Sticky Rice Steamed in Banana Leaves

SOO • mahn

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By Angela Dimayuga and Ligaya Mishan

Published 2021

  • About

In the Philippines, rice is endless in its gifts, a soothing, earthy backdrop to the salt and sour of a meal, and then the sweet stickiness in dessert. (Sometimes I think we can turn rice into anything.) Before colonial times, kakanin, sticky-rice treats, were made as divine offerings, to please and appease the gods. Suman is one of the simplest, requiring little more than glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar, and a wrap of banana leaves. It looks like a gift. But the leaves aren’t just pret