Mention food during the Christmas season here in the Philippines, and for sure, you will hear people rave about and crave for the traditional rice cake bibingka. It’s made of rice flour with coconut milk, and it’s normally topped with sliced salted eggs, grated cheese and coconut. And it’s placed on a banana leaf, which adds flavor. It’s considered both a snack and oftentimes, even as a dessert.
Thanks to weekend markets and many entrepreneurial Pinoys, bibingka is now something we can all enjoy all year. Still, a lot of people generally don’t make bibingka at home. My suspicion is, for ordinary home cooks (which includes me), it’s a hassle. Bibingka is normally baked using terra cotta pots and charcoal.
Because of this, I thought of ways to make easy bibingka at home. Make that easy AND creative. The result: bibingka waffle. I used a waffle, which is something that can be easily used at home. It’s also smoke free, so you won’t be turning on your smoke alarms.
For the ingredients, I used rice flour. And to this, mix coconut milk. I prefer buying store-bought rice flour and coconut milk because they have better shelf life. And if you’re based outside of the Philippines, these can easily be purchased. I really didn’t do a lot of measurements, but I would say that you will need about half a cup of coconut milk for every cup of rice flour.Mix the rice flour and coconut milk together and add 1/2 tsp. of salt. Add sugar. Add 1/4 cup sugar for every cup of flour. If you want bibingka that’s not so rich, you can substitute coconut milk with water. For more chunky flavor, you can add grated cheese. You can use cheddar cheese. I prefer using edam cheese (more popularly known here in the Philippines as queso de bola).
Once you achieve the consistency similar to that of pancake batter, pour the mixture into your waffle iron and cook according to your iron’s instructions. In my case, it took just about 2 minutes.
I topped it with sliced salted eggs. I also added mango, which provided a good sweet contrast to the salty and cheesy taste. Enjoy!