Try this easy Espasol recipe. A hearty and healthy snack that only needs four basic ingredients.
Espasol is another kind of rice cake that is made from glutinous rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk. This Filipino delicacy hails from the province of Laguna. It is a popular and usually expected ‘Pasalubong’ (a homecoming gift to friends or loved ones) if someone goes to Laguna.
This recipe actually needs four basic ingredients which you can still cut down into three, skipping the vanilla extract if needed. Its simplicity is probably what makes it appealing but don’t be fooled as it is quite filling for a snack. A special Espasol would have toasted strips of coconut or grated coconut in it.
Although the process is quite simple and straight-forward, it will require some muscle work with the stirring while combining the solids and the liquids. It can get quite difficult to stir when the sticky dough is forming. But you should not get discouraged, it only takes a few minutes. And what is a bit of muscle exercise, should be good for you!
I have made other types of rice cakes before, like suman sa lihiya, biko or kalamay, kutsinta, buchi and palitaw and it is amazing how many varieties of Filipino rice cakes there are and how different they can be from one another even when they share mostly the same ingredients.
Armin’s first Espasol experience is something more like a slow realization. As he had his first bite, he looked quite unsure what it was that he ate. But he informed me, on his third roll, that he was growing fond of them. I actually caught him playing with a piece as they are quite squishy. Yup! I have a big kid for a husband!????????
- In a skillet or pan over medium-low heat, toast the glutinous rice flour while stirring every so often until it turns slightly brown, about 10-15 minutes.
- While waiting, combine the rest of the ingredients in a pot or saucepan and bring to boil. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved and let it simmer for about another 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat on the rice flour to low. Remove 1/2 cup from the rice flour and set aside. Then slowly pour the liquids into the center of the pan while continuously stirring from the middle going out, mixing in the flour into the liquids as you go. It will be very sticky so use a wooden spoon or something that is sturdy. Keep on stirring until it forms a sticky dough.
- Transfer the sticky dough to a flat surface that is generously dusted with the reserved toasted glutinous rice flour. Flaten the dough to about half an inch thick. Cut into logs (about 4 inches long) using a knife or dough cutter. Roll each log in toasted rice flour. Wrap each piece with baking paper or simply serve on a plate.