Guinataang Halo-halo

Guinataang Halo-haloGuinataan means cooked with gata or coconut cream (or milk); halo-halo literally means mix-mix. Guinataang halo-halo is a sweet snack or dessert made with chunks of saba bananas, kamote (sweet potatoes), gabi (taro), sago (tapioca balls) and bilo-bilo (sticky rice balls) cooked in sweetened coconut milk.

This is a treat that my lola (grandmother) used to cook on weekends. When my brother and I craved for it during weekdays, she would buy some during her bi-weekly trip to the wet market. My lola would cook guinataang halo-halo in a huge pan over the outdoor gas stove. The cut bananas, kamote, gabi and langka (jackfruit) would be placed in basins until they were ready for boiling. And there would be mounds and mounds of grated coconut out of which the cream would be squeezed. That was a long time ago. In my mind, I sometimes relive the excitement of those weekend cookouts.

It was also my lola who introduced my own kids to guinataang halo-halo, the beginning of their appreciation for any dish with coconut cream or milk.

This is an updated or should I say upgraded version of a recipe that I have already posted last summer. I deleted that one to avoid double entries but the URL stays the same, despite the difference in dates so long as I do not change the title. Ah, yes, the beauty of the blogging software that I’m using allows me to do just that.

What do I mean by updated cum upgraded? Well, the old recipe did not include bilo-bilo, those sticky rice balls made from galapong. Galapong is ground glutinous rice mixed with water to form a rather soft dough. The dough is formed into small balls, about an inch in diameter, and dropped into the hot coconut milk. Most wet markets in the Philippines sell galapong. If unavailable in your area–I don’t think they sell galapong in London or in L.A. ;-)–just mix glutinous rice flour with water to form a soft dough. Let it rest for a while before forming them into balls.

Sago is available dried or fresh. Choose the small ones, the smallest available.

Ingredients :

6 saba bananas
4 yellow kamote (sweet potatoes)
5-6 gabi (taro)
1 c. of small dried sago (tapioca balls)
4 c. of coconut milk
3/4 to 1 c. of white sugar
1/2 tsp. of salt
a pinch of anise seeds (optional)

Cooking procedure :

Peel the bananas, kamote and gabi. Cut into chunks (11/2” to 2″ chunks would be ideal).

Boil about 3 c. of water in a saucepan. Add the gabi. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kamote and sago. Simmer for another five minutes before adding the saba bananas and the bilo-bilo. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Add the sugar and salt. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the sugar and anise seeds, if using. Pour in the coconut milk and cook over low heat, uncovered, for another five minutes or until everything is tender but not mushy, stirring often to avoid sticking.

Cool for a few minutes before serving.

Guinataang halo-halo may be served warm or cold.

  • Fan in Saudi

    I really like this for merienda… I remember during Todos Los Santos, my Mom used to cook this or even the Ginatang Munngo and she will serve this to all of us, when I was still a kid…. :wink:

    I miss those days when my Mom used to prepare those kind of merienda, after the gruelling scraping of coconut meat and all… Gosh…

    Like you Mam Sassy Mother knows best talaga, in food and everything…

  • ogz

    my ginataang halu-halo has some more ingredients aside from the above mentioned, i usually add the following: ube peeled and cubed, small sago, bilo-bilo and sweet ripe langka shredded by hand. The kakang gata (coconut first extract) is poured before serving.

    ‘everyone eats and drinks and only few savour the flavour”-

    • cocoy

      hi ms connie! i wanna try this recipe, kaso wala dun sa ingredients un bilo-bilo pero andun sa procedure? pano ba ang misture ng paggawa ng bilo-bilo? salamat & more power

    • Connie

      the procedure is on the last part of page 1.

  • chick

    favorite ko ‘to, yung mainit or kahit galing sa ref! basta dapat lots of bilo-bilo, banana and sago!

  • patrice

    oooppss,,sori idid’nt see it..i want to try it looks delicious..

  • cats

    Connie, what’s the difference between adding the coconut milk first while the bilo bilo are boiling and adding them when everthing is nearly cooked? I noticed that some people recommend adding the coconut milk first, while yours is last. Is it because you are using fresh gata while they are using canned version? I will be using the canned version as fresh is not available here. Thanks.

  • Connie

    cats, it’s the oil in fresh coconut milk. boil it for too long and the coconut milk curdles.

    • zara

      this dish is called binignit or tabirak here in Cagayan de Oro. we also add ube & langka but we do not use bilo-bilo. instead, just a handful of glutinous or plain rice. also, instead of boiling evrything in just plain water, 2nd extraction from the coconut is used. ;)

      mam connie, you gave a good idea of adding a little salt. sometimes, kasi when gata & sugar is combined nkaka’umay talaga pagnsobrahan k nah. hehehe! truly it brings back lots of childhood memories. i sometimes assist kasi my father everytime he cooks something special such as this one. ;)

  • happy joy

    Ms. Connie, bakit po may salt? Curious lang…

    • Connie

      Para hindi nakaka-umay yung tamis nya. :) Just like adding a pinch of sugar to Italian spaghetti sauce to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.

  • pauline

    hay naku! nagcrave ako sa mga kwento and comment nyo kaya nagyon meryenda we will cook guinatan halo halo….thanks to all!

  • pauline

    hindi ba mas masarap po kung lalagyan ng langka(jack fruit)

  • Grace

    i happen to research for this because of the weather here…umuulan at malamig…this is usually the best time that we usually taste good food like this.. i want to cook it with myself and my mama was not around… your recepie helps me a lot..thank you!!!!

  • cuties

    ?thank you poh sa recipe kaya nakapasa aq sa?
    ?T.L.E sa school thanks poh talaga?……..

    • Pingback: Lasang Pinoy 24: Coconut custard | Home-cooked meals | Home-cooking rocks!

      • ana

        hello ms. connie,

        your site has turned me into an efficient and capable cook, especially w/ kakanin. I’m lucky here in Toronto, we have plenty of Filipino products in the Asian stores. So, I even have the precious saba bananas. Back when I was little, it was my Yaya who did these wonderful kakanin merienda for us. I thought it very tedious and labor intensive that’s why I would usually just buy it back home. Here, nungka man ako bibili at pagkamahal mahal. So , I learned to cook all these kakanin. Thanks to your site, of course. Maraming salamat ulit.

        Ana Marie/Bambi

  • Pingback: Saging na saba (saba bananas) | Asian Pantry | Home-cooking rocks!

  • Pingback: Arroz a la Cubana — Home cooking rocks!

  • Connie

    nakaka-miss, ano? whereas today’s kids get fed instant noodles for merienda. hay, naku, kaya banned yang instant noodles sa bahay namin.

  • mel

    wow, seems similar to “Binignit” in the visayas. :)

  • patrice

    do you a picture of this food??