Suman with coconut caramel sauce

Another favorite treat from my childhood—suman!

Suman is one of the traditional Filipino snacks. It is made of sweet glutinous rice, called malagkit, cooked with coconut milk, sugar and salt, then wrapped in banana leaves prior to further boiling in a water bath, or steaming in bamboo steamers. It is usually served with either (or both) ripe mangoes or sugar on the sides. In this recipe though, which is adapted from Lalaine of Kawaling Pinoy, it is served drizzled with coconut caramel sauce—a combination just as delicious (and addictive, in my opinion) as the traditional 😋



Suman with coconut caramel sauce

Adapted from Kawaling Pinoy


Makes about 24 pieces

750 g (3 cups) glutinous, a.k.a. malagkit, rice

400 ml coconut milk

200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

24 banana leaves, trimmed to 20 cm x 20 cm squares

  • Soak the rice in cold water (just enough to keep the grains submerged about 2 cm) for at least one hour. Drain well.
  • While waiting for the rice to finish soaking, trim the banana leaves into 20 cm x 20 cm squares. Pass the sheets over low heat on the stove to make them pliable, in case they are a bit stiff.
  • When the rice has finished soaking, combine the coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a large pot/pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved and the mixture starts to simmer.
  • Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes or until the rice grains are half-cooked  and most of the liquids had been absorbed. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • Place about 2 tablespoons of the rice mix onto each banana leaf, leaving about 3 cm rice-free on the edges. Roll the leaves tightly around the rice mix, then fold the rice-free edges to seal.
  • Arrange the rolls, folded sides down, in a large pot/pan. Cover with enough water to keep the rolls submerged at about 3 cm depth); place a plate/saucer on top to keep the rolls from floating and moving around.
  • Cook over medium heat for about 45-60 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked (soft). Remove the suman rolls from the water and allow to cool.
  • Serve with ripe mangoes and sugar on the sides, or alternatively, drizzled with coconut caramel sauce (recipe below).


Coconut caramel sauce

400 ml coconut milk

1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 tsp salt

  • Combine the coconut milk, sugar and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved, then let simmer/boil, stirring regularly for 20-25 minutes or until mixture has reduced and thickened.



2 thoughts on “Suman with coconut caramel sauce”

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