Tibuk-tibuk (maja blanca)

Apu used to run a little store from home when I was a child. She made and sold snacks, desserts and treats such as corn, kamote-cue, etc. That meant she went to the market in Guagua regularly. One of my favorite memories is of her arriving in a kalesa (horse-drawn carriage) laden with all sorts of goodies. She always brought me pasalubong — sometimes it was choco mallows or curly tops, other times it was tibuk-tibuk or kalame.

I miss the tibuk-tibuk from my childhood, the ones served on banana leaves, glistening with the oil from the latik (browned coconut milk). The ones sold at the Fil-am stores are often made of milk and corn. I like the palengke version that’s white because it’s made of coconut milk — a true maja blanca. Also, the stores use toasted coconut flakes instead of latik. I understand why; making latik is time-consuming and a lot of hard work. I actually enjoyed making latik as a kid. Love the smell of coconut oil, which my grandmother used to put in my hair. Beats any salon hot oil, I tell you.


Fortunately, my aunt in California remembers how to make tibuk-tibuk. Here’s her recipe, with some adjustments:


4 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch dissolved in 1/2 cup water

Bring coconut milk to a boil. Turn the heat down a little before you add the corn starch, Otherwise your mixture will become lumpy. Stir rapidly about 2 minutes or until mixture thickens. Immediately transfer to molds. Set aside to cool. Makes about 8-10 servings, depending on the size of your molds.


Boil 3 cups of coconut milk, stirring constantly, for about 30 minutes. The milk will thicken and coagulate. Oil will start to form. Remove from heat when brown.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Betis Boy says:

    remember in science class they used to teach us about evaporation and solidification? no better example than watching coconut milk turn into latik 😀


  2. Guagua Girl says:

    you know, you're to “blame” for this tibuk-tibuk. you posted all those goodies you enjoyed in that kapampangan breakfast and i got soooo envious 😛 you know, what i'm also craving right now? patulbad! hmmmmm, maybe i can try and make that tomorrow on my day off 😀 i've got the sweet rice and coconut milk in my kitchen.


  3. Betis Boy says:

    never got around to ask this. what the hell is patulbad? some sort of rice cake? did you end up making this last year? ha.ha.


  4. Guagua Girl says:

    you know, i just realized i never answered your question here. yes, patulbad is a kind of a rice cake, usually served during the holidays. it's cooked just like ube jam but with sweet rice, coconut milk and brown sugar. but it's a pain to stir, as you might imagine.


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