Suman Malagkit (Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes)

December 21, 2021

Dessert

By: Jasmine Briones 

Learn how to make suman malagkit (also known as budbud), one of the most popular kakanin in the Philippines! It is a sticky rice cake made of steamed, sweetened glutinous rice wrapped with either buri palm leaves or banana leaves. They’re perfect for a snack, dessert, or even breakfast! 

close up of suman malagkit on banana leaf

Shoutout to my auntie peachy for sharing her recipe with me! It’s perfect, and I can’t wait for you to try it.

ingredients for suman

Ingredients for Suman

  • Coconut Milk: The liquid used to cook down the glutinous rice. It is an essential ingredient in suman and should not be skipped.
  • Granulated Sugar: Used to sweeten up the rice. Some variations of suman leave out the sugar, but I like mine sweet. Feel free to adjust it based on your preference.
  • Salt: Enhance the flavors and balances out the sweetness.
  • Glutinous Rice: Also known as Malagkit, sticky rice or sweet rice. It is the main ingredient for this recipe.
  • Banana leaves: This is also used to tie the suman shut. Kitchen twine will also work! Although I have not tried it myself, I learned that you could also make suman in parchment paper if banana leaves are unavailable, although the flavor will change. 
  • Fresh Ginger: Optional but recommended! 

Equipment

  • Large Wok or Large Pot (preferably non-stick)
  • Clean flat surface (for stuffing leaves)
  • Shallow Steamer Pot
  • Scissors, to cut banana leaves
  • Clean towel, to clean banana leaves
suman in steamer

How to Make Suman Malagkit

  1. Measure the rice you will need and rinse it 3-4 times or until the water runs clear. Place it into a large bowl, cover with fresh water and soak overnight.
  2. Add in the coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a deep skillet or wok over medium heat. Mix until the sugar dissolves. 
  3. Drain the excess water from the rice and add it to the wok with the ginger.
  4. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, stir until it becomes thick, like oatmeal or porridge. Remove from heat and discard the ginger. Set aside for now.
  5. Wash banana leaves and then pat gently with a towel. If they are frozen, run them under warm water until thawed. 
  6. Cut the banana leaves into 12×10 inch pieces. Heat both sides of the banana leaves over low heat on the stovetop and then set aside.
  7. Scoop 1/3 cup of the rice mixture into the prepared banana leaves and spread it out into a smooth shape about 5-inches long, about 1 inch away from the bottom. Roll the banana leaf over the mound of rice, then fold in the sides. Continue until you have rolled all of the suman.
  8. Rip strings from the extra banana leaves and tie the suman shut. You can tie them individually or in pairs. Kitchen twine works here as well.
  9. Place into a shallow steamer pot and add enough water to where it’s touching the suman. 
  10. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and steam for 1 hour, adding more water as needed.
  11. Prepare the caramel sauce. Combine all ingredients except for the vanilla in a small pot over medium heat and whisk together until smooth. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until thick caramel forms, regularly mixing for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  12. Once the suman is done, remove it from the steamer and allow it to cool until easy to handle.
  13. Unwrap the suman and serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Enjoy!
close up of cut suman malagkit on banana leaf

How To Serve Suman Malagkit

There are many different varieties of suman, with almost every town or locality having its specialty, and you can enjoy it on its own or with a sprinkle of sugar, grated coconut, or latik, and is the perfect snack or dessert. It’s also great with ripe mango if you have any!

We learned that latik is different based on where you are in the Philippines. I grew up knowing it as coconut curds, but it is the coconut caramel sauce we shared in the Visayan region in this post. The more you know! 

Other Vegan Filipino Recipes You Might Like

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close up of suman malagkit on banana leaf

Suman Malagkit (Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes)


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 suman
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Learn how to make suman malagkit, a sticky rice cake from the Philippines made of steamed, sweetened glutinous rice wrapped with banana leaves. It’s perfect for a snack, dessert, or even breakfast! 


Ingredients

Suman

  • 2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sweet rice
  • Fresh or frozen banana leaves ( you’ll need 10 12×10 inch pieces plus extra for tying)
  • Optional: 2 inches fresh ginger, sliced into 2-3 large chunks

Coconut Caramel Sauce (Optional)

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup brown or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Equipment

  • Large wok or pot (preferably non-stick)
  • Clean flat surface (for stuffing leaves)
  • Shallow steamer pot
  • Scissors, to cut banana leaves
  • Clean towel, to clean banana leaves

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice 3-4 times or until the water runs clear. Place it into a large bowl, cover with fresh water and soak overnight.
  2. Add in the coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a deep skillet or wok over medium heat. Mix until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Drain the excess water from the rice and add it to the wok with the ginger.
  4. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, stir until it becomes thick, like oatmeal or porridge. Remove from heat and discard the ginger. Set aside for now.
  5. Wash banana leaves and then pat gently with a towel. If they are frozen, run them under warm water until thawed.
  6. Cut the banana leaves into 12×10 inch pieces. Heat both sides of the banana leaves over low heat on the stovetop and then set aside.
  7. Scoop 1/3 cup of the rice mixture into the prepared banana leaves and spread it out into a smooth shape about 5-inches long, about 1 inch away from the bottom. Roll the banana leaf over the mound of rice, then fold in the sides. Continue until you have rolled all of the suman.
  8. Rip strings from the extra banana leaves and tie the suman shut. You can tie them individually or in pairs. Kitchen twine works here as well.
  9. Place into a shallow steamer pot and add enough water to where it’s touching the suman.
  10. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and steam for 1 hour, adding more water as needed.
  11. Prepare the caramel sauce. Combine all ingredients except for the vanilla in a small pot over medium heat and whisk together until smooth. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until thick caramel forms, regularly mixing for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  12. Once the suman is done, remove it from the steamer and allow it to cool until easy to handle.
  13. Unwrap the suman and serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

  • My family steams our suman but I have also seen other versions that boil it as well. You can check out this post for more info.
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Filiipino

Keywords: filipino, rice, dessert, sweet, rice cake, snack, steamed

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