Puto is an all-time merienda in the Philippine cuisine derived from the Southern Indian dish Puttu. It is eaten as is or with butter or as an accompaniment to Dinuguan.
Puto is a classic steamed Filipino rice-cake shaped like an American muffin and it’s so fluppy! Puto is traditionally white, but you can add food color to make it pink, violet, green and yellow. There are many regional variations of puto.
Some puto has cheese on top or salted egg (itlog na maalat). There are also what we call puto bumbong (most popular during Christmas season, a purple rice cake cooked inside bamboo tubes called “bumbong”, served or spread with butter or margarine, shredded coconut and sugar), puto maya (steamed glutinous or sticky rice and coconut milk) and puto seko (you can buy this in grocery, it’s like a Filipino candy).
Here’s how to make a classic puto:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 cup evaporated milk
Cheese-cut into small pieces
- Combine all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and baking powder) in a mixing bowl. Mix well
- Add butter, evaporated milk, egg, water and mix all ingredients thoroughly.
- Grease the puto molds; pour mixture in molds or small cupcake pans.
- Prepare the steamer. Pour the water in the steamer.
- Put the molds in the steamer and steam for 20 minutes.
Put cheese on top of the mixture.
- Steam until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the putos comes out clean, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the puto from the molds.
- Cool on a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.
Enjoy your merienda with Dinuguan! A delicious afternoon delight!