Kalamay with Buko – The smell of cooking caramel and coconut engulfed our kitchen as we mix the contents of my wok. We have been on it for more than an hour now, cooking, stirring , sweating and watching how a thin, white solution made of coconut milk and powdered glutinous flour transforms into this gooey, thick , aromatic and delectable treat. Making Kalamay is laborious. Those who actually cooked it , could attest to that. Maybe that’s the reason why, many would rather buy it from stores than cook it from scratch at home. Often packed in coconut shells, this Filipino sweet is sold even at some local airports back home and makes fabulous but cheap and very much welcome pasalubong ( Filipino tradition of a homecoming gift).
Kalamay with Buko Recipe
- 250 ml coconut milk
- 800 ml coconut milk
- 200 ml water
- 200 g ground glutinous rice
- 100 g palm sugar
- 250 g muscovado or brown sugar
- 1 cup coconut meat, cut into thin strips
- Make latik. Pour coconut milk in a pan. A non stick one will make your life easier, so don’t be a masochist and use one. Bring coconut milk into a boil . You. Shall .Not. Stiiiiir. Voice ringing like Gandalf here 🙂 Let it cook until it curdles . Once oil separates, carefully scrape off latik crumbles from the pan.
- Once latik is cooked, it should be crumbly and caramel brown, like the picture above. Carefully take latik out from the pan and dry excess oil using a paper towel. You can save the coconut oil and use it to grease your Kalamay container/ serving dish.
- Combine coconut milk , water and ground glutinous rice flour. Use a whisk to dissolve powder. Mass must be homogeneous. Add in coconut meat.
- Put mixture in a pan/ wok, preferably non stick. Bring mixture to a boil. Keep stirring. Curl those biceps! Flex those muscles! The mixtures curdles as it cooks until it becomes one sticky mess mass. Just keep on stirring. Let mixture cook for about 30 minutes.
- Stir in sugar. Muscovado gives deeper and richer colour and more intensive flavour . Use it if you could get your paws on it. Sugar liquefies as it cooks. Turn the heat to medium low and keep cooking and stirring for another 30-40 minutes.
- Brush serving plate with coconut oil ( from cooked latik) and spread Kalamay over it. Let it cool and sprinkle latik on top . Pat yourself on the back for doing a good but undeniably hard work and put the calories you’ve lost while cooking on, one sticky spoonful at a time. Enjoy your reward and share those calories to your friends or better yet, your foes!