Kulinarya Cooking Club chose to highlight Suman this month. Suman are Filipino cakes that are wrapped in leaves and steamed. Every town or region have their own specialty. Most suman are usually made with glutinous rice and cooked in coconut milk. Some suman recipes require the rice to be soaked, even treated with lye, before being rolled in leaves. Banana leaves are usually used to wrap them into little logs before it goes to cook in a steamer. Other wrappings used are palm fronds or sometimes even placed inside a bamboo node. But definitely all suman are steamed.
Thanks to Sheryl and Divina for choosing suman this month. If it weren't for them, I would not have stepped out of my comfort zone and tried cooking suman from scratch.My family never bothered to make suman at our home since my mother knows plenty of friends that make them. Even though my family makes biko, puto, espasol and other kakanin, growing up I never saw suman being made at home which made me believe special wrapping skills is needed to pull it off. (Though my research showed me one that is: Suman sa Ibus, even my Mom confirmed it yesterday when I came over her house to make my suman.)
I hope to work myself to that level but first, let's start with something that would be the easiest to start with. I didn't use glutinous rice either with my suman. Only four ingredients were used in this suman: grated cassava, grated mature coconut, sugar and banana leaves. Even easier, the ingredients can be found in the freezer aisle of your local Asian grocer.
Suman na Kamoteng Kahoy
makes about 20
2 bags (1-lb each) frozen grated fresh cassava, thawed (about 4 cups)
1 bag (1-lb.) frozen mature coconut, thawed (about 2 cups)
1 cup granulated sugar
Prepare banana leaves. Wipe down both sides of leaves with damp towel. Cut into 9" by 9" square. Turn stovetop and pass leaves through the heat until it wilts slightly. This makes the leaves more pliable and resistant to cracks when rolling the suman. Be careful, the leaves will steam and turn darker as they are heated.
Prepare steamer by putting water to boil. While waiting, combine the cassava, coconut and sugar in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of cassava mixture on center of banana leaf. Fold over the mixture with one end and roll over. Tuck the ends under and place on its seam. Put in steamer with the water in rolling boil for about 30 minutes. Let it stand to cool, about 10 minutes. You may serve warm or room temperature.
These suman were a success at my Mom's house. Everyone wanted several and was quite impressed that I made them from scratch. I had my mom watching over my shoulders the whole time but I think she approved since I saw her sneak another one to eat for later. :) The banana leaves add a nice hint of flavor to the suman, it had a strong smell coming out of the steamer but mellowed out when it cooled. If banana leaves are not available, you may roll them in foil (as my mother suggested) or just spoon them into small cups for steaming. Though they won't be called suman anymore but called Pasingaw (to steam) which I realized I posted on it a couple of years back.
I managed to save a few for breakfast this morning and my boys ate them with some leftover ganache. They come up with great ideas, the ganache put them over the top! Next time, I will even use fresh cassava and coconut -- I'm sure the flavor would be even better!
Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.
Please visit my fellow Kulinarya members for their Suman creations:
Kath - http://www.acupcakeortwo.com/
Trisha - http://sugarlace.com/
Trissa - http://trissalicious.com/
Olive - http://www.latestrecipes.net/
Ninette - http://bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com/
Asha - http://forkspoonnknife.blogspot.com/
Malou - http://www.impromptudiva.com/
Cherrie - http://sweetcherriepie.blogspot.com/
Acdee - http://acdee.blogspot.com/
Valerie - http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/
Sheryl - http://crispywaffle.com/
Divina - http://www.sense-serendipity.com/
Anna - http://www.anniesfoodjournal.blogspot.com/
Dahlia - http://www.energychef.blogspot.com/
Joy - http://joyjoycreativeoutlet.blogspot.com/
Maribel - http://www.foodgeek.webs.com/
Jen - http://www.jen-at-work.blogspot.com/
Pia - http://bisayajudkaayo.blogspot.com/
Malaka - http://thegrandinternational.com/.
Mimi - http://lapinchecocinera.blogspot.com/
Erika - http://ivoryhut.com/
Kat - http://www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk/default.aspx