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Budgie Montoya's suman recipe combines steamed coconut rice with an irresistible rum caramel. This dessert is steamed and served in banana leaves, which add their own grassy perfume to the dish. Any left overs can be frozen. 

First published in 2022









Soak the glutinous rice in cold water overnight


The next day, drain the rice and place in a large saucepan with the 100ml coconut milk


Bring to a simmer but do not boil. Allow the rice to simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until al dente


Spread the rice on a baking tray and refrigerate until completely cold


Lightly toast the banana leaf by holding it over a gas flame if possible to release the oils and make it more pliable. Cut into 5 sections


Once the suman is cold, weigh out 70g portions and form into 10 x 2cm log shapes. Wrap in the sections of banana leaf and tie with string


Set up a steamer over a saucepan of simmering water and place the suman inside. Steam for 1 hour


Place the 600ml coconut milk for the latik in a wide pan over a gentle heat, stirring constantly with a spatula to ensure it doesn’t catch and burn. The coconut milk will begin to split ​into curds, and it will turn a toasted brown colour. Strain through a sieve to catch the curds (keep the oil for use another time)


Lay the latik (curds) onto a clean jay cloth or paper towels to remove any excess oil, then transfer to a baking tray and place into a low 60C oven overnight, to dry out


Before you begin making the caramel, prepare a bowl of ice and have it to hand, for chilling the caramel once it's cooked 


Combine the dark brown sugar and 25ml water in a large pan. Melt the sugar gently and bring to a boil, then reduce by 1/3

  • 200g of dark brown sugar
  • 25ml of water

Add the rum and allow to cook for a couple of minutes


Add ¾ of the coconut milk and reduce by a third. Remove from the heat, add the remaining coconut milk and chill over a bowl of ice


Serve the suman in their banana leaf wrappers with some of the caramel poured over and the latik sprinkled on top

First published in 2022

Since being blown away by a meal he enjoyed at The Fat Duck in 2009, Budgie Montoya has made it his mission to make people as happy as he felt that evening. Now, as one of the chefs at the forefront of London’s ever-evolving Filipino food scene, he’s doing exactly that.

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