Sticky rice desserts like my grandmother use to make is not one of my culinary strong points. Kakanin, as I recall, was a snack made with sweet mochi rice, raw sugar and coconut milk, but the secrets of cooking this ethnic treat were never to be mine. I learned about bodbod (or budbud) from a baker and was intrigued about the black rice that goes into this dessert.
Using both regular and black mochi rice (also called purple sticky rice), these leaf-wrapped packets are worth the effort involved. Black mochi rice is hard as rocks and need an extra bit of fuss to get them to cooperate. The key step is boiling the dark grains separately since cooking times differ between the 2 types. I cooked the black rice just enough to keep a slight nutty crunch, but still feel this step has room for improvement. Once both white and black grains are mixed and cooked into a thick gruel, the bodbod is easy to assemble. Typically only banana leaves are used but I also used aluminum foil to stretch my supply of leaves.
Bodbod with black mochi rice
2 cups mochi sweet rice, soaked in cold water for 2 hours
1/3 cup black mochi rice, precooked separately (see note*)
2¼ cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup muscovado or dark brown sugar, lightly packed
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
about 15 banana leaf wrappers, 6×5 inches in size (see note**)
bamboo steamer basket or other steamer pot
*Boil the black rice in an ample amount of water for 40 minutes. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
**To facilitate wrapping, heat the banana leaves over a flame to soften without breaking.
Rinse and drain the presoaked white mochi grains. Combine together with pre-cooked black rice, coconut milk, both sugars and salt in a large pot. Cook over medium-low heat until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. This will take approximately 25 minutes and look like this. Stir in the vanilla. Allow to cool a few minutes so that it will be easier to handle.
Place about 1/4 cup of rice mixture lengthwise onto the center of the leaf. Grasping the longer edges, roll the mixture back and forth to form a neat cylinder, shaping to within the ends of the leaf. Overlap the long sides to enclose, tuck ends under and securely wrap in a piece of foil. Place in steamer basket over simmering water and steam, covered, for 45 minutes. Makes approximately 15 pieces.