Filipino sweet rice is not only a traditional New Year’s Eve treat; it is an easy-to-make dessert anytime. Malagkit, coconut cream, and monggo are available in Asian supermarkets.
2 cups malagkit or sweet rice
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 (15-ounce) can coconut cream
1 cup monggo or mung beans
Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Using a skillet, caramelize the brown sugar over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, and then add the coconut cream. Reserve 3/4 cup of this mixture.
Add the rice to the brown sugar and coconut mixture. Stir frequently over medium heat until the rice is soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Spread on a cookie sheet.
Boil the mung beans in 1/2 cup water for 5 to 6 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly, and mash until the mixture is smooth.
Combine the mashed mung beans with the reserved brown sugar mixture in a saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Spread on top of the rice and place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown. Cut into squares and serve with ginger tea.
Yields 18 to 20 squares.
Tip: Malagkit or sweet rice is also known as glutinous rice, sticky rice, sushi rice, Chinese sweet rice, waxy rice, mochi rice, Japanese rice, and pearl rice. Despite its names, this rice is neither sweet nor glutinous. It is a sticky, short-grain rice widely used by Asians.
Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.