Filipino Native Food · Kakanin


Suman sa Lihiya with Latik

Suman sa Lihiya or Rice cake with lye water is an all time favorite snack of any Filipino. The lye water gives the rice a sticky elastic texture when cooked. It is wrapped in wilted banana leaves which gives it an aromatic flavor when cooked in boiling water. Suman sa Lihiya won’t be complete without Latik sauce, the sweet thickened sauce from coconut milk. So so yummy! Please note that the darker color or hue of the latik sauce is achieve from using muscovado sugar or just use brown or white sugar.



  • 3 cups glutinous rice(malagkit)
  • 1 tablespoon lye water* (or use substitute)
  • 4×5 inch banana leaves, cleaned and cut into smaller size
  • 8×11 inch banana leaves, cleaned and cut into bigger sized
  • strings or any food-safe string
  • brown sugar or latik for dipping
  • Latik Sauce:
  • 2 cups muscovado sugar (or brown sugar) 
  • 2 cups coconut milk (kakang gata)
  • or 1 can coconut milk (400ml)

*Where to buy Lye Water or Lye Water?
For locals: You can order it in Lazada if you cant find it in the nearest palengke/market. Or make your own substitute for Lye Water at home. 


  1. Add glutinous rice in a large bowl and pour in water to soak for at least 3 hours. Cover and set it aside.
  2. After 3 hours, drain water then pour lye water. Stir it well until color turns to yellowish.
  3. Wilt the banana leaves into low fire for a few seconds to soften the leaves but prevent it from burning. Let it cool then wipe with clean cloth.
  4. Place the bigger leaf (topside down) on a flat surface then arrange the smaller leaf (topside up) in the center of bigger size leaf. You can choose what shape you prefer, square style or traditional rectangular size.
  5. Add 3 tablespoons of rice mixture on smaller leaf, fold the leaf to wrap the rice mixture.
  6. Place 2 pieces of wrapped rice mixture on top of each one then tie with folded sides together using strings.
  7. In a large pot, arrange the wrapped rice mixture then pour enough water to soak the wrapped rice mixture.
  8. Let it boil over medium, and adjust it to low heat for at least 1 1/2 hours or until done.
  9. Unwrap then transfer to serving plate. Serve with latik. Enjoy!
  10. To make Latik Sauce: In a saucepan pour in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Let it simmer over low heat. Add-in brown sugar and stir continuously, until sugar is well dissolved and sauce thickens. Add more sugar if needed. Turn off heat.

Suman sa Lihiya in Baliuag, Bulacan:

Suman sa Lihiya ng Bulacan

Use the same recipe for Suman above, wrapped it cones and tie it with strings.

Photo illustrations are for bulk cooking. Please note that the recipe provided here is only good for personal consumption. You may multiply the recipe indicated if you need to cook for business purposes. 


• 2 cups coconut milk/cream (unang piga)
• 2 cups coconut milk (Pangalawang piga)
• 1 cup brown sugar
• Water (To adjust thickness)
• Pinch of salt
cooked latik, (cook this separately)

1. Mix coconut milk (pangalawang piga) and brown sugar.
2. Simmer and let the sugar melt.
3. Add a pinch of salt.
4. Continue to simmer over low heat.
5. Add the coconut cream and let it simmer until the sauce becomes slightly thick in consistency. This may take about 30 minutes or more and keep stirring the mixture.
6. Once sauce is thicker, add cooked latik pieces on top and remove from heat.
7. Pour on top of suman sa lihiya and enjoy!