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Ginataan (Sweet Potatoes in Coconut Milk)

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“Every Filipino I know loves Ginataan...a hot dessert of sweet potato and yam in sweetened coconut milk. We also add sliced Filipino Saba banana and little Mochiko balls (bilo bilo). Saba is a cooking banana similar to Plaintain, and can be found at Asian markets. Leave out the Saba if you can't locate it; do not use regular banana as it gets too mushy when cooked. Ginataan is Filipino comfort food at its finest!”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 12 lbs sweet potatoes (buy a mix of yellow-flesh sweet potatoes and orange-flesh "yams")
  • 1 saba banana, sliced bite-sized (buy at Asian market)
  • 2 cups water
  • 13 cup mochiko sweet rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons water (or as needed)
  • 14 ounces coconut milk (do not use Cream of Coconut) or 14 ounces light coconut milk (do not use Cream of Coconut)
  • 12 cup sugar


  1. Wash and peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Keep cut potatoes under water in a prep bowl while you are preparing so they don't discolor.
  2. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large saucepan. Add the sliced Saba. Pour in 2 cups water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  3. While potatoes and Saba are cooking, make the bilo bilo: In a small bowl, mix together the Mochiko flour and 2 tablespoons of water. Add more water as needed to make a dough that is not too sticky, not too dry. Roll into marble-size balls and set aside.
  4. When potatoes are done, lower the heat to medium and gently drop the balls in the simmering water. They are fully cooked when they float to the top.
  5. When the last ball floats, gently stir in the coconut milk and sugar to the mixture. Stir carefully so you don't break up the potatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes, then ladle into bowls and serve warm.
  6. Store leftovers in fridge; reheat before serving.

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