Learn how to make this easy Suman sa Lihiya, a Filipino sticky rice delicacy. Suman sa Lihiya is made from glutinous rice with lye water, wrap tightly in banana leaves and boiled in water. It is often served with coconut caramel syrup or grated coconut and brown sugar or latik.
You will be amaze, there are different variations in cooking this delicacy and the way it is wrap. Again, things can be done a different way even with cooking. As long as it taste authentic and delicious, that’s all I care about.
Suman sa Lihaya is easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. Although it is easy, it takes time to soak the glutinous rice in water and cooking it.
My mom has dementia and every now and then, I give her an activity to get her mind going. I make her go thru her recipes and select which one I should make and post next. She suggested this suman that she got from my aunt, who is a nutritionist. I hope my aunt doesn’t mind that I shared her recipe to the whole world. This Suman sa Lihiya recipe is easy and taste authentic. I wonder if my mom even remembers what this is!
To all the “Naysayers”, please try it first!
If you crave this delicacy, don’t slave yourself in the kitchen. You’ll appreciate how easy it is to make.
Tips in Making this Easy Suman sa Lihiya
- Soak glutinous rice in water and lye overnight in your rice cooker covered with lid. Add just enough water to cover the rice and leave it in room temperature.
I haven’t tried soaking it for only a few hours since it is more convenient for me to do it overnight.
The following morning, add 1 cup of water to the mixture and turn on your rice cooker. When done, start wrapping in banana leaves.
- While rice is cooking, prepare banana leaves.
Fresh banana leaves are not available in my area so I am using frozen banana leaves. Thaw the leaves and once it thaws, the leaves are a bit wilted already. No need to run the leaves over the stove. Cut the leaves, wash and dry with paper towel. Frozen banana leaves sold in the US are packed in half and the midrib has been removed already. Don’t remove the hard part on one side of the leaf since it will help keep the leaf intact and not easily tear. I use 2 leaves to wrap one suman. A bigger and smaller leaf to ensure water doesn’t get inside.
If using fresh leaves, remove the midrib, cut the leaves, wash, dry and run it over the stove until slightly wilted.
- Prepare twine and wrap suman tightly. I use a long twine so it is easy to wrap it around suman 2x and tie.
- Boil for an hour and drain water ASAP. Place suman standing up on a colander to drain well.
I experimented and tasted one after ½ an hour to see if I can cut the cooking time since it was already cooked in the rice cooker. It taste good but I prefer the texture when boiled for an hour. The consistency and texture is much stickier.
- When storing suman in fridge, place it in a sealed container or wrap each one individually with saran wrap so it doesn’t dry out.
- That’s it. Top it with coconut caramel sauce or grated coconut and brown sugar or latik. Enjoy!
Suman sa Lihiya Video and Recipe
- 5 cups glutinous rice malagkit
- 3 tablespoons lye water
- banana leaves (bigger leaf 11 in x 11 ½ in and smaller 7 in x 11 ½ in)
- kitchen twine
This recipe yields 18 suman. The size is 6 inches long by 2 ½ inches wide. You may cut the recipe in half.
- Place glutinous rice in rice cooker. Wash it once. Add water just enough to cover rice, then add lye water. Mix well. Cover with lid and leave at room temperature overnight.
- The next morning, add 1 cup of water to the mixture and turn on rice cooker.
Prepare banana leaves. Use 1 big leaf and a smaller leaf. Approximately, the size of the bigger leaf is 11 in x 11 ½ in and the smaller leaf is 7 x 11 ½. I use 2 leaves since imported frozen leaves might have a tear.
- Place bigger leaf at the bottom and smaller leaf on top of bigger leaf.
- Add about 4 to 5 tablespoons of cooked glutinous rice, 2 inches away from the edge of the small leaf. Fold the edge to cover rice and roll. Then, roll it again with the bigger leaf and fold the sides. Set aside. Make another one. Sandwich the 2 suman with the folded sides inwards. Tie with kitchen twine on both sides. Use a longer twine so you can wrap it around twice and easy to tie. If this is not clear, please watch my video.
- In a big pot, arrange all the suman. Submerge it in water and place something heavy on top of suman so it doesn’t float.
- Boil for 1 hour. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium.
Take a colander and remove suman from water. Put suman (rice cake) standing up so water can drain fully.
- I made only 1/3 of this recipe and it came out to 6 suman. The size is 6 inches long and 2 ½ inches wide.
- Please read the tips above before making this suman.