Saturday, April 23, 2011

banana wrapped sticky rice flour (binallay)

I took a week off from blogging because it's Holy Week... not that my religion does not allow me to do anything on the bloggosphere, but it was just my way to commemorate the week.

Holy week in the Philippines is a week long religious holiday.  Businesses are closed and life slows down.  It's also a time when people flock to their home provinces to observe the solemnity of Holy Week.

I would love to spend Holy Week again in my hometown.  I remember activities during the week were centered around the church; a time to reflect on the sufferings of Christ.  It was also an excuse to bump into people you haven't seen in awhile... And also a time to eat binallay (banana wrapped sticky rice flour cake very similar to the Tagalogs suman), which is topped with a caramelized coconut reduction (latik).

I don't know how the name came about but this is what we Ybanags enjoy, a snack similar to hot cross buns traditionally eaten on Good Friday (in Europe)... And courtesy of my Mama's recipe, I'm here trying to recapture a traditional food eaten during this time of the year.  Happy Easter to all!



2 cups Glutinouos rice flour
banana leaves


In a mixing bowl pour the flour.
Add water little at a time to form a thick mass.
Knead to form a ball.
Divide the "malagkit" or dough into small balls. (ping-pong size balls)
Roll to an oval shape and flatten between the palms of your hands.
Spread butter on banana leaves. Wrap each piece of binallay with banana leaves and place in a steamer.
Steam for about 20 minutes or until cooked.

1 can of coconut milk
1  c brown sugar

Latik is the residue formed from the reduction of coconut milk.  Just pour the whole can of coconut milk in a thick saucepan.  Bring it to boil and continue to stir until most of the liquid has evaporated.  The milk will begin to change its color to slight brown and begin to solidify.  At this point add the brown sugar.  Continue to stir until the sugar caramelizes.  Once it has caramelized, add a little water and let it simmer to form a thick sauce.

This is best enjoyed if paired with slices of mango.

STM tip:  I prefer to use Chaukoh Coconut milk, it's been tried and tested to make a good latik.

Lisa of Sweet as Sugar Cookies blog invited me to join her sweet treat party. Thank you Lisa and folks, go check out the other treats... just click below.


  1. Happy Easter to you Malou! I'm intrigued by this recipe, thanks so much for sharing!!

  2. Makes me wish I live closer to you Malou. Would love to have binallay too. Can you ship me some?

  3. Happy Easter to you and yours, Malou :) I have only spent one Holy Week in the Philippines - once as a child - but it was an unforgettable experience. My mom always missed the solemnity of the week, living here. My mouth is watering at this binallay!

  4. Happy Easter Malou! I hope you are having nice Easter weekend, although it's not a week-long holiday here. Hmm I would love to eat sticky rice flour. This looks so delicious. When you miss home, the best thing to do is home country's food...very comforting. :-) Have a good Sunday!

  5. happy easter malou!! it's not commonly celebrated at where I am...but you're making me feel the spirit of it! And your binallay looks really delicious :)

  6. It looks delicious, sounds sweet.....
    Thanks for sharing~!

  7. Happy Easter, Malou! I don't think I've ever had binallay but I've been partial to banana desserts for the last couple of months. This is one variation to add to my list to try. I love latik!

  8. Indeed like suman but the rice is ground rice. We just dip suman in sugar. I like your latik sauce. And of course the mangoes.

  9. Happy Easter to you and yours, Malou!
    I think we have something similar, but with candied peanut instead of latik. yours looks yum!

  10. Happyu Easter, Malou. I love seeing the different traditions around the globe. This looks enticing - love it with the sweet mango.

  11. What a beautiful dessert. It sounds absolutely yummy. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your treat up.

  12. Happy Easter sweet Malou this dessert looks yummy

  13. I like the idea of a reflective holy week. Hope your Easter was happy. Your recipe looks lovely!

  14. Hope you had a wonderful holiday...this sounds and looks wonderful :)

  15. happy belated easter Malou!

    i have had binallay before at a chinese restaurant though they were calling it something else (can't remember what...). it was very tasty and i really liked it. now, i can make it at home too... thanks for sharing :)

  16. Wow, that sounds easy enough to make, Malou!! I had to make sure I did not miss a thing, at first I thought the mass had a banana inside! I suppose I can find banana leaves at Seafood City? Thank you for this wonderful recipe!! :)

  17. Thanks for the wonderful post. I love how you presented your binallay Malou. It lifted binallay from something pedestrian/homey to Michelling star Filipino food.

    As an ybanag, I grew up eating binallay every lent (and missing every bit of it). True enough, we actually had binallay with laro and ripe Philippine mango as hot summer lenten treats .. just how you have it your photo.


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