Suman sa Lihiya: Our Grandma’s Secret Recipe

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Many of you we know are craving for this Filipino delicacy especially those who are working abroad; we call this as “Suman sa Lihiya”. The word Lihiya (lye water) was added to its name because in its ingredients, a small portion of “lye water” is added to the glutinous rice before it is wrapped with banana leaves.

Suman is a traditional Filipino delicacy made from glutinous rice (malagkit). There are many varieties of suman in the Philippines because aside from “malagkit” others are also using root crops such as cassava. Some sumans are cooked with sugar but Suman sa Lihiya is not so you need to dip them into sugar while you are eating.

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Image by imjilliepot

We asked our grandma about on how to make Suman sa Lihiya, and she says this is the easiest way of making suman because traditionally the glutinous rice will be soaked to the water overnight, and to make one suman, here are what she says:

1) all you need to do is to scoop one full tablespoon of glutinous rice (which is soaked in the water overnight, and water is emptied).

2) next – put the glutinous rice into a banana leaf (banana leaf must be heated up on fire so that it would become soft).

3) next – add some portions of lye water or Lihiya on it, next – is to wrap the banana leaf but don’t make it very tight as the glutinous rice would expand later-on during cooking time.

4) Next – put the suman into a cooking pot, put a water which is over the height of the sumans (usually commercially made sumans are cooked in oversized pots as they are making plenty of it, and the cooking time varies from 1 to 1 ½ hours)

5) Next – cook the suman in by boiling the water and simmer from 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the glutinous rice is fully cooked.

6) Next – serve the cooked suman sa lihiya and pair it with shredded coconut and sugar (some are using latik and a mixture of sugar for enriched taste, or some are just merely using plain sugar). Enjoy!

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Suman sa Lihiya by foodlifeof_char

Thanks grandma for this simple recipe.

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Looking for other Lutong Pinoy Recipes to try on? Feel free to check out our pork recipes, chicken recipes and desserts.


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