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!
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Add in the coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a deep skillet or wok over medium heat. Mix until the sugar dissolves.
- Drain the excess water from the rice and add it to the wok with the ginger.
- 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.
- Wash banana leaves and then pat gently with a towel. If they are frozen, run them under warm water until thawed.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place into a shallow steamer pot and add enough water to where it’s touching the suman.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once the suman is done, remove it from the steamer and allow it to cool until easy to handle.
- Unwrap the suman and serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Enjoy!
- 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