Alupe: A Sweet and Sticky Pinoy Dessert

Alupe or alupi is a cassava-based kakanin that is well loved by Filipinos most especially by Ilonggos. This native delicacy is usually prepared for snacks and can be found in most parts of Western Visayas.

The main ingredient is grated cassava, locally called “balinghoy,” The cassava is mixed with coconut milk and then wrapped in banana leaves, thus, it is also known as “cassava suman.”


There are various versions of cassava-based delicacy in the Philippines. Alupe is just one of many.

Alupe or Cassava Suman

Ingredients

  • 500 grams grated cassava
  • 220 grams sugar
  • 1 cup or 220 grams grated young coconut
  • banana leaves, blanched (for wrapping)

Instructions

  • Pressed or squeeze grated cassava to extract the remaining water in it.
  • Combine the 3 ingredients: cassava, sugar and young coconut. Mix well and set aside.
  • For easy folding of the banana leaves, pass it over fire. Be carefully not to burn it.
  • Divide the cassava suman mixture into equal parts. Place it on the prepared pieces of banana leaf. Wrap and cover it completely. You can use a thread to tie each piece to make sure the banana wrapper is secure and to keep it in shape when cooking. Recommended size of each cassava suman is about 1.5 inches wide, 5.0 inches long and 0.5 inches thick.
  • (Option 1) If you have a steamer rack, arrange by spreading out the wrapped mixture on it. Steam for about 30 minutes or when live steam is forming. To prevent the cassava suman from drying out, keep the steamer well-supplied with water.
  • (Option 2) if you don’t have a steamer, you can place the wrapped mixture in a pan with water. Cook for about 20 minutes.
  • You can serve your cassava suman either hot or chilled.

When cooking cassava suman, it may just look like a bland mixture at first but during steaming it will surely delight both your sense of smell and taste because of the sweet aroma of the banana leaves.

Alupe or cassava suman is sweet and chewy but is sticky and messy to eat. To enhance the flavor of the alupe after boiling, add some minatamis or latik. If you’re a little adventurous in making your alupe, add your favorite fillings inside the cassava mixture like chocolate.