How to Make Biko

Hello! Its me, Nica.

If you're on this page right now, it may be because you're taking my Online Biko Making Workshop happening on May 22nd OR you're interested in learning more about Biko, a delicious sticky rice cake found in the Philippines.


First, let me tell you the ingredients you'll need for the class:

  • 1.5 cup or 350g grams of sticky rice, also known as malagkit in Tagalog or sweet rice. Some packaging call it glutinous rice.
  • Dark brown or muscovado sugar 
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • Optional: Banana Leaves - this can be found at the frozen section at any Asian market. If you've never smelled cooked banana leaves before... well, let me tell you, you will be transported to an outside kitchen in the Philippines. For me, it smells like home <3
  • Optional (and this my secret ingredient): Lily's Coco Jam - this can be found at any Filipino grocery store. If you need help finding one near you, contact me at or message me on Instagram at @kwentobynica

(Scroll down to find photos of the ingredients)

I recommend shopping for the ingredients at your local Asian market. Visiting a Filipino grocery store is really fun. If you've never been to one, you can read this story to find out what's in store for you when you visit one :)

Important to remember before class starts:

At least 6 hours before our Biko Making Workshop begins, do your best to remember to soak 1 cup or 230g of sticky rice in water. You can let it soak in a bowl. It should look like this:

Biko Making Class with Nica

Soaking the sticky rice will decrease your cooking time and make your Biko more fun and sticky to eat. If you forget to do this step, do not worry! You will still have Biko to eat after class. I will do my best to remind you to soak your rice 6 hours before class starts.

About Biko:

Even if I grew up in the Philippines, I was not taught the history of Biko. In general, I was not taught the history of my own food at all. 

As a kid, I often found Biko and other kakanins, Filipino sticky rice treats, at large gatherings or family parties. Biko is not something you can effortlessly find and order. Yes, sometimes you'll spot it at local grocery, bakery, or sari-sari store but it's not staple to everyday our food culture (at least not in the city, where I am from.) Biko is rare because it's special. When you discover it, it's because you know someone who can make it.

In the Philippines, discovering Biko can be through someone in your family, a manang down the street (manang is an endearing word of respect and translates to older sister,) a local sari-sari store, a vendor at a palengke, or a street food seller. Specialty Filipino bakeries also offer it. When you find Biko, it's an exciting moment.

In the west, Biko is hard to find. Sticky rice treats from other Asian countries get their moment of celebration but not the one I love most.

My name is Nica and I love making Biko. If you're here, congratulations on discovering Biko! Join me as I bring more life to a beloved sticky rice treat from the Philippines and even better... let's taste and make it together.

Be with me next time in my home kitchen to make Biko! My next workshop will happen on October. To find out the dates to register, stay in touch with me via my email newsletter

See you in the kitchen!

- Nica

writer and creative voice of Kwento by Nica


Equipment, tools, and appliances needed for class:

  • Stove top
  • A pot for mixing
  • Oven with broiler option
  • Kitchen Scissors
  • Wooden spoon
  • Two or three serving dishes

Photos of ingredients: 

From left to right: Lily's Coco Jam, Banana Leaves, Coconut Milk (you can use the Thai coconut milk too makes a great choice), and Sticky Rice


If you have questions about finding ingredients, do not hesitate to message me! hello@kwentobynica


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  • April Yoshihara

    I would love to try this recipe!

  • Lydia Felty

    This sounds seriously amazing. I would love to have the recipe and try my hand at it!

  • Rosemarie

    Hi Nica, I missed your workshop, however as someone who grew up eating rice almost every day back home, I would love to discover and taste Biko. Please share your recipe. Thanks and take care.

  • Polly

    Got way more than the biko I signed up for! Kwento by Nica has this Nica-ness to it that can’t be replicated anywhere else. It’s like those unconvential cookbooks I’d find throughout the course of my life: Ikea-like picture only instructions from my future mother-in-law, phonecalls for recipes with my grandma, my landlord’s handwritten recipe-filled notebooks, or the mythical sheet of paper from a decade ago containing my favorite cook’s double fried adobo recipe. Nica’s biko class is now part of that list of mine. Just like her stories on Instagram, her lil bit** pillows, and her cards - there’s just something so powerful about the way she tells a story through her chosen medium. Even if she’s telling you pour, stir, and heat, there’s something so poetic about her curation and attention to detail. Her energy is contagious, Nica-ness so welcoming. Somewhere in between heating the pan, mixing the coconut milk with sugar, and scooping out some coconut milk, I learned, laughed, cooked, and time-traveled. Excited for the next one!

  • Marielle

    Im not a very good chef/baker. I often burn or have started fires when cooking for myself. But this Biko Workshop was very easy. Nica really guides you through the process while imparting knowledge and fun facts about her Filipino heritage. Great weekend activity for yourself or your friends!

  • Ikat

    Your class was amazing, Nics! I never knew it was so simple to make! And I grew up eating kakanin a lot! Now I can make more and relive my childhood merienda days in the sala during summer. ❤️ This class brought back a lot of good memories.

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