Tropical Cooking with Travel Man: Snacks#1 - Traditional Rice Cake or Puto

Filipino delicacy: Sweet Rice Cake

Rice Cake or Puto (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travel_man1971)
Rice Cake or Puto (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travel_man1971)

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: 20-25 small cakes for 5-10 persons

Rice cake memories and how it is prepared

Rice cakes are the most popular snacks of rural folks here in the Philippines. It is commonly called puto in our Tagalog language

When I was a child, the scenes were at early 70s, I used to witness the elders using the larger version of mortar (the lubang, usually rectangular, round or square with round interior) and pestle (the halo, usually longer), wherein several persons (two or three or more) can pound a newly-milled non-sticky rice into a white, powdery product (rice flour) in less than half an hour.

It was usually one or two kilos of rice made into flour that can produce a hundred rice cakes through steaming it with a boiling kettle. The kettle's opening is usually secured with strips of banana trunk, binded into round steamer, where half of empty clean coconut shell will be used as the container for the rice cake mixture to be steamed.

An ideal coconut shell cake mold should be three (3) inches in diameter.

In just two to three minutes the mixture will be cooked by steaming.

Note: The kind of rice cake that is featured here is what we usually call as putong galapong,

It doesn't have a calumet or baking powder content as flour riser, unlike other variations such as the multi-colored puto lanson (cassava flour), bibingka, puto pandan (pandan flavour), puto ube (purple yam flavour), puto bumbong (purple rice steamed in bamboo tubes).

And the commercialized version, if you can't produce rice or cassava flour, you can use the all-purpose floor (APF) instead of rice.

You can search for more Filipino Rice Cake hubs below for more authentic recipes shared by fellow hubbers.



Rice flour

It is usually mixed with white sugar, small amount of salt (to enhance sweet taste) and little water to make it smooth,moist and easy to be molded.
It is usually mixed with white sugar, small amount of salt (to enhance sweet taste) and little water to make it smooth,moist and easy to be molded.

Main Ingredient # 1

  • 3 cups rice, pounded, sifted

The flour is usually moistened with little amount of water and sweetened with white sugar. The ideal mixture should be, for every cup of rice flour, a quarter of sugar will be added. Little amount of salt is also added to enhance the sweet taste of the mixture.

Coconut Filling

It is young coconut meat sweetened with brown sugar.
It is young coconut meat sweetened with brown sugar.

Main Ingredient # 2

  • Coconut Filling

A soft, coconut meat sweet filling is usually inserted in the half-part of every rice cake mixture to be steamed before selling it. It is cooked and sweetened with brown sugar. Better enhance it with little amount of salt, too.

Instructions in cooking the Rice Cakes

  1. Fill in the coconut mold with flour, coconut filling in between.
  2. Steam in just two to three minutes.
  3. Continue the first two processes until done.

Local materials used in making Rice Cakes

The coconut mold and the empty cooking oil can, instead of kettle, are used in steaming the rice cakes.
The coconut mold and the empty cooking oil can, instead of kettle, are used in steaming the rice cakes.

Rice Cake just out from the coco-shell mold

Rice cake just waiting to be eaten or sold if you want to build a business or livelihood out of it
Rice cake just waiting to be eaten or sold if you want to build a business or livelihood out of it

Batches of Rice Cakes to be sold

The prevailing price of rice cake per piece is Php 5.00 pesos only or US$ 0.08 cents.
The prevailing price of rice cake per piece is Php 5.00 pesos only or US$ 0.08 cents.

The vendor who rekindled my sweet memories about Rice Cake or Puto

She's the only one selling rice cakes in Naga City, Bicol, Philippines, just outside the premises of San Francisco Church.
She's the only one selling rice cakes in Naga City, Bicol, Philippines, just outside the premises of San Francisco Church.

Calories in Rice Cakes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 9 grams
Calories 35
Calories from Fat27
% Daily Value *
Fat 3 g5%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Unsaturated fat 1 g
Carbohydrates 7 g2%
Sugar 25 g
Protein 7 g14%
Sodium 1 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Please Rate my Rice Cake

4.8 stars from 6 ratings of Rice Cake

Puto ~ Filipino Steamed Rice Cake ~ c/o Liz Kreate

My personal request asking permission to use Ms. Liz Kreate's video on how to make Puto
My personal request asking permission to use Ms. Liz Kreate's video on how to make Puto

Variations of making Rice Cakes here in Asia or around the world through videos uploaded from YouTube

The first video I'm going to share with you is from the channel of Ms. Liz Kreate.

She explained each procedure precisely.

The rice flour she used is also the natural one, not the glutinous-type of rice.

The rice cake she made is the modern adaptation of the rice cake, the vendor shared with me.

By the way, it is often called rice pudding in English word, but it may mean another version, usually the glutinous or sticky rice cakes.

The whereabouts of Ms. Kreate being spilled out here:

I'm in Australia. But in the UK or Scotland, I'm sure if you go to Asian Groceries (Ex. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, etc.), you'll find that they sell Rice Flour. If you use mostly flour for the ingredients, it will taste like steam pancake. I usually make hundreds of these and freeze it. They keep well up to 6 months.

And yes, Pilipina po ako.

Good luck and all the best, Liz.

How to make traditional Korean rice cake (Gyeongdan:경단) c/o Maangchi

My asking permission to use Maangchi's video
My asking permission to use Maangchi's video

Rice Cakes: The Korean Way

Maangchi of South Korea shared on how to make a traditional Korean rice cake with well-explained procedures, how to make the dough, sweet filling and its coating or flavoring.

The distinct flavoring in Korean rice cake is the sesame seeds, also used for coating the cakes.

If you're interested in making their traditional rice cakes, I asked permission from Maangchi to share the procedure along with the video.

Maangchi explained:


There are many different kinds of rice cake, but I'm going to introduce gyung dan to you. On special occasions, the first thing my mom and grandmother did was to prepare rice cake, so this is what I'm going to show you.


Dramatic Japanese rice cake pounding 高速餅つき 奈良 中谷堂 c/o lensonjapan

Asking lensonjapan to use the video
Asking lensonjapan to use the video

The Japanese 'Mochi' or traditonal rice cake

Most traditional rice cakes of Japan have green coloring.

In Nara, Japan where this video from lensonjapan took place, the cake masters performed an exciting way of pounding the rice flour before cooking it to the modern steamer.

The people outside the bakeshop got excited as well, while watching the mochi-making masters in action.

lensonjapan explained:

Mochi is traditional Japanese confectionery made from glutinous rice. It requires quite laborious process to produce smooth mass.

Nakatanido is a cake shop in Nara offering not only pastry, but also a performance when preparing it.

The green color comes from "yomogi" grass and pastry is served with "anko" sweet bean paste inserted by a machine.

Easy Steamed Minced Meat Rice Cake (Banh Gio) c/o RunAwayRice

My request with Ms. RunAwayRice to permit me in using her video.
My request with Ms. RunAwayRice to permit me in using her video.

Vietnamese Rice Cake: Complete Meal

Instead of the usual sweet filling, using either sesame paste or young meat of coconut, Vietnamese people have the unique way of economizing the cooking process of a complete meal.

Yes, rice cake gourmets; the use ground or meat strips as cake's filling.

Here's how Ms. RunAwayRice explained the different but awesome way of cooking rice cakes, the Vietnamese way.

This is a simple no-fuss recipe for making Banh Gio, a Vietnamese steamed rice cake with a meat filling. Instead of making individually wrapped dumplings, we make one cake. It's much faster and super easy! Give it a try to let me know what you think.

Most Popular Rice Cakes in Asia

Which rice cake have you tasted already?

See results without voting

Steamed Rice Cakes with Baking Powder

You can serve it as part of Filipino breakfast, with coffee,milk or tea drinks.
You can serve it as part of Filipino breakfast, with coffee,milk or tea drinks.

Other Filipino Rice Cake variations

Bibingka, rice cake with slivered salted or freshly boiled eggs and ,usually prepared in a charcoal oven
Bibingka, rice cake with slivered salted or freshly boiled eggs and ,usually prepared in a charcoal oven
Colorful rice cakes
Colorful rice cakes
Rice Cakes (white and colored ones) along with other Filipino delicacies
Rice Cakes (white and colored ones) along with other Filipino delicacies

More by this Author


Comments 27 comments

earthbound1974 profile image

earthbound1974 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Succulent rice cakes! I miss this. Thanks for featuring it travel man. :)


Ely Maverick profile image

Ely Maverick 3 years ago from The Beautiful Archipelago of the Philippines

Ahh..such sweet memories,that putong galapong. That is the authentic traditional Filipino rice cake.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I've never had these. The rice cakes look delicious and I just might give that a try. Thank you for the recipes.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

these do sound intriguing. Thanks for sharing this recipe.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@earthbound1974: Thanks, sis! You'll never miss this one.Better make batches of this putong galapong (purey rice puto-non baking powder added).


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Ely Maverick: I'm glad you remember this original Filipino rice cake.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@billybuc: Thanks, Sir Bill. It's just the basic recipe in making rice cake. You don't need flour-riser for this one.

Thanks for dropping by.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@carol7777: Hi, Ms. C! It's been awhile. Yes, it does and you can mix your own, too. :)


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a very interesting hub! I loved learning about all the different types of rice cake. They sound delicious.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@AliciaC: Thanks for appreciating Filipino delicacies and other Asian rice cakes. They sure are so deliciously sweet! Better taste it if you have time.


oldiesmusic profile image

oldiesmusic 3 years ago from United States

I've eaten this stuff before. It was good, especially when freshly made and slathered with butter. There are even quick rice cake mixes in boxes if you've got no more time. Very nice hub, thanks for sharing :)


BNadyn profile image

BNadyn 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

I haven't had a rice cake in so long but now I want to pick one up at our local Asian market! When I get more time, I'd like to try the recipe you have here. I'll let you know how it goes! I would like to try the other variations, too. Nice hub, I'm pinning this for reference. :)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 2 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@oldiesmusic: How come I didn't noticed your comment? Anyway, thanks for tasting our delicacy. It's sure thing a blast, ain't it?


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 2 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@BNadyn:Yes, thank you for pinning this via Pinterest. The more choices you have mixing rice cakes, the more you'll enjoy the different tastes.


Hannah David Cini profile image

Hannah David Cini 21 months ago from Nottingham

This looks really yummy, I think I saw some in a shop close to me and wasn't sure what was in them so wasn't brave enough to buy. I will definitely try now.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 20 months ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Hannah David Cini: Thanks for the hub-visit. Yes, you should really try it. I'm sure, you'll enjoy Asian delicacies, such as rice cakes. :)


Eric 14 months ago

Musta kabayan,

Puedeng makahingi ng Steam Rice Cake with Baking Powder Recipe and direction how to cook tulad nasa picture puto na cut by triangles or squares after ng Vote. Salamat!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 14 months ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Eric: Kabayan,here's recipe for Steam Rice Cake with Baking Powder.

INGREDIENTS

3 2/3 cups Rice Flour (or 1 pound bag)

1 can Coconut Milk

3 cups hot water

4 teaspoons Double-Acting Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence(optional)

1 1/2 cup Sugar

1 stick butter, softened

PREPARATION TIME : 10 minutes plus 1 1/2 hour for letting the mix rise.

COOKING TIME :35 minutes

1 Mix together the coconut milk and rice flour. Add the sugar and softened butter.

2 Heat up the water and add to the rice flour mixture. Strain and let it cool down thoroughly.

3 Add the baking powder and vanilla essence and set aside for an hour and a half.

4 Pour the mix on a lined muffin pan up to 2/3 full.

5 Steam for 25 - 30 minutes or until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6 Let it cool down before taking out of the pan.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 14 months ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Eric: Kabayan,here's recipe for Steam Rice Cake with Baking Powder

INGREDIENTS

3 2/3 cups Rice Flour (or 1 pound bag)

1 can Coconut Milk

3 cups hot water

4 teaspoons Double-Acting Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence(optional)

1 1/2 cup Sugar

1 stick butter, softened

PREPARATION TIME : 10 minutes plus 1 1/2 hour for letting the mix rise.

COOKING TIME :35 minutes

1 Mix together the coconut milk and rice flour. Add the sugar and softened butter.

2 Heat up the water and add to the rice flour mixture. Strain and let it cool down thoroughly.

3 Add the baking powder and vanilla essence and set aside for an hour and a half.

4 Pour the mix on a lined muffin pan up to 2/3 full.

5 Steam for 25 - 30 minutes or until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6 Let it cool down before taking out of the pan.


Eric 14 months ago

Thank you Kabayan!

Just a few questions:

#1. Rice Flour - Puede ba yung ready made from Thailand(1 lb/bag)? Or gagawa tayo ng sariling giniling na Bigas?

#2. 3 cups Hot Water - is Boiled Water or Warm Water?

#3. Paglagay ng Baking Powder habang mainit yung 3 cups of Hot Water with Rice Flour mixture or cool down na?

#4. Anong size/type ng Muffin pan? Single or Multiple? Sa bilao ba niluto at paano?

Pasensya na Kabayan sa mga tanong ko at masarap talaga yan ganyan na cut into triangles or squares na puto.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 14 months ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Eric: It is best to have a freshly ground rice, para fresh din ang lasa. Hot water talaga kasi inilalagay iyan sa flour mixture. Anyways, forget the muffin pan, individual kasi siya for steamed rice cake (same recipe din for whole rice cake.. Ang variant kasi, iyang sinasabi mong polygon cut (hindi po triangle). Kung sa bilao with dahon ng saging ang lining, nagmo-moist (puwede rin, saka natural ang bango,).Or if you have oven, then use the square or rectangular pan. Good luck sa pagluluto.


Eric 14 months ago

Maraming Salamat Kabayan!

Nag uumpisa pa lamang ako matutong magluto ng puto at yung sa iyong recipe try ko lulutuin. Pasensya na sa mga tanong ko at Wala talaga akong alam sa pagluto ng puto. God Bless!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 14 months ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Eric: Okay lang 'yan kabayabn. Trial and error naman talaga in cooking. Iyong rice puto, pasttime namin iyon noong bata pa. Laking baryo eh. Ito namang Puto-lansoy, parati namin itong nabibili sa market, but sa culinary school na ako pormal na natutong nag-bake nito (preferably steam).

God bless you, too. :)


Eric 13 months ago

Kabayan nakagawa na ako ng puto-lansoy base sa ingredients at procedures. Ang problema madaling nakulubot yung top surface ng puto/Lansoy. Di tulad yung sa iyo smooth na smooth ang top. Ano kaya ang problema?


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 13 months ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

Eric: Trial and error talaga iyan. Bawasan mo water based from the recipe. Humidity also affects our homecooking. Or sa pagluto mo, natagalan iyan. Use toothpick for assuring na hundi runny or luto na ang mga puto mo. Kaya mo 'yan. Try and try lang until you have a successful batch of cooked puto lansoy. :)


Eric 13 months ago

OK Kabayan at try ko ulit Lutuin Ito base sa iyong instruction. Maraming Salamat ulit Kabayan. God Bless!


merian 10 months ago

Putong galapong! wow,sarap authentic from bicol. naalala ko tuloy mama ko dahil ito ang nagbuhay sa amin dahil gumagawa sya nito ng pangtinda sa baryo namin. may bukayo pa, paborito ko ito lalo na pag tostado. try ko tong lutuin. thank you sa recipe mo at try ko ring recall ang sa mama ko.

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