Saturday, January 16, 2010

Suman Sa Gata ( Sticky Coconut Rice )

Suman is a Filipino steamed cake wrapped in banana leaves or coconut leaves. It can be made from sticky rice, grain or root. The variations of this rice pastry depends on each region in the Philippines. Suman is considered one of the oldest and most popular Filipino snacks or dessert.It became a traditional Noche Buena meal and holidays or parties especialty. This recipe is adapted from the The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, with a little bit of adjustment with the ratio.

Ingredients :
  • 3 cups sweet rice ( available on Asian store abroad )
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh or frozen (thawed ) banana leaves
Cooking Instructions :
  1. Rinse the sweet rice 2-3 times. Drain.
  2. Using a 14- inch wok or 4 - quart heavy bottomed pot, combine all the ingredients except the banana leaves.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring constantly especially during the last 15 minutes of cooking. You don’t want rice to stick to the bottom of the pan and scorch. Reduce heat if rice mixture starts to burn at any point.
  4. After about 20 minutes, expect the oil from the coconut milk to separate from rice mixture and coat wok with a thin film. The rice mixture will pull away easily from the sides of the pan. When done, rice mixture is shiny, almost dry and very sticky, like risotto. Let cool in the wok.
  5. Wipe away any white residue on leaves with a damp cloth. Remove spine and trim to 4- by 7-inch rectangles with the longer edge going along the grain.

6. Place a banana leaf rectangle on a dry work surface with the smooth, matt side up (the shiny side has faint ridges) and longer edge parallel to your body. Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons of rice mixture in the middle of the leaf. Mold rice into a mound about 4- by 1 1/2-inches.

Take the leaf edge closest to you and fold it over rice. Using both sets of fingers, tuck leaf edge under the rice and roll to enclose filling completely. Roll as tightly as possible into a compact cylinder. With the seam-side down, smooth your fingers across the cylinder to gently flatten and fold both ends under to form a snug packet. Place seam-side down directly in a steamer basket. Repeat until rice mixture is finished, layering packets neatly in a single layer and one on top of the other if necessary.

7. Fill steamer (bamboo steamer)  bottom with a generous amount of water, about 2 to 3 inches, and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high. Place basket with rice rolls above. Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour. You should see steam escaping from underneath the lid.

8. Let it cool. Unwrapped the banana leaves and Enjoy! *********


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