Puto or Steamed Rice

Finally, I had made them! I was even more pleased with the result (no cracks in the middle). I had a few attempts of experimentation though to make this Puto exactly how I wanted it to be, and I stuck to the original and main ingredients which are rice flour and coconut milk.

As mentioned above the main ingredients of Puto are rice flour or glutinous rice flour and coconut milk but as the time goes by a lot of food enthusiasts has altered and made some tweaks with the recipe to create a new texture, flavor or even the ways of cooking. These all depend on how exactly you’d like them done, modern or in a more traditional way.

These Puto (which means steamed rice cake) are very popular in the Philippines. They can be eaten alone or with freshly grated coconut meat. Nowadays people like to put cheese on top of them or dip them in colored sugar, it depends on how you like to eat them. My favorite way is with a hot coffee in the morning or afternoon.


In a plastic container, soak the rice flour with water and cover it with a tea-towel and let it rest at room temperature overnight.

The next day mix everything into the flour mixture except the flavorings, the batter will become very thin.

Prepare the water for steaming and steamer.

If you want to have different colors for your Puto, you will have to divide the batter into equal parts depends on how many colors you want. I have 3, so I separated mine into four batches of batter; buko pandan, ube, strawberry, and leaving the fourth as it is so I have the original flavor as white color.

Once you have separated the batter into your batches, add 2-3 drops of your desired flavorings, leaving one batch without flavor so you still have the original flavor.

Fill your molds with the batter about 3/4 full. Do a test before you fill everything so you will know how the Puto looks after it's cooked as sometimes it'll overflow.

When your water is boiling, and you've filled most of your molds with batter, lay the puto molds on top of the tea-towel.

Before you cover the lid of the steamer, cover and line using a tea towel to help absorb the moisture and prevent condensation.

Steam the puto for 20-25 minutes.

You can play with the timing here too, maybe steam the puto for first 20 minutes and see how it looks, or you can take one and break it in half just to make sure it's cooked on the inside, at least you will know at this moment if you need more steaming or not. It's is just a matter of timing but do not over steam them as they will be dry on the inside and they will become hard.

Once they have steamed or cooked, remove straight away from their molds and let them cool on the wire rack.

Remove the Puto from the molds straight away, this prevents them from sticking to the molds, if you leave it a little while you might have trouble taking them off from the mold.

Be very cautious though because the puto is very hot! I used oven gloves and toothpick so I can hold the molds properly without burning my hands.

Once they are out, let them cool on the wire rack completely then serve.


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