In the Philippines, making this and other rice treats (or suman) is often a group affair. It’s not difficult, but wrapping the bundles in banana leaves can be time-consuming, so extra hands come in handy. Once steamed, they can be frozen to eat later.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (32 votes)


  • 500 g (2½ cups) hulled millet (see Note)
  • 1.8 L coconut milk
  • 330 g (1½ cups) caster sugar
  • 6 banana leaves (see Note)


Chocolate sauce

  • 100 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need a bamboo steamer for this recipe.

Rinse millet in water, then drain. Place coconut milk in a large, deep saucepan and bring to the boil over medium–high heat. Gradually add millet, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until millet starts to swell in size. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until liquid has almost been absorbed. Stir in sugar, then cook, covered, for a further 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and millet is tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, to prepare the banana leaves, working with one leaf at a time, pass each side over a high flame until starting to wilt, then wipe with paper towel. Remove centre veins from leaves, then cut leaves into 15cm squares. Reserve any leaf scraps and tear into thin strips to use as string to secure parcels.

Place 2 heaped tablespoons of the millet mixture along one end of the banana leaf square. Roll over to enclose, then fold in the sides and roll up completely to form a cigar shape. Use a strip of leaf to secure the parcel. Repeat with remaining millet mixture and banana leaf squares to make about 50 parcels.

Fill a wok or large saucepan half-full with water, place a bamboo steamer on top and bring to the boil over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, stack budbud kabog in steamer and cook for 70 minutes, topping up with water if necessary, or until millet is very soft. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, to make chocolate sauce, place chocolate, milk and sugar in a heatproof bowl, and set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Cook for 1 minute or until chocolate starts to melt. Remove bowl from heat and whisk until smooth.

Open budbud kabog, drizzle over chocolate sauce and serve warm in banana leaves.



• Hulled millet is available from greengrocers, select delis and health food shops.

• Banana leaves are available from Asian food shops and select greengrocers.


Photography Brett Stevens