April 1, 2011
Ube-Coconut Rice Balls
It's a Cooking Challenge concocted up right on Twitter by @jmfield, @DailySpud and @TangledNoodle to come up with a dish, sweet or savory, that consists of potato (Tayto), Rice (Ri) and Coconut (Co). I was definitely up for the challenge.
Right away I wanted to make Ginataang Bilo-Bilo (sometimes called Ginataang Halo-Halo) since all three are well represented in this dish: cubed ube (purple yam), or kamote (sweet potato) for Tayto part; bilo-bilo (balls made out of glutinous rice, same as mochi) for Ri part; and sweetened gata (coconut milk) for Co part.
I got called in to work this week so cooking for this challenge got sidetracked. The night before the challenge is due, I gathered all my ingredients and realized my husband had used the last of the canned coconut milk! The only other coconut in my pantry is dessicated coconut. So now this has become a real challenge, indeed.
Since I was pressed for time (this was all done yesterday morning, the day we post on the challenge), I ended up just roasting the ube. I mashed it up and used it to fill the bilo-bilo which are now the size of doughnut holes (double their usual size). They were cooked in simmering water. Once they floated up (a sign they are done), the balls were ladled out and rolled in dessicated coconut.
All this was done early in the morning for about an hour. While talking pictures, the boss called asking me to come in earlier. I left for work and didn't get back home until midnight last night. So my post is a day late but overall it was plenty of fun.
They came out better than I expected. The chewy rice balls gave way to a soft, creamy ube surprise. The dessicated coconut gave it a crunchy texture and the flavor went great with ube as they always do. Next time though I would make it using sweetened coconut since it was not at all sweet, all the sweetness came from the roasted ube. The kids and I ended up dipping this in sugar in between bites. Ube Halaya (a jam of sorts using purple yam) would also make a great filling. And probably the best would be to use freshly grated coconut mixed in with sugar and sesame seeds (just like palitaw).
Ube-Coconut Rice Balls
makes about 20
small purple sweet potato (about 6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water (or more as needed)
1 cup dessicated coconut
sugar to taste
1. Roast ube in preheated 425F degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until soft to touch. Let cool, scoop out of the skin and mash with fork.
2. In a medium saucepan, fill halfway with water and put to boil over high heat.
3. Meanwhile In a medium bowl, place rice flour. Stir in water and mix thoroughly. Add water a tablespoon at a time until dough comes together. Dough should be firm but pliable.
4. Pull one teaspoonful of dough, flatten into 3-inch circle and place about half a teaspoon of ube in center. Gather the edges onto itself to seal. Rub between the palms of your hands to make a ball.
5. Once water boil, lower heat to simmer and drop in rice balls a few at a time. Once it floats, ladle out and roll in coconut. Serve warm or room temperature with sugar for dipping.