Mama's Biko

When I think of Biko I remember Mama's love,
when I eat Biko I can feel Mama's love,
and when I close my eyes savoring the taste
I swear I can feel my mama hugging me.

When my mama made Biko it was usually for a special occasion. Most of the time it for a get together with the relatives and good times for me just hanging out with the cousins.

I could remember my mama's Biko right after it was baked and the aroma that would fill the kitchen was overwhelming with wholesome goodness. Just thinking about the scent of biko creates memories in my mind of mama giving me a hug. It seemed like all the extra special care that my mom put into making her Biko was out of total affection for me. That's why every time I think of Biko it triggers memories of unconditional love that only a mama can give. I miss my mama sometimes especially when I'm at a family gathering and I see and eat the biko that someone else made.

Biko (“bee-koh”) is a Filipino dessert made of sticky rice, coconut milk, and sugar, sometimes with coconut-milk-and-sugar cooked down and caramelized then poured on top. My mama didn't use the topping, she just made it plain which was okay by me.

With the introduction of cultivating rice from the Chinese and the abundance of coconuts available, sooner or later a rice-coconut dessert would be created. It's so simple to make and popular in the Philippines yet no one knows exactly where biko originated from. Regardless of that this dessert holds a special place in my heart with memories of my Mama.
Table of Contents

The Best Recipe

Credit: Erwin Balza's Mom's Recipe


3 Cups Sweet Rice
1 Can Coconut milk
1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
½ Jar Coconut Jam
1 Cup light Brown Sugar


Prepare Syrup:

Heat 1 can of Coconut milk, with 1 cup dark brown sugar and ½ jar coconut jam, low heat until all dissolves and thickens. (Will only use about half so put away in jar in refrigerator for later use)

Cook sweet rice in rice cooker.  When done, mix in 1 cup of light brown sugar until dissolved.

Place in aluminum or Pyrex (tempered glass) baking tray (9 x 9) or (8 x 8).  Press firmly into tray.  Pour syrup mix on top.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until whole top layer begins to bubble.

Then broil medium for 10 minutes or broil high for 5 minutes.  Again, wait until the top layer bubbles and darkens.

This will darken the top layer, and the edges will crust up.  Make sure to keep a close watch during the broiling process.  My first few batches, I left too long and burnt the top.  And as tempting as it may be, don't cut it until it cools down...