Saturday, March 28, 2015

Suman sa Lihiya

I grew up in Cavite, my mother's home town and one of the Filipino delicacy that I remember being prepared during All Saints Day or "undas" is suman sa lihiya. The town people are busy preparing suman sa lihiya day before the much awaited holiday. It takes a lot of hours to prepare the suman but it is worth it.

When I was 6 years old we moved to the big city but we still visits our grandmother every undas and summer vacation. Every time we go back home we have a bag full of suman given by my mothers relatives. My mother serves it with sweetened coconut milk syrup. I used to watch my mother preparing the suman and the sauce. I even helped to wrap and tie. Sometimes I got to do the scorching of the banana leaves prior to wrapping.

So here it is my first try and my eldest son loves it with coconut milk sauce.


  • 3 cups glutinous rice (malagkit na bigas)
  • 2 tablespoons lye
  • banana leaves
  • thin cotton strings

Procedure: Banana Leaves Preparation
  1. Prepare the banana leaves by scorching on a hot burner or open flame until it changed color. Scorching makes the leaves more flexible. 
  2. Wipe the leaves with clean clothe. Cut off the central ribs. 
  3. Cut banana leaves into two sizes, the bigger leaf should measure approximately 12 x 10 inches while the smaller is 5 x 5-inches.

Rice preparation:

1. Soak the glutinous rice for about 1-2 hours.
2. Drain and stir in lye water. Mix well until the glutinous rice turned yellowish, if not add more lye water a little at a time until it turns yellowish.

3. Put the big sized leaf on a working surface, then put the smaller one on top of it.

4. Place about 3 tablespoons of the glutinous rice mixture on the smaller piece of leaf. Wrap three tablespoons of the malagkit mixture in two layers of banana leaf.

5. Bring them together two long sides of the bigger piece. Fold together to enclose the rice.
6. Fold two long ends together towards the center. You should have wrapped sweet rice about 4 x 2-inches in size.
7. Make another one of roughly the same size.

8. Pair these two with the folded sides together.
9. Tie the two ends tightly using cotton strings.

10. When done, arrange in a big pot and add enough water to cover the suman.
11. Bring to a boil boil. Simmer for 1 1/2 minutes.

12. Serve warm or cold with grated coconut and sugar or sweet coconut sauce.


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