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Sticky rice balls in coconut milk (filipino “Ginatan Bilo Bilo”)

As you may know, we have points of contact with a wide variety of cultures. One reason for this is of course our families, but also friends. At home, it’s always a highlight when mom wakes up childhood memories with her dishes. Of course not everything from the past is vegan, but some things are super easy to “translate” into vegan.

We would like to introduce you to a really sweet temptation: Ginatan Bilo Bilo is the name of our sticky rice balls in coconut milk, which are a traditional Filipino dessert. The balls are kneaded together from sticky rice flour and water and then cooked in the hot coconut milk. With us (Madeleine) at home we like small tapioca pearls and corn in the sweet soup. But sweet potatoes and small, firm bananas are also popular in the Philippines.

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Dessert from the Philippines: Sticky rice balls in coconut milk

It is best to cook Ginatan in a larger amount – then it is worth rolling the rice balls – and freeze the rest in portions. When it cools, the rice balls get a little firm in the middle and the coconut milk thickens a bit. But you don’t need to let that irritate you. When heated, the whole thing becomes soft again and the balls turn wonderfully “sticky” again . We therefore recommend eating Ginatan Bilo Bilo slightly warm, but it also tastes amazing creamy and delicious cold.

You should just feel your way with the sweetness. The sense of taste is very different. You can save a few calories by using the low-fat coconut milk, but it only gets really creamy with the regular high-fat coconut milk.

Sticky rice balls in coconut milk

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings: 6 persons
Author: Madeleine


  • 1 plantain (optional)
  • 1 sweet potato, small (optional)
  • 150 ml water (possibly a little more)
  • 200 g sticky rice flour (Asia shop)
  • some oil
  • 1 liter of coconut milk
  • 125 g of sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp tapioca pearls (small)
  • 1 can of corn


  • If you want plantains and / or sweet potatoes, peel them first and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Now prepare the sticky rice balls by kneading sticky rice flour and water together in a small bowl. It is best to add the water gradually.
  • The mass should hold together well and only be slightly moist. If they are very sticky to the hands, use a little more sticky rice flour.
  • Now spread a thin layer of oil on part of the work surface. This is where the rolled rice balls are placed before they go into the pot. Without the oil, they would stick.
  • Roll the sticky rice dough into small balls and place on the greased surface.
  • Put coconut milk and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir more often.
  • After simmering for about 10 minutes, the tapioca pearls can be added.
  • If sweet potatoes and / or plantains are desired, add these now as well.
  • Continue cooking on medium heat and keep stirring occasionally so that nothing burns.
  • The coconut milk with the sugar should simmer slightly when the sticky rice balls are carefully added.
  • Continue simmering everything over medium heat until the balls start floating on top. Then you’re done.
  • Now add the drained corn. It only has to be warmed up briefly and it is ready to serve!


The sauce thickens a little when it cools down. When warmed up, it becomes a little more liquid again.
The sticky rice balls also become a little firm in the middle when they cool down. This soft consistency can also be achieved here by heating.
In general, you can enjoy the dish both cold and warm.

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