut, the rice balls are served in a pool of strawberry syrup and topped with toasted dessicated coconut.That should describe this dish. I won't claim originality because it was … [Read more...]

Champorado, chocolate risotto and Thai black sticky rice

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A story goes that, in an attempt to turn his bowl of day-old rice into something more appetizing, a very young Jose Rizal poured a cup of chocolate into the bowl and invented the dish that would become popularly known as champorado. It may or may not have happened though it's a nice twist to totally Filipinize the chocolate rice porridge. But despite the fact that rice is … [Read more...]