KCC: Suman sa Lihia

This month’s Kulinarya theme is Suman.  Suman is one of Filipino native delicacies; it’s made of sticky rice (also cassava) wrapped in banana or coconut leaves and boiled.  There are  different kinds of suman; the ones I’m familiar with are suman sa lihia, suman sa ibos ( glutinous rice wrapped in young coconut leaves) and suman sa latik – my favorite of all suman – made of cassava, wrapped in banana leaves and it has a latik filling inside..yum!  It’ s very hard to find that kind of suman, I couldn’t find any recipe either or know anyone who knows how  to make it ( I really want to try it , please share if you have a recipe..thanks!).  

 My second fave is suman sa lihia and it’s what I’ve made for Kulinarya Cooking Club this  month.


Lihia (lihiya)  is food grade lye also labeled lye water, it’s colorless and odorless until it’s mixed with glutinous rice, the color of the rice becomes light yellow and it’ll have a slight chemical smell,  I can’t quite describe but it, it’s how lihia smells like.   Lihia is also used in making cuchinta (Kutsinta), it’s what gives color and chewy consistency to both cuchinta and suman sa lihia.

Making suman is relatively easy, except for the wrapping and the clean-up afterwards.  This is actually the second time I suman sa lihia; the first time, I had over-cooked it; when I unwrapped the suman, some parts were browned but it wasn’t dried out, it was still soft and chewy so it was still good and yummy.  The second time around…I did the same thing,  I forgot again that I have something cooking on the stove..arrgh.   But this post is up today so I don’t have time to make suman again and really there’s  no harm done, I’m just fussing because I  am lacking some zzzz’s.. the suman taste really good, taste like suman as I know it. :)


it doesn’t show in the photo but that soaked glutinous rice has light yellow color, like it has a touch of turmeric powder.


tie the suman in pairs using twine or thread and put in a pot…I’m so bad in wrapping and tying ..lol


here’s how your suman will look like if you’ve over-cooked it too haha :D


good thing I have this luscious coconut cream caramel sauce( my kids thought it’s chocolate sauce)  to hide it.. ^.^ 


Suman is just cooked rice without tthe coconut caramel sauce and coconut sprinkles on top…yum!  But you won’t be eating more than two ’cause it’s very heavy on the tummy, I had it for breakfast and I still feel so full at lunchtime :P

SUMAN sa LIHIA (Lihiya)
adapted from Sarap Pinoy cookbook

2 1/2 cups gluitinous rice ( malagkit rice)
2 teaspoons lihiya ( lye water)

Coconut Cream Caramel Sauce:

2 cups coconut cream (kakang gata)
2 cups muscovado sugar

Coconut Sprinkle (Budbod)
2 cups dessicated coconut or sapal ( the grated coconut that the coconut milk was extracted from)
1 cup sugar

Here’s how
Wash glutinous rice three times then soak in water for 20 minutes. Drain and add the lye water. Cut banana leaves in rectangles ( about 8″x 6″).  Pass it over medium-high flame to wilt it and make it pliable otherwise it will tear. 

Put about 3 tablespoons of soaked rice on a piece of banana leaf; fold sides to make a packet, set aside. Repeat the process until all the rice is wrapped. Tie the suman in pairs- the folded sides should face each other.

Arrange suman in a pot lined with banana leaves; put something heavy on top ( I used a ceramic dish) to prevent the suman from floating. Fill the pot with water until the suman is submerged. Bring to a boil over high heat; then lower heat to simmer and let cook for 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile make the coconut cream caramel sauce. I didn’t make the sauce that comes with the recipe instead I made coconut caramelsauce: combine coconut cream and muscovado sugar in a saucepan, stir to dissolve the sugar then cook over medium heat until it thickens slightly. The consistency should still be pour-able.

For the coconut sprinkles or budbod: Combine sapal por dessicated coconut and sugar in a shallow pan or skillet. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the coconut browns.

Thanks to Divine and Sheryl for choosing this month’s theme. My family and I enjoyed the homemade suman. Please visit other KCC members for more of this Filipino kakanin.. If you’re interested to join us, simply leave a comment below or on any of the members’ blogs. :)

As always, thanks for the visit..have a nice day!! :) ♥

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