This coconutty sweet soup is a Filipino classic and is filled with colorful sweet potato, juicy jackfruit, plump tapioca pearls, and chewy handmade rice balls. Follow this recipe to make your next party dessert!
In a pot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Peel and cut sweet potatoes, add to the pot of boiling water and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.
Transfer potatoes to a strainer and run under cold water to stop the cooking, reserving the cooking water.
Add the cooked potatoes into a blender and add ¼ cup of water from the pot they cooked in. Blend until smooth.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sweet potato paste and glutinous rice flour.
Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. The texture should feel slightly sticky.
Roll out the bilo bilo to your preferred size, but keep in mind they grow to about 20% more in the coconut milk. Pinch 1 teaspoon worth of dough into your hand and roll the dough in between your palms to form a smaller ball. Repeat with all the dough. This should make about 24-30 balls of dough. Set the bilo bilo on a plate until later.
Pandan bilo bilo
In a mixing bowl, combine the pandan water and glutinous rice flour until it forms a ball of dough. It should feel slightly sticky.
Roll out the bilo bilo to your preferred size, but keep in mind they grow to about 20% more in the coconut milk. Pinch 1 teaspoon of dough into your hand and roll it in between your palms to form a small ball of dough. Repeat with all the dough until you have about 20-24 pieces. Set aside on a plate until later.
Mini sago or white tapioca pearls
Note: This method of cooking mini sago/white tapioca pearls worked very well for the Tapioca Perle Sago brand (purchased from 99 Ranch). It’s an adjusted method of our 30 & 30 method, but since these are mini pearls we reduced the timing to 10 minutes active boiling and 10 minutes resting. I would recommend following the instructions on YOUR pearl package first. In a small pot, add the filtered water and bring to a boil. Add the mini sago or white tapioca pearls and cook for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Remove the pearls from the stove and cover with a lid for another 10 minutes.
Strain the pearls and run under cold water to remove excess starch. Transfer the pearls to a bowl and cover with cool water. Set aside until later.
In another pot over medium heat, combine coconut milk, filtered water, and sugar. Bring the liquid to a boil and add the purple sweet potato and orange sweet potato. Cook for about 5-8 minutes or until the roots are tender.
Add the purple and pandan bilo bilo. Stir to prevent the bilo bilo from sticking and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the bilo bilo are soft and cooked. You can test this by taking a bilo bilo and biting into the rice ball. If it’s completely soft throughout, it’s finished.
Add the saba banana slices, jackfruit, and mini sago/white tapioca pearls in the pot and cook for an additional 2 minutes until bananas are warmed and softened.
Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
IMPORTANT: I included ingredients by weight because this is more accurate for baking. If you don't have a scale and must use volumetric measurements, I've included those in the recipe above too, but please note the volumetric measurement numbers will not change if you scale up or down the servings made in this recipe and you will need to do your own math to figure it out.