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Bubur Sumsum (Rice Flour Pudding with Palm Sugar Syrup)

Posting Date: 12/05/18

Bubur Sumsum (Rice Flour Pudding with Palm Sugar Syrup)

Bubur Sumsum (Rice Flour Pudding with Palm Sugar Syrup) is made with rice flour instead of rice as in the Western cuisine. Because it is made of rice flour, it has smooth consistency than the regular rice pudding. It is considered as dessert in Indonesia. Bubur means porridge because it is soft and has porridge-like consistency. Sumsum means bone marrow because of the white color from the rice flour. Bubur sumsum is served with palm sugar syrup. To enhance the flavor for the syrup, you could add pandan leave or vanilla extract. I personally like to add vanilla extract to the pudding instead of the syrup so that the rice flour has some flavor. I also add orange zests when serving it so that it has a little bit of bite although it is traditionally not served with the orange zests. The orange zests also add some colors and make it look pretty.

To make the pudding, make sure you use non-stick pot. Otherwise, the rice flour would stick to the pan and you would end up with burn flavor of the pudding. Bubur sumsum is very forgiving to make. If it is too runny, you could cook it slightly longer to thicken it. If it is too thick, you can add boiling water to thin it down. Make sure you use boiling water and not cold water so that it will not cause any lump. For sure, you don't want it too runny or too thick. I like mine creamy. So, it has to be between runny and thick.

The recipe serves between 3-5 people.


  • For the syrup: 150 grams palm sugar
  • For the syrup: 200 ml water
  • For the syrup: pinch of salt
  • For the syrup: Optional: granulated sugar in case you want it sweeter
  • For the pudding: 100 grams rice flour. Make sure you use rice flour instead of glutinuous rice flour.
  • For the pudding: 600 ml coconut, divided into 300 ml each.
  • For the pudding: pinch of salt
  • For the pudding: Optional: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 pandan leaf
  • For the pudding: Optional: 100-200 ml of boiling water. This is to achieve the texture you want.
  • Optional: orange zests


  1. Place the ingredients for the syrup (palm sugar, water, and salt) into a small pot. Heat it on the stove over high heat. During cooking, you may want to break off the palm sugar with a spoon so that it will dissolve faster. Once the syrup is boiling, taste it and add granulated sugar if it is not sweet enough for you. If you add more sugar, make sure it is dissolved before removing the pot from the heat. Set it aside to cool down.
  2. In a bowl, mix rice flour with 300 ml coconut milk. Stir it to make sure there is no lump at all. Heat up the other 300 ml coconut milk in a non-stick pot. Make sure you use a non-stick pot to prevent rice flour from sticking to the bottom of the pot causing it to burn. Add salt and vanilla extract or pandan leave if used into the pot. Heat the pot over medium high heat. Once the liquid is gently boiling, reduce the heat to medium. Add the rice flour mixture into the pot. Stir the pot frequently to move rice flour at the bottom to the top so that rice flour at the bottom is not going to burn. Cook the pudding until it becomes creamy and reaches the consistency you want. However, you don't want it too runny. If it is too runny, keep cooking it until it slightly thickens. If it is too thick, add more boiling water as needed and stir until it gets to the consistency you want. Make sure you use boiling water instead of cold water. Remove the pot from the heat. Discard pandan leave if used. Set is aside to cool down.
  3. Scoop the pudding to a personal size bowl. Top it with some syrup. If you like orange zests, top the pudding with orange zests. The pudding is best when it is served cool or chilled. So, let it cool down first after you finish cooking. If you chill it in the fridge, make sure it is stored in a sealed container so that it doesn't dry out.

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