Biko is a Filipino sweet rice dessert that is traditionally vegan. It sometimes uses jackfruit in the filling, topped with either caramel sugar or with latik (coconut milk crumbles). In my case I also used jackfruit as the topping which added a vibrant contrast to the dish.
Instead of cooking Biko with the usual white sticky rice, I used the purple rice that Eighth Wonder has sent me to sample, it is called “Ifugao Diket” (I wonder if “diket” literally means what it is in Tagalog, “to stick” or “sticky”). Seems obvious but I don’t want to assume.
- There are different ways to cook the rice. Some uses a rice cooker then later mix the cooked rice to the other mixture, others cook the rice in coconut milk directly in a pot. I did the latter.
- Biko initially will have a creamy consistency, let it cool down to get a firm texture.
- It’s best to use Muscovado sugar which is usually available at Filipino stores as well as health stores like Whole Foods. If you can’t find one, you may also use dark brown sugar.
- If you opt to use latik as the topping, here’s how to make it: Over medium heat, simmer about 2 cups of pure coconut milk. Simmer and mix occasionally until the milk solidifies into crumbles. Turn off the heat and serve latik on top of Biko.
- 3 cups sweet sticky rice
- 6 cups coconut milk
- 1 can jackfruit, shredded
- 1 1/2 cup Muscovado sugar (or 2 cups dark brown sugar)
- pinch of salt
- latik, or caramel sugar as garnish (optional)
- Heat the coconut milk in a medium pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and mix well. Add a pinch of salt. Lower down the heat.
- Stir frequently to make sure the rice on the bottom will not burn. Do this for about 20 minutes or until the coconut milk is fully absorbed and the rice is soft.
- Add the sugar and jackfruit. Mix well. Let it cook over low heat for about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Transfer to a pan. Flatten the top surface and top with either caramel, latik, or jackfruit. Let it cool for about 2-3 hours. Serve as dessert or merienda (mid-afternoon snack).
THE VERDICT ON IFUGAO DIKET:
Ifugao Diket’s dark purple rice didn’t only give out a rich color, it also gave a wonderful texture. It wasn’t as mushy as its white rice counterpart. As expected, the purple rice tasted like it had less sugar content, which is good news to those watching their sugar intake. A healthier option than white rice, but tastier option than brown.
To learn more about Ifugao Diket or other rice from Eighth Wonder, visit their site at www.heirloomrice.com