Friday, July 2, 2010

Ginataang Bilo-Bilo

Photo from this site.

This is a dish I remember from childhood. I remember kneading the galapong into small balls in the palm of my hands and arranging them one by one on a plate, then plunging these into a simmering pot of coconut milk. We’ll put in some sugar and a pinch of salt to bring out the sweetness. The hot sweet soup is nice to combat the dreariness of a rainy afternoon. Just watch out for those bilo-bilo as they turn real sticky when cooked. I love its gooeyness so I make larger than normal balls. To be on the safe side, and avoid embarrassing situations make balls just the size of tapioca balls in your pearl shakes.

One more thing, this dish is very versatile. You can make it just with bilo-bilo and tapioca balls, or you can add more fruit and root crops into it. Usually, a mix of sliced cassava, sweet potato, ube, plantain (saba) and some jackfruit is considered a fully-loaded ginataan, this becomes Ginataang Halo-Halo. If you are more adventurous, you can experiment with more fruits.

The cassava and sweet potato help thicken the soup. The jackfruit will add a different flavor and a nice aroma, while the tapioca balls further adds texture to the snack. Just be careful not to use overripe plaintain as this will add unnecessary sourness to the dish.

What to do?

Get pre-mixed galapong from the market or buy rice flour from the supermarket and mix it yourself.

Get a pinch off of galapong, about the size of regular marbles, and roll it in your palm until it becomes a smooth circle. Make as much as you would like to. A 1/2 kilo of galapong should be enough to serve 4-6 persons.

Photo from this site.

Bring your coconut milk soup base to a boil. You can boil 8 cups of water first before adding the kakang gata (first press/thick coconut cream) or you can go straight to boiling a watery coconut milk.

When already boiling, drop the bilo-bilo. These will drop to the bottom but will resurface when cooked.

Add sugar to taste (and a pinch of salt!)

Try This!

When cooked, mix some pre-cooked tapioca balls in various color for added texture and a splash of color. A P5-worth of pre-cooked tapioca balls available in the market should be enough.

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