Ginataang Bilo-bilo is Filipinos old-time favorite merienda or snacks. It is typically made with glutinous rice flour (giniling na malagkit na bigas), small tapioca pearls (sago), sweet potatoes, ube, jackfruit (langka), and coconut milk. I remember eating this with my family on special occasions like birthday or house warming party.
And if you love snacks with coconut milk, I assure you that you will love this dish. Ginataang bilo-bilo is also perfect during rainy days.
This recipe is not hard to master but it does involve a lot of mixing, Enjoy!
You will need:
For the sticky balls or bilo-bilo
- 1 cup glutinous rice flour or giniling na malagkit na bigas
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 tsp ube extract, optional
For the tapioca pearls or sago
- 1 cup tapioca pearls or sago, cooked according to package instructions
- 4 cups of water
For the bilo-bilo
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 cups coconut cream
- 1 small sweet potato (kamote), peeled and diced
- 1 small taro root (gabi), peeled and diced
- 1 small cassava (kamoteng kahoy), peeled and diced
- 1 cup ube or purple yam (ube), peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup jackfruit or langka
- 1/2 cup of plantains (saging na saba), peeled and diced
Prepare the sticky balls or bilo-bilo
- In a bowl, add glutinous rice flour and water. Mix until it forms a dough. Scoop about a teaspoon of the dough (like the size of a penny) and form them into balls using your palm. Place them on a plate, cover with a damp towel, and set aside.
- If you want to make ube sticky balls, then divide the dough between two bowls. Add the ube extract in one bowl, and leave the other dough plain. Gently knead the ube dough until the color is uniformed. Set them aside and cover with a damp towel.
Prepare the tapioca pearls
- In a small saucepan, boil water over medium-high heat. Once boiling, add the tapioca pearls or sago while stirring to keep the sago from sticking to each other. Switch to medium-low heat and simmer the sago for about 12 to 15 minutes or until they are almost translucent. Note: Don’t boil sago at a rapid boil, it will break them apart and makes the tapioca pearls too mushy.
- Once they are cooked, drain, rinse under cold water and transfer into a bowl.
Prepare the bilo-bilo
- In a large pot, combine water, sugar, and coconut cream, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to simmer, then add the sweet potato, ube, cassava, and taro, then cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Now, add the plantains, and gently drop the small pieces of sticky balls or bilo-bilo in the simmering liquid. Keep stirring the pot to make sure it doesn’t stick together. Cook them until bilo-bilo starts to float on the surface and are tender to the bite. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Once all the sweet potatoes, ube, taro, and banana are almost cooked, add the cooked tapioca pearls and jackfruit. Let simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes or until all fruits are tender and cooked.
- Serve warm or cold.
- Please adjust the sweetness by using more or less sugar.
- Don’t boil sago at a rapid boil, it will break them apart and makes the tapioca pearls too mushy.
- While cooking, you may need to add more water if it is getting too thick.
- The ginataang bilo-bilo will thicken as it cools.