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Ginataang Bilo-bilo with banana toppings

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Rice Balls in Coconut Sauce)

  • Author: Paula
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


This snack is made up of bilo-bilo (glutinous rice balls), sliced saba (plantains), sago (tapioca balls), langka (jackfruit), kamote (sweet potatoes) in a creamy coconut sauce. While these are the most common ingredients, it’s not unheard of to add ube (purple yam) or gabi (taro) to the mix.



For the Sago:

  • 100 grams sago (tapioca balls), small
  • 4 cups (960 ml) water

For the Bilo-bilo:

  • 142 grams (1 cup) glutinous rice flour
  • 2 tbsps ube powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • few drops of ube flavoring (optional)

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 73 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 400 grams sweet potato, diced
  • 4 saba (plantain bananas), sliced to 1-in thickness pieces
  • 6 pieces jackfruit, cut into strips

For Banana Topping (Optional):

  • 2 saba (plantain bananas), sliced thinly
  • 55 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
  • oil for frying


To make the sago:

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. 
  2. Add the sago, and boil for 10-15 minutes until the sago turns transparent. Stir the sago occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more water as needed.
  3. Once the sago balls are transparent, remove from the heat and drain completely. Put aside in a bowl.

To make the bilo-bilo:

  1. In a bowl, combine the rice flour and ube powder. 
  2. Mix the water and a few drops of ube flavoring (if using). 
  3. Add the water to the rice flour and mix until it forms into a soft and flexible ball. You can add more drops to the ball for a stronger color but make sure to knead the dough thoroughly to mix the ube flavoring uniformly.
  4. Divide into 24 balls using a half tablespoon. Set aside and cover with a damp towel.

To make the Ginataang Bilo-bilo:

  1. In a large pot, mix the coconut milk, water, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer while stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. 
  2. Add the sweet potato and boil for 5 minutes. Add the saba and boil for another 3 minutes. 
  3. Add the bilo-bilo and jackfruit strips. Cook until the bilo-bilo floats. 
  4. Mix the sago and stir to prevent lumps from forming. Cook for 5 minutes before removing from heat. 
  5. Serve warm or cold.

To make the saba topping:

  1. Heat enough oil to deep fry the saba pieces. 
  2. Fry the saba slices until translucent. 
  3. Add the brown sugar to the oil. Swirl the saba slices in the brown sugar until they are coated.
  4. Remove from the oil and set aside. Cool slightly before using as toppings.


  • You can add more drops of ube flavoring if you want to have a more purple color to your bilo-bilo. 
  • You can opt not to use ube powder or ube flavoring. 
  • The ginataang bilo-bilo will thicken as it cools. 
  • Category: Filipino
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Keywords: ginataang bilo-bilo