Ginataang mais is a delicious Filipino sweet rice pudding dish made of coconut milk and corn. You’ll only need 4 ingredients in this recipe and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes!
(Looking for more sweet corn recipes? Try this creamy maja blanca — topped with shredded cheese or toasted coconut and perfect for special occasions like Christmas, fiestas and more.)
Ginataang mais is a beloved Filipino sweet coconut treat, right up there with ginataang monggo (mung beans) and ginataang bilo bilo (glutinous rice balls).
In English, ginataang mais loosely translates to coconut rice pudding with sweet corn kernels. “Ginataan” means cooked in coconut milk.
Different families have different variations, like adding oatmeal, making it with condensed milk or evaporated milk, cooking it with langka (jackfruit), with sago pearls, and even with saba (a local banana variety).
We stick to the traditional recipe made of sticky rice, coconut milk, sugar and corn. It’s delicious and one of the easiest treats to make.
Let’s get to it.
Why you’ll love this recipe
We cook ginataang mais year-round but when it really shines is on a cold winter day like today. A warm bowl is comfort food at its most delicious!
You’ll love this recipe too because:
- It only has 4 ingredients. We stick to the traditional recipe here so you’ll only need sticky or glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar and corn.
- It uses canned corn. Speaking of corn, this recipe uses canned whole kernel corn (peaches and cream corn will work too) so you don’t have to worry about finding fresh corn and cooking it.
- It’s ready in 30 minutes. In fact, this dish is done in less than 30 minutes! Prep time is almost non-existent too.
- And it’s so good! Most importantly, it’s delicious. We’ve tried the instant corn pudding available these days and it tasted very artificial. This is the real deal. The way my lola makes it.
Ingredients and cooking tools
You won’t need special tools to make this dish, just a medium-sized saucepan or pot and something to stir your mixture with (I use a wooden spoon).
Some key things to note about the ingredients:
- Coconut milk — make sure you’re buying coconut milk and not cream. Coconut cream is much thicker (scoop-able) and very rich.
- Glutinous rice (malagkit, in Tagalog) — also called sticky rice and sometimes sweet rice because it has a sweeter taste than regular white rice. You can’t use white rice because it won’t result to the chewy and sticky texture glutinous rice is known for. And just a fun tidbit, despite its name, glutinous rice is actually gluten-free. The word “glutinous” here refers to the rice becoming “sticky” once cooked.
- Canned corn — I use either whole kernel corn or peaches and cream corn whenever I make ginataang mais. The ones I get have a bit of salt in them which provides a nice balance to the sweetness of the rice pudding. You can’t use canned creamed corn in this recipe.
How to make
Combine rice and coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook rice for another 10-12 minutes or just until the rice is almost cooked and most of the coconut milk is absorbed.
Stir in corn and sugar and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve warm. That’s it!
Expert cooking tips
Easy and simple, right? Here are more tips to keep in mind for perfect ginataang mais every time.
- Don’t over-cook the rice. You want the rice to cook through and get a nice tender texture but be careful not to over-cook it. Otherwise, it will get too mushy. For good measure, taste throughout and cook to your preference.
- Don’t over-reduce the mixture. We want the rice to absorb most of the coconut milk but not all of it. We don’t want the mixture to reduce too much because the rice will continue to absorb more of the milk as it cools. The photos here show the rice pudding freshly cooked. It will get thicker and creamier the longer it sits.
- Stir often. This ensures the rice doesn’t form into clumps and stick to the bottom of the pot.
- To serve, you have the option of topping the ginataang mais with more corn kernels or coconut milk or both.
Yes, you can use frozen corn. Thaw and drain of excess liquid before using. They may take more time to cook than canned corn so be sure to check that as well.
You can store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge. It should last 3-5 days. To reheat, just microwave on high for 1 minute until heated through.
Ginataang mais is usually served as a snack (merienda) or dessert. It’s typically served warm but is also delicious cold.
Ginataang Mais Recipe
- 1 Pot
- Combine rice and coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil (roughly 10 minutes).
- Lower heat into a gentle simmer and cook the rice for another 10-12 minutes, or just until the rice is almost cooked. You’re looking for a little bite in it, similar to al dente pasta. Remember to stir often to make sure the rice doesn’t form into clumps and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in corn and sugar and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has finished cooking, and most of the coconut milk has been absorbed.
- Remove from heat and serve warm. Optional: top with more corn and/or coconut milk.
- You want the rice to cook through and get a nice tender texture but be careful not to over-cook it. Otherwise, it will get too mushy. For good measure, taste throughout and cook to your preference.
- We want the rice to absorb most of the coconut milk but not all of it. We don’t want the mixture to reduce too much because the rice will continue to absorb more of the milk as it cools. The photos here show the rice pudding freshly cooked. It will get thicker and creamier the longer it sits.
- Ginataang mais is also delicious served chilled.
Nutritional information are estimates only.