You’ve probably heard me say this before, my family loves biko. I usually make it plain. But, there are times I’m feeling fancy and would top it with the gooey, thick latik (sweet and thick coconut topping).
I would just add enough brown sugar to the biko (glutinous rice cake) and a pinch of salt as they marry well with the sweet latik. A little bit of patience is needed to wait for this sugar-coconut milk mixture to reach the thickened stage but it’s well worth the extra step.
I used to only buy the usual long-grain glutinous rice but when I tried using the short-grain variety (called sweet glutinous rice), I really loved it! It gave the biko a pleasing chewy texture and even after cooking for a long time, it didn’t turn to mush. You can buy it at most asian stores, especially those that carry Korean and Japanese products. But if you can’t find it, the usual glutinous rice will do.
Biko with Latik Topping
- 2 cups sweet glutinous rice* rinsed well and drained
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 400 ml can coconut milk I used Aroy-D (for biko)
- ¼ cup brown sugar firmly packed
- Pinch of salt
- Banana leaves to line the baking pan ** optional
- 1 400 ml can coconut milk Aroy-D
- 1 cup 250g dark palm sugar, chopped into smaller pieces
- Combine glutinous rice and water in a medium pot (with lid). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook (covered) for 10-12 minutes. Liquid will mostly be absorbed at this point and the rice will be somewhat soft but still not totally done.
- While the rice is cooking, prepare a large pan (preferably nonstick) and add in one can coconut milk, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil on medium heat and add the half-cooked glutinous rice. Using 2 wooden spoons, mix very well and cook until all the coconut mixture is fully absorbed by the rice and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a baking pan ( I used a 9×2 inch cake pan lined with banana leaves)
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- To make Latik Topping: In (another) medium saucepan, combine palm sugar and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and cook until very thick (uncovered) and sauce is reduced to about a cup (or a little less). Pour over the prepared biko.
- Bake*** for 25 minutes or until latik (thick coconut topping) is set and bubbling. Switch to broil (optional) for a couple of minutes if you want a little bit of browning on top. Watch carefully as sugar burns easily. Cool a bit before serving.