Sticky Rice Balls in Coconut Milk (Bilo Bilo)

Ginataang Bilo Bilo or Sticky Rice Ball in Coconut Milk is a a common Filipino dessert. It is made with a mix of banana, yam, sticky rice balls, and tapioca pearls that has been simmered slowly in coconut milk. It is thick, quite heavy and really filling. This is why more than a dessert, I consider this a snack.

Bilo Bilo

If your not originally from Philippines or other Asian country, you might be wondering big time what on earth is this purple thick dessert. Don’t back off on me, it’s totally edible and even though it looks rather unusual, it actually taste good. Well, at least that’s my personal opinion. If you can find these ingredients, I encourage you to give it a try, it won’t hurt to try something new from time to time. 

Filipino Bilo Bilo

Ok, so what is this purple dessert? We call this “Bilo Bilo” or Sticky Rice Balls in Coconut Milk. It’s made from combination of banana, purple yam, sweet potato, jack fruit, glutinous flour balls that were cooked and simmered in coconut milk. It has a very thick consistency, it has a sweet taste, and very nice coconut flavor. This is one common dessert in the Philippines and my friend told me they also have a similar dessert in Malaysia. Let’s just say it’s more of an Asian kind of dessert. I love having this especially when the weather starts to get cold, it’s more like comfort food to me that reminds me of Philippines. Its quite filling, and it does a good job in keeping me warm and happy. I love having savory soup on cold weather, but I don’t mind have something sweet to keep me warm, for a change. I always welcome variations in my food, and when it comes to option, it’s always good to have more than 1 comfort food.

Small Batch Bilo Bilo

This is not a difficult recipe to follow, this mostly involved just simmering all the ingredients in one pot, but there are few tips I would like to give you to assure a happy ending. 

  1. Cut ingredient in same sizes: This is to allow the ingredients to cook at the same time. 
  2. Medium heat: Coconut milk and Coconut cream are the base sauce of this dessert, so it is very important to cook on medium heat to avoid curdling of the milk.
  3. Stir, Stir, Stir: Coconut milk could get thick easily, and with the glutinous flour we are adding, the sauce will get thick even more. Which means, ingredients could stick to the bottom of the pan if you don’t stir it from time to time. 

3 simple tips to remember, not too bad. Let’s get started! 

Bilo Bilo


  • 3/4 cup Glutinous Rice for the balls (divided: 1/2 for the balls, 1/4 for the thickener)
  • 1/4 cup Glutinous Rice for thickener
  • 3 tablespoon Water (For making balls)
  • 3 tablespoon Water for thickener
  • 1 can (400 ml) Coconut Milk
  • 1 can (400 ml) Coconut Cream (If you cannot find coconut cream, use coconut milk instead)
  • 1 small Purple Yam cut into small pieces
  • 1 small Yellow Yam cut into small pieces
  • 2 small Banana cut into small pieces
  • 4-5 pieces Jack Fruit cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoon Tapioca Pearls


  1. Make Glutinous Balls: In a small bowl, add 1/2 cup glutinous rice. Gradually add 3 tbsp of water then mix, add 1 tbsp at a time to monitor the consistency. Stop when the flour starts to clump and you are able to handle it to form a small ball like a grapes size. If you happen to add too much water the flour will become runny. If this happens, just add more glutinous flour to bring it together. Divide it into 12 pieces and roll it using your palm to form a small ball size like what is shown in the photo.
  2. Bring to Boil: In a large pan, add all ingredients EXCEPT the remaining 1/4 cup of glutinous flour. Bring to a boil in a medium heat until the yam and banana are soft, about 45 minutes. Stir from time to time to avoid curdling of coconut milk. Add glutinous balls and cook for for another 10 – 5 minutes on low heat.
  3. Add the thickener: Add 3 tbsp of water to the remaining 1/4 cup of glutinous flour. Mix until mixture turns sticky and almost solid but still runny. Get about 1/2 cup of liquid from the pan, and pour it to the thickener while continuously stirring. This will avoid it to clump when you pour the thickener back into the pan. Gradually pour the thickener into the pan, while continuously mixing to avoid forming lumps. Cook for another 5 minutes or just until the sauce thickens.

Serve warm or cold. Store leftover in the fridge. Enjoy!

Small Batch Filipino Bilo Bilo

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Enjoy! If you make this, share and tag me in Instagram #SweetNSpicyLiving. I would like to see your creations too.

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