Filipino Ginataan Recipe

Ginataan or ginataang bilo-bilo is a sweet treat made with sticky rice balls.

Ginataan or ginataang bilo-bilo is a sweet treat made with sticky rice balls. It’s a Filipino recipe that is often enjoyed for merienda or dessert.

How do you make ginataang bilo-bilo?

A classic ginataang bilo-bilo recipe contains a mix of many of the ingredients you love that’s been made into minatamis: saba bananas, sago, kamote, and langka. It’s got chewy rice balls or the bilo-bilo which is also the ingredient that thickens the coconut cream into a sauce. Many stir in ube halaya or add chunks of fresh ube to give it a pretty purple hue but when it’s not available, this local Filipino dessert recipe is delicious, hearty, and satisfying.  

Filipino Ginataan Recipe

Roselle Miranda
Ginataan or ginataang bilo-bilo is a sweet treat made with sticky rice balls.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Snacks/Merienda
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 8


Filipino Ginataan Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup small sago
  • 2 1/2 cups water divided
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ube flavoring
  • 1 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Small sweet potatoes (kamote) peeled, sliced into half moons
  • 2 saba bananas peeled, sliced
  • 1 Cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 Cup sweetened jackfruit (langka) preserved


  • In a small pot over medium heat, add sago and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then simmer, stirring regularly to avoid scorching sago. Once tender, set aside.
  • Meanwhile, make bilobilo: In a medium bowl, dissolve sugar in remaining water. Add rice flour and form mixture into a dough. Divide mixture between two bowls. Color and flavor one bowl with ube flavoring, leaving the other plain. Gently knead colored dough until color is uniform. Set aside.
  • In a medium pot over medium heat, mix water and sugar. Add camote and saba. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer. Roll small pieces of bilo-bilo dough, and drop in the simmering liquid. Repeat process with remaining dough.
  • Pour in coconut cream and bring to a gentle simmer. Strain sago from cooking liquid, and add to the pot. Stir in jackfruit. Cook until heated through. Serve warm. Recipe originally published in the April 2017 issue of Good Housekeeping Philippines.
Keyword classic, ginataan, kamote, Rice flour, bilo-bilo
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