Steamed sticky rice cakes with banana recipe : sbs food


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Suman is a Filipino snack (or merienda) that’s made of glutinous rice and coconut milk, wrapped in banana leaves và steamed khổng lồ sticky perfection. Eat it with mangoes in the summer or dip it in tsokolate in the winter. Delicious!

(To learn how khổng lồ make tsokolate or Filipino hot chocolate, kiểm tra this out. Tsokolate is simple & straightforward but its intense chocolate flavour will win you over. Puto or Filipino steamed rice cakes also go well with tsokolate. So good!)

Asians (and I think Filipinos, especially) love rice. We eat it for breakfast, lunch và dinner. We make rice desserts và snacks. We just can’t get enough of it!

Suman (pronounced soo-man)is a personal favourite.

I grew up eating it after mass and at my grandparents house as a special treat.

Restaurants would later realize its national significance and began serving it plated all fancy with special sauces & toppings.

Simple is always best though & this is what this recipe is all about. Classic and traditional.

So if you miss the suman from Antipolo or grew up eating suman Tagalog like me, you will absolutely love this.

What is suman?

Suman is a rice cake made from glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk (gata) until al dente. They are then wrapped in banana leaves và steamed until fully cooked và sticky.

Depending on the kind you’re making, it’s usually eaten sprinkled with sugar, dipped in chocolate, with ripe mango, or on its own.

What are the different types of suman?

The Philippines is a country that’s composed of more than 7,000 islands và there are different kinds of suman depending on which part of the country you’re from.

Some examples include:

Suman Tagalog (also called suman malagkit or suman sa gata) is what we have here today.Suman sa lihiya (or suman latik) has lye water in it so it’s more tender and has a greenish tint lớn it. It’s topped with coco jam orlatik.Suman budbud is similar lớn suman Tagalog but stuffed with chocolate.Suman Ilonggo is closer to lớn what we hotline biko in Tagalog và is made with dark brown or muscovado sugar. In that part of the country, suman is called ibos.Suman Ilocano (also called patupat or balisungsung) has the same ingredients as suman malagkit and prepared similarly too, but shaped into cones & not rolled.Cassava suman, on the other hand, is made with grated cassava or kamoteng kahoy instead of rice.

And the menu goes on.

How khổng lồ make

Making this delicious Filipino rice cake involves several steps but they are all easy ones. & the reward at the kết thúc is more than worth it.

1. PREP RICE. First you want to lớn soak your glutinous rice in water for at least 2 hours. Soaking will make your suman fluffier & softer.

2. COOK RICE. Once that’s done, drain and transfer the rice lớn a pot with coconut milk, granulated sugar và salt. Bring this lớn a boil then lower heat lớn a simmer. Stir often khổng lồ prevent your rice from burning at the bottom. Cook until the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid, about 10 lớn 15 minutes.

3. LET SIT. Remove the pot from heat and let it sit for another 10-15 minutes to lớn allow the rice lớn cool.

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4. PREP BANANA LEAVES. In the meantime, you can get your banana leaves ready.

We usually buy banana leaves frozen so once they are thawed, wash them thoroughly, dry them and cut them into rectangular shapes of equal sizes (I make mine roughly 7×8 inches).

To make them more pliable, heat the leaves over an xuất hiện flame but be careful not khổng lồ burn them.

If you have an electric stove, you can phối your oven to lớn low broil and place 1-2 leaves in the oven at a time for about 30 seconds then bring out.

5. WRAP RICE IN BANANA LEAVES. Put 2-3 heaping tablespoons of rice in each banana leaf và roll tightly. Seal by folding the edges. Tie with a banana leaf “string” to keep the banana leaf in place (scroll below for step-by-step photos).

6. STEAM. Place your suman in a steamer và steam for about an hour to lớn allow the rice lớn fully cook. Remove from steamer & allow to lớn cool và dry slightly before unwrapping.


To make suman, you’ll need:

Granulated sugarSaltBanana leaves (optional, see FAQs)

We can usually find all these ingredients in an Asian supermarket though a lot of our local grocery stores carry them as well now. You can find coconut milk in the Asian aisle và the banana leaves in the frozen section.


A steamer would certainly be useful when making suman (ours look something like this

) but if you don’t have one, there are hacks you can try. Like this one.

In addition lớn a steamer, you just need a pot, something khổng lồ stir the rice with (we prefer a wooden spoon) and kitchen scissors lớn cut the banana leaves with.

How to lớn wrap in banana leaves

Different people wrap suman differently. This is how my grandma does it, this is how my dad does it, so this is how we vị it as well.

flatten banana leaf
place sticky rice
fold one side over the sticky rice
then fold the other
roll the banana leaf up
seal and tie

Frequently asked questions

What does suman taste like?

Suman is very aromatic because of the coconut milk and the banana leaves but they’re generally not very sweet because you’re meant khổng lồ dip them in sugar, latik of coco jam or hot chocolate.

How to lớn make suman without banana leaves

Can’t find banana leaves? No worries.Sometimes my dad wouldn’t bother with them either và just steam the rice in little containers. You’ll miss out on that distinct smokey banana leaf flavour but your suman will still be delicious

How vị you serve suman?

You can serve suman hot, cold or room temperature. You can serve them plain or topped with sugar, pinipig, toasted coconut, coco jam and even ube.My parents & my grandparents lượt thích to fry it khổng lồ make it crunchy outside và chewy inside và it’s really a great way to eat suman that’s close to getting stale. Fried suman is delicious!

Shelf life và storage

Suman is best kept in the fridge because of the coconut milk. It should be good up khổng lồ a week. After that, it starts lớn dry up. Which makes them perfect candidates for frying (see above).

Reheating instructions

To best way lớn reheat suman is to re-steam them until warmed through. You can also just as easily microwave it for a minute.

This recipe is not overly sweet. It’s perfect with mangoes or hot chocolate. You can also dip it in sugar if you like.

However you want lớn enjoy them, suman is delicious! They always make an appearance in special occasions like Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) và New Year’s Eve (Media Noche).

Everybody loves them; hope you bởi too.

Other delicious Filipino recipes

Filipino recipes are simple but so delicious. Give it a try!