suman sa ibos on plate

Suman Sa Ibos: Philippine’s Rice Cake In Palm Leaves

Suman sa ibos is one of the varieties of rice cake in the Philippines. Ilonggos would typically call it “ibos” (or ibus) which refers to the palm or buri leaves. It is made up of malagkit or glutinous rice, coconut milk, and salt and steamed in palm leaves.

Art behind the suman 

Aside from its taste, this native Filipino delicacy is distinct because of its artistically made wrap. It’s covering is intricately designed to hold securely the rice cake inside. To eat it, you have to unwind its covering for the suman to show up. The more you unwind it, the suman gradually shows up to its entirety. Hence the covering of this suman is an art in itself. 

Suman sa ibos
Suman sa ibos

Ways of eating suman sa ibos

Part of the experience of eating this kind of suman is having your hands get sticky as you unwrap it. But once you were able to remove it from its covering, you’ll be rewarded with the sticky and chewy rice cake. Some pair this with granulated muscovado or white sugar, while some dip it in coco jam or tsokolate batirol. Meanwhile, some enjoy this best with ripe mangoes. This rice cake is often eaten with sweets to balance its slightly salty taste. Locals normally eat this during breakfast or merienda.

suman sa ibos and sugar
suman sa ibos and sugar

Finding suman sa ibos

The native treat is mostly sold in bundles. It can be purchased from vendors selling on sidewalks and wet markets. Some restaurants that are offering native Filipino foods are also serving this suman. This delicacy is available all year round.

Happy eating 💛 

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