RECIPE: Ginataan

Ginataang Bilubilo

Ginataan is a stew of ingredients cooked in coconut milk, which we call gata.

The savory kind of ginataan can have shrimp as a main ingredient. A popular version is sweet with fruits like jackfruit, balls of glutinous rice flour called bilubilo, and root crops like purple yam.

In recent years, Philippine milk brands like Alaska and Angel have also promoted the addition of evaporated milk to make the concoction even sweeter.

The following ginataan recipe is for a more traditional kind of ginataang bilubilo, which should be good for serving eight people.


1 cup glutinous-rice flour (mochiko can be used)
1/3 cup  water
3 cups gata (coconut milk)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup shredded langka (jackfruit), preferably sweet preserves
1 medium kamote (sweet potato), cubed, into one-inch pieces
2 small gabi (taro root), cubed into half-inch pieces
4 ripe saba (cooking bananas), peeled and sliced crosswise or diagonally


1. Combine the rice flour with 1/3 cup water. Add little amounts of water until you get a  soft dough.
2. Form the dough into small balls of about half an inch in diameter. Roll the pieces between the palms of your hands. Set aside. These are the bilu-bilo.

3. In a deep pan, bring to a boil the coconut milk and sugar. Reduce heat to medium.
4. Add the flour balls (made in step 2), jackfruit, sweet potato, taro root and bananas.
5. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the fruit and root crops are cooked. Stir frequently.

6. Ladle out servings into individual bowls. Serve warm.

*mochiko – Japanese flour made from glutinous or sticky rice