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Ginataang Bilo-Bilo

Ginataang bilo bilo is a sweet coconut based dessert soup with tapioca, chewy rice balls, and a variety of fruits and tubers. 

Yield: serves 8-10

Author Maryanne Cabrera



  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 2 Tablespoon ube powder , optional
  • 1 teaspoon ube extract , optional
  • 1/2 cup water

Sweet Coconut Soup:

  • 3/4 cup dried small tapioca pearls
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 - 14.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk , well shaken, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 9 oz (about 2 cups) sweet potato , peeled, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 9 oz saba banana (about 5 pieces) , sliced
  • 1 cup jackfruit , sliced into strips*



  1. In a large bowl, whisk together rice flour and ube powder. Add ube extract and water. Use a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon to mix ingredients together until a dough forms. Use your hands to knead the dough smooth.

  2. Use a 1/2-tablespoon to portion out dough. Roll into 24 balls. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside while you prepare coconut soup.

Sweet Coconut Soup:

  1. To cook tapioca pearls: Bring to a boil about 3 cups of water. Add dried tapioca pearls and let boil for 5-7 minutes. At this point the pearls will start to float to the top. Remove from heat and cover pot. Allow to sit in hot water for another 5-7 minutes until tapioca pearls are translucent. Drain and set aside.

  2. In a large pot, mix together water, coconut milk, and sugar. Stir contents together and bring to boil until sugar has dissolved. 

  3. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add sweet potato and bilo-bilo. Let simmer for 5-8 minutes until sweet potato is tender. Add in saba banana, jackfruit, and cooked tapioca pearls. Stir to combine and let simmer for another 3-5 minutes until saba banana is tender. 

  4. Remove from heat and serve warm. Coconut soup will thicken as it cools.

Recipe Notes

Jackfruit: use fresh or canned jackfruit. If using canned jackfruit, drain syrup. Slice jackfruit flesh into strips.