One of the most filling and satisfying #meryenda the Bicolano cuisine has to offer. Pinakro is a Filipino snack dish that is made with saba bananas slowly cooked in coconut milk until tender then sweetened with sugar.

This is what my childhood teatime snacks looks like, growing up with a Bicolana grandmother I got used to having snacks like our post today, something cooked in coconut milk and sugar. She loves making this every single day, a laborious process that needs a lot of manual effort like grating coconuts, extracting the milk out of it, light up a wood fire then cook. For them it’s the only way as they grew up with it, that is why even though it takes her 2 hours just to prepare a snack, its normal for them but the results is nothing you can compare to today’s methods, ingredients are freshly sourced and made and no shortcuts in the process giving it a better outcome.

Pinakro is a Bicolano dish, it is also called as saba sa gata, ginataang saging or ginataang saba in other regions. Pinakro though is known to be prepared with saba bananas, this word in the Bicolano dialect can also be referred to other starchy root crops like taro, cassava, and breadfruit where it is cooked similarly with sugar. It can be consumed warm or chilled. Today I won’t be able to recreate the exact taste of how my grandmother did it, it’s not smoky since I used a stove top as opposed to wood fire, it’s not as tasty since I used canned coconut milk but one thing for sure is that we both made this and my other recipes with love, this Pinakro snack is as good as it gets to today’s modern standards.

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  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Pinakro is a Filipino snack dish that is made with saba bananas slowly cooked in coconut milk until tender then sweetened with sugar.


Units Scale


  1. Slice bananas lengthwise into 4 sections.
  2. In a pot combine all the coconut milk, 1/2 cup sugar and salt, bring to a slow boil in medium heat, cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Bring heat to high add the coconut cream and remaining sugar then continue to cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  4. Remove from pot then serve.


9 Responses

  1. Do saba bananas taste different than the regular one? I love coconut milk.

  2. I’m not familiar with saba bananas (nor really with other starchy roots), but I’m intrigued. Simmered in all this coconut and sugar concoction, this sounds delightful!

  3. Neil says:

    That’s a real labour of love. 2 hours just to prepare a snack! I love how this is in coconut milk and coconut cream. Yum!

  4. This would be a nice dessert in addition to a snack. Saba bananas aren’t easily gotten here so should we try using bananas?

  5. suituapui says:

    Should be similar to the Malay dessert, the pengat pisang! Nice too!

  6. Valentina says:

    I’m so excited to be learning about Filipino foods. Your recipes are so interesting and educational. The Saba bananas snack sounds so decadent! 🙂 ~Valentina

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