Food from the Philippines: Suman

Suman from The Philippines
Suman from The Philippines (click to enlarge)

Suman from The Philippines

Mashed sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and wrapped in banana leaves. Suman sounds good. And, it can be really good if you find the right vendor. The problem with this common sweet treat in The Philippines is that many vendors take short cuts in making it.

Suman made with condensed milk rather than coconut milk, and ordinary rice rather than sticky rice. The result is disappointing.

Suman wrapped in Banana Leaf
Suman wrapped in Banana Leaf (click to enlarge)

If made the traditional way, the Suman is really quite good.

Suman is soft, slightly sticky, but the banana leaf will save your fingers! Suman is almost like a naturally made candy bar.

More information about Suman

There’s also a cheaper, albeit by about one peso and harder to find cassava version of the Suman treat. I’ve had both, and can say the sticky rice one wins!

If you come across Suman, then try to get it while it’s still warm. Mall’s and bakeries are not the best places. Try to find a food stall area and start asking. Hot fresh traditionally made Suman is really good.

This is an additional post and one of a series highlighting Great food from the Philippines

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23 Replies to “Food from the Philippines: Suman”

  1. i agree, with shortcut-suman, you tend get those hard rice bits. suman has to be soft and sticky all the way!!

  2. i thot I was a naturally made candy bar..?! mwuahahaha:P

    suman eh.. stop hogging the good stuff and send some over to KL please.. asap;)

    1. I would agree with you. Hence I mentioned not buying it from shops other than local ones, and eating it hot! Otherwise, the typical tourist is likely to get into some belly problems! ha ha

  3. Hey, it looks similar with indonesia traditional snack, timus. But it made from mashed cassava, palm sugar and coconut. Slurp yummy :)

  4. soooo happy suman won! : ) i grew up eating suman and have tasted all its varieties… I should say that the sticky rice is the best especially the ones made in the traditional way… Most of the time it is eaten with a cup of coffee during mirienda! Ohhh the old times… I hope you write something about espasol too!

  5. nope. palitaw is made from sticky rice flour topped with sesame seeds, sugar and shredded coconut. palitaw is called as such because it is suppose to float (or litaw in tagalog) once it is cooked in boiling hot water.

    espasol is another dessert made from sticky rice flour but it is not cooked the same way as palitaw. it is stirred until sticky and rolled over in a fine sugary powder.

    1. Oh dear! I’ve got something here I photographed called Palitaw. Or at least that’s what the lady who sold it called it. But, it looks like Espasol. A tube, rice flour, and topped in coconut.

  6. I love suman! Have you tried suman with sugar sauce (ernng.. don’t know exactly what it’s called in English)? The sauce is basically a combination of a special kind of pure brown sugar and coconut milk. :) cooked just right so it’s not too runny and not too sticky. my folks in my hometown in Batangas prepare this every Halloween. :)

    When are you visiting Thailand? Sorry, it’s my first time in your site. Don’t know whether you have already visited TH or not. :) I am a Filipina working in Bangkok for a 2-year job assignment.

    1. I think that I’ve come across sugar sauce. But I don’t think they made it too well :(

      Thailand … hmmm, I’ll be writing about future plans quite soon. Sign up to my
      email updates
      & find out or just check back here :) It’s always good to meet up with people!

      1. Great! I am actually subscribed to the email updates already. :)

        I am based in Bangkok so I won’t be of much help if you’re looking for the rustic Thai way of life. :)

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