Make This Black Sesame Suman at Home For Your Media Noche

December 30, 2018

One of the desserts most associated with the holiday (and the way we celebrate it here in the Philippines) is suman, which makes perfect sense when it goes so well with a hot cup of tsokolate. With its subtle in flavor and delightfully sticky texture, as well as the convenient (and zero-waste) way that it is wrapped, suman makes for an easy treat to keep knocking down one by one.

Another reason to make this recipe? Finally learning how to work with banana leaves—an essential Pinoy life skill.

Suman is likely easier to make than most people think, with the bulk of the time going to heating the banana leaves, and waiting for the suman to steam. We added some black sesame to this basic suman recipe to introduce a bite of flavor that doesn’t overwhelm or overtake the classic taste of this classic sweet.

Black Sesame Suman

  • Serves: 20 people
  • Active time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Medium



  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups glutinous rice
  • ¼ cup black sesame seeds, ground into a paste
  • 2 tbsp. black sesame seeds, whole


  • Banana leaves


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add milk, black sesame seeds, sugar, and rice.
  2. Stir until mixture comes up to a simmer, then place lid on the pot and let cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let rice cool completely.
  4. Take banana leaves and heat to prevent breakage.
  5. Cut into rectangles.
  6. Take one piece of banana leaf and lay about 4 tablespoons of the rice mixture in the center.
  7. Roll to seal.
  8. Once all are rolled, place in a steamer and steam until firm, about 40-50 minutes.
  9. Let cool completely and serve.
Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

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