How to Make Suman sa Gata (Rice Cake in Coconut Milk)

suman sa gata final cooking

I woke up earlier than usual because I needed to make suman sa gata (rice cake cooked in coconut milk). I asked my mom and pop to teach me how to cook the native delicacy.

2 kilogram glutenous rice (malagkit na bigas)
6 pieces medium coconut
salt to taste

1) Grate coconut in electric or manual grater.

grating coconut on eletric grater

2) Measure the volume of glutenous rice. The ratio of coconut milk to glutenous rice should be 5 is to 4, 5 cups coconut milk and 4 cups glutenous rice. Heat  5 measures of water up to 40°C.  Mix grated coconut and warm water, mix it thoroughly and squeeze using clean cheesecloth. The amount of coconut milk should suffice the required ratio. Repeat extraction of grated coconut with less amount of warm water to fill the requirement.

hand extracting coconut milk

3) Bring coconut milk to rapid boil, add salt to taste. Add the washed glutenous rice. Stir continuously until the mixture become very sticky. Cover the rice cake, bring the heat to lowest setting and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes. Cool.

mixing of suman sa gata

4) Wrap suman in heated banana leaves.

wrapping suman sa gata

5) Tie suman in 2’s, folded leaves should be facing each other.

tieng suman sa gata

6) Arrange rice cakes in cooking vessel half-filled with water. Boil for 30 minutes.  Drain water. Transfer to a different container and cool.

suman sa gata final cooking

PCA Wants to Prove the Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil

virgin coconut oil label

Philippine Coconut Authority is hiring Researchers to conduct ultimate medical study to prove that virgin coconut oil and coconut cooking oil are good for the health. The notice was posted on Department of Agriculture website last October 13, 2010.

virgin coconut oil label

Nine years ago, the launch of virgin coconut was very successful. It gained a rapid market popularity due to its claimed health benefits. The benefits to human health are countless. VCO can be used for hair care, stress relief, skin care, premature aging, heart diseases, weight loss, digestion, immunity, healing and infections. It is believed to reduced risk of heart attack, cancer, HIV and other degenerative diseases.

However, any claim should be accompanied by scientific evidence to gain credibility. Series of proven studies will increase the demand for our very own virgin coconut oil and cooking oil.

Can virgin coconut oil cure dengue? Authorities should also give emphasis to other natural medicines like tawa tawa/ gatas gatas weed. More and more people are getting the deadly dengue disease. Testimonies of patients cured by tawa tawa are increasing. But still, authorities are discouraging the public not to use this alternative medicine. They should also conduct studies about tawa tawa so they can give the right advice.

How to Make Coconut Water Vinegar

coconut halve

Coconut water is a waste product, which is produced in appreciable quantities in the Philippines, Sri Lanka Thailand and other countries. Its conversion into vinegar therefore presents an attractive option for decreasing wastage and producing a valuable product ( Mr. Mike Battcock and Dr. Sue Azam-Ali).

coconut halve


Coconut water is a good base for vinegar, but its sugar content is too low (only about 1%). Sugar needs to be added to bring the level of sugar up to 15%. After the addition of sugar, the coconut juice is allowed to ferment for about seven days, during which time the sugar is converted to alcohol. An alternative method is to pasteurize the coconut water and sugar mixture and add yeast.

After this initial fermentation, strong vinegar (10% v/v) is added to stimulate the growth of acetic acid bacteria and discourage further yeast fermentation. The acetic acid fermentation takes approximately one month, yielding a vinegar with approximately 6% acetic acid. The fermentation will take less time than this if a generator is used.

After fermentation, the vinegar must be stored in anaerobic conditions to prevent spoilage by the oxidation of acetic acid. (Steinkraus, 1996)

Clarification can be achieved by stirring with a well beaten egg white, heating until the egg white coagulates and filtering (Anon).

Write ups by Mr. Mike Battcock and Dr. Sue Azam-Ali

Measure the following physico-chemical properties and and adjust accordingly to your set standard. Properties should be uniform every batch.
a. sugar content. Sugar concentration can be increased by adding sugar or can be lowered by adding water or pulp.
b. pH. This can be lowered by adding citric acid or can be increased by adding water or pulp.
c. titrable acidity. Adjustment can be made by mixing different concentrations or addition of citric acid.
e. See standard for vinegar here.

How to Make Coconut Honey

Coconut honey is a natural sugar alternative made from coconut sap. It is healthier compared to other sugar substitute. It has low glycemic index (GI)of 35. Having low GI value, it is safer for diabetics. It can be use for coffee, tea, baking and cooking.


1. Get freshly harvested coconut sap. Talk to expert mangangarit near your area. Freshly harvested sap should be processed immediately to avoid unnecessary fermentation. The sap taste should be sweet, not alcoholic and not sour with a Brix reading of at least 12ºBrix using a hand refractometer.

2. Boil the sugar until it reaches 110ºC or become sticky under moderate to very low heat. Don’t take chances, buy a good candy thermometer before commencing operation. Use a wide mouth cooking vessel for efficient evaporation.

3. Let cool for five minutes and pack into sterilized glass jar and seal.

How to Make Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is a natural sugar made from coconut sap.It is healthier compared to other sugar substitute. It has low glycemic index (GI) of 35. Having low GI value, it is safe for diabetics. Coconut sugar can be use for coffee, tea, baking and cooking.


1. Get freshly harvested coconut sap. The taste should be sweet, not alcoholic and not sour.
2. Boil the coconut sap to evaporate the water over moderate heat with occasional stirring until the sap thickens at 115ºC. Buy a good candy thermometer and avoid the hassle of taking chances – the tantyahan method.
3. Turn off the heat and continue stirring until the sugar become granular.
4. Pulverize large chunks and pack.

Kaong or sugar palm is a close relative of coconut, you may want to produce healthy sugar from it.