Puto - Filipino Rice Cake
Puto is the Filipino term for “Rice Cake” and is cook by steaming. Puto are usually white and round and can vary greatly in size. It is usually served with fresh grated coconut.
Puto is usually eaten as a merienda - a light meal or snack especially in the afternoon, but can also be eaten for breakfast with coffee or hot chocolate but it is best served with "Dinuguan" (Pork blood stew) as a hefty afternoon merienda.
By adding local ingredients like ube (purple yam) or pandan slightly change the flavor and color of the humble puto, but this will required more work and a revision of the recipe. The best way to have flavored puto is to use essence which are also tinted to the color relative to the flavor like pandan essence flavor gives you a light green puto and an ube essence gives you a light purple puto. And of course, adding food colouring can be added but still keep the original flavor.
The original puto that I know of, is made of galapong (soaked ground rice), But there are now many variations of this recipe ranging from the type of rice used to the method of how it is prepared. You will also find that different regions in the Philippines cook puto in varied ways, some of the recipes have been passed from one generation to another, but still there are some secrets that were never revealed when ask for the recipe of their soft and yummy puto.
To be successful in cooking puto, whether you are using the galapong - (soak ground rice), rice flour, all-purpose flour or self-raising flour you have to practice - make it several times before you will successfully mastered the art of puto steaming.
Making and selling puto is a hit business opportunity in the Philippines, it is a favorite snack to both young and old, they can be seen in almost every occasion such as birthdays, baptismal, fiestas, Christmas and even end up in corporate meetings table or in simple gathering of friends and families.
Packs of colored putos are sold in the market, in school canteen, restaurants and you can even find them beautifully displayed in the food court of large shopping mall.
For those people who would like to have an extra income, making and selling puto is a good business opportunity. Once you have mastered the recipe, they are easy to make, they require very little capital and are affordable, but like any other business, patience and hard work are needed.
I don’t know how to make puto using rice but I have cooked puto using all-purpose flour or self raising flour which turn out good and yummy.
I have tried a few recipes from cookbooks, some given by family and friends, made few adjustments, add color and flavor, some experiments turn out good but some are real disaster. if you are looking for a recipe try this one.
- 2 cups self Raising Flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup fresh milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Shift the self raising flour in a bowl.
- Add and mix all the remaining ingredients in a bowl using an electric mixer but if an electric beater is not available use a wooden spoon.
- Brush a bit of butter on the molds to prevent the puto from sticking.
- Pour the mixture into puto molds about 3/4 full.
- Top with cheese slices or slices of salted eggs (Itlog na maalat)
- Arrange the molds in the steamer.
- Steam cook for 15-20 minutes only.
- Cool before removing from the molds.
Instant Puto Mix
- The texture of the puto will depend on how you mix the batter, the mixture should be mix moderately to have a finer texture.
- To prevent condensation, place a Calico fabric (katsa) or even an old teatowel between the pan and the cover. - The cloth will catch the steam and prevent the condensation from falling into the puto which will prevent them from rising properly.