Ay, PUTO!!!


Remember when a member of your lolo’s generation or earlier wanted to let forth an expletive(s) but sugar coated it with a half-baked “Oh, Son-a-ma-gun…” or something equally dopey? Well, those were the days, and mostly gone is the self-control in today’s modern and blunt or is it crass age…what with radio and even television programs getting away with what they do. At any rate, I am in a puto frenzy. I have tried this before, and gave up without much thought. But recently, more and more folks have been asking me for a puto recipe that works; and with the holidays coming up, I figured I should be able to nail this with some serious effort. It is always the simplest Pinoy recipes that cause me the most grief. I made budbud kabog at least a half dozen times before I figured that out and it only had millet, coconut milk and sugar as ingredients. Now I am STRUGGLING with puto which only has rice flour, water, baking powder and sugar and sometimes salt as ingredients at its most basic. So what is the problem?


I made puto 4 times in a row last Friday/Saturday with varying results. I first searched the internet and cookbooks for an appropriate recipe and settled on doing the easier, shortcut version first which calls for rice flour rather than grinding my own rice. I figured, if I could nail the shortcut version, I could work my way to a more “original version”. I settled on a recipe from a very well known foodie and cookbook author who I won’t name now as the recipe appears to be a disaster; or at least I made it a disaster, 4 separate times, and I think I was at serious fault on only the first attempt. But let me first say that I am annoyed by how easy every single recipe I read made it sound… it’s as though any ding-dong can whip up brilliant puto like toasting white bread… it just isn’t so…


First, the flour. Older recipes call for several variations of rice flour. Some soak the rice for 6 hours, others overnight, before grinding. Yet other recipes specify the type of rice. Other recipes have hard rice grains soak together with some cooked rice. Still others add the cooked rice to the soaked grains before grinding. The recipe I used called for commercially sold rice flour, which is a very fine and white flour. In the first attempt, I used Peotraco Rice Flour and though the initial product looked very promising, a few minutes later it turned to mush. In fact, it looked like puto-cuchinta. Progression of attempts in second photo from top (first attempt) to right (last attempt). A closer inspection of the bag and the “Ay, PUTO!” moment number one, it was GLUTINOUS rice flour, not just rice flour. Throw that out. Next I used some regular rice flour and while these turned out putos worth photographing, they were a little underdone inside, a bit odd in smell (old rice flour?), too dense and heavy for my liking, and just not the best puto you have ever had. Send this batch to the anyone willing to scarf it down. The third batch I used a commercial mixer instead of a handheld whisk and I intentionally tried to whip air into the batter so that the resulting puto might be lighter, or air-ier, but the result was similar to attempt number two. Finally, I bought new rice flour, new baking powder and tried it again but still, while edible, this was not worth blogging about yet. I wonder if you CAN make a decent puto with pre-processed rice flour at all…


The baking powder takes the place of tuba which was the leavening agent in old recipes. That’s why some provincial or classically made putos have that slightly fermented taste to them, from the tuba. You must use very fresh baking powder is all I can say, and much of our baking powder is dead. Sugar, I would think, is sugar, but I suppose you could try to use either brown or white sugar or coarse and fine sugar, the latter blitzed in your food processor if necessary. I am guessing that water is water but am now wondering if bottled water is different from tap water. I know I must be overthinking this, but why, oh why, is my puto so horrific so far?


Finally, some comments on cooking the puto. You need a steamer and the puto molds that I brushed with butter, though I suspect lard was the original version. If you have the heat too high, the puto will rise very fast and have a tendency to crack, if it is too low, then it takes a long time to cook. I saw the steamers they use at commercial puto places and they are these huge pots with an inverted ice cream cone looking top, to ensure that the water from the steam slides back down the sides to the pot and doesn’t fall on the cooking puto. Oh, and I forgot flavoring. I tried to make pandan and ube flavored puto. And all I can tell you now is that most commercial putos have a WICKEDLY SERIOUS amount of food coloring to get them to their vivid colors. And commercial putos that are more purple than purple must have enough artificial coloring to color your intestines silly. The photos here show some of my efforts with pandan flavoring and a tinge of color and you can see how pale they are compared to what you get in some shops…. But I haven’t given up. I am working this week so I am on puto hiatus, but when I get back to the kitchen, it will be round 2 of Marketman vs. The Puto, in my quest to reach a recipe that I can share with all of you…stay tuned for more… If you have any tips you wish to share with everyone, please leave me a comment… I have heard whisperings of some using egg whites to fluff this up, yet others do a very slow steam, yet others…and the variations are endless it seems!



113 Responses

  1. Ay,naku! I have the same problem when I use rice flour.A lot of pinoys here use just flour instead of rice flour,but,although it tastes nice,it’s not the same as our puto sa Pinas. I can’t wait for your next posts on these lovely little thingies.Hopefully,you’ll have success next time! I must say the pics looks good!

    Countdown to your b-day next week!

  2. I miss those days when my tita would create such childhood favorites as polvoron, cochinta(?), very malagkit but super sarap na bico, even the latik that she would put on top of the bico she’d make, ube halaya.. and this, puto..

    I remember that it’s such a long process (or was it tasky) to make, because she uses bigas, talagang recipe from scratch, then I remember that one time she used flour but it’s not as good..

  3. Goodluck, MM. They still look good to me though, especially the ube!

    I miss my Grandfather’s cuchinta, which I prefer better than puto. I grew up in Lucban Quezon, and you can find puto in every street corner. Some of them are cooked in a bilao so they just slice it when you want to buy some, and then there’s the puto cooked in a mold. I think they still use malagkit rice and the old traditional recipe. We have this suki, we just call their house and order a whole bilao whenever there’s a family reunion. Our fear is that the woman who makes puto is really old now and we hope and pray that she passed on the recipe and skill to someone else.

  4. Im also looking for the perfect puto recipe ’til now. I prefer the old-fashioned puto, not the kind that tastes like cake. Waiting for your follow-up post. :D

  5. My polymath lolo who calculated projectiles during the liberation of Manila from his sickbed and his brother who was an MIT pensionado conducted an ongoing contest of who could develop the ultimate puto recipe but unfortunately took their secrets to their graves.

    If aridelros called you a bloggod, perfecting puto recipe would be your apotheosis in my book, the point at which you become among the elect deities of my kitchen and one of the lares and penates of my recipe collection.

    Like the French never having to learn how to make baguette at home, our town had several puto specialists. If one of them had not been also the town’s mortician and the other a reputed kulam, it would have been a veritable impediment of choice.

  6. Like you, I tried making puto using internet recipes and all of them flopped. Some of the recipes I found don’t even have rice flour. Amazing!

    However, during my previous trips to the Philippines, my mom told me that the Puto batter is mixed with half cup of the mother liquor (from the previous recipe) and made to ferment for 24 hours before steaming. Does that make sense?

  7. Correct me if Im wrong but it seem that most commercialized miniature putos nowadays are cake-like, sweet and artificially colored. Then there are cakey puto pao. It’s the flour and perhaps egg right? I dont really like most traditional puto using rice flour. It is too dry for me. But I love Calasiao puto and kutsinta. I never thought puto making can be tedious.

  8. apicio, you just gave me reason for a big pre-dinner laugh! a mortician and a resident kulam? puto? no thanks! hahaha…

  9. Dinuguan and chicharon — two things mischievous local morticians like to offer guests to make them squirm in their seats. Why chicharon? It has been speculated that once a corpse has been laid in the coffin and dressed, you’d never know if the skin on the back has been “harvested” for cannibalistic culinary delights. LOL. So gross, but you never really know….!!!

    MM, tried to make puto years before, I know what you’re going through. After dozens of attempts, we gave up. Then we attempted to spy on the family we ordered the most amazing fluffy white puto from, but they knew what we were up to… Puto is the holy grail of kakanins.

  10. ps…. i tried asking my yaya’s aunt who makes yummy puto.. she said she mixes malagkit rice flour and rice flour.. hoping that she’ll share her recipe also! =D

  11. what’s puto calasiao? what about puto manapla? I like my puto sweet and heavy not the kind that tastes like cake. closests yung binebenta sa kalye naka brown paper bag (gilmore st. white plains)

    i’m from angeles. at home, we not only pair these puto (puto, kutsinta, puto lason) with tidtad (dinuguan) we them with sotanghon, boboto (tamales) and panara (crisp minced pork/shrimp pies with shredded papaya)

  12. hello mm. your puto photos look great. waiting for your puto recipe. what about a recipe for puto binan, the brown puto? like that one too.

  13. Sorry MM, I’m not going to be much of an help either. I’ve tried and tried using rice flour for making puto but it just wouldn’t work for me either. I guess nothing beats getting your rice grinded at the market like what our old folks do, I think there is something about using young or old rice, not sure which one.
    Anyway, my recipe calls for regular flour, egg whites, baking powder, cream of tartar and sugar, then add whatever flavoring you want. I make either cheese flavor, pandan flavor using pandan extract, then I get these ube powder from a Pinoy grocery use to make halaya for ube flavor. Fluffy but not made of rice obviously.

  14. ….well even Amy Besa mentioned in her book that so far they have been unable to come up with a good puto recipe….hope you have better luck.

  15. Puto and dinuguan, what a perfect pair…Haven’t tried making puto but everytime I crave for puto with queso ,I have to make a trip to Meycauayan, Bulacan. Francia’s puto and Puto Popular….Hmmm yummy..

  16. Ay puto talaga! These look good though. No comment about puto making here but will be interested on other people’s insight.

  17. i too am disappointed with my attempts on my puto. they are very different looking from the ones my aunt makesbut the recipe is the same… hmm i have to wait for your round 2 for yur “new found techniques”! but then again – they said my puto are delicious…naubos din eh! :)

  18. Hi MM, you may try to place a kitchen towel or ‘katya’ on top of the cover. i remember my lola’s kusinera do that to prevent water dripping to the puto.

  19. Before steaming the puto dough, it has to be allowed to rise for atleast a few minutes. The “traditional” process is quite similar to making bread, the dough needs to be kneaded then proved so the yeast can take action.

    This is the family recipe I know when making puto:

    rice flour
    yeast or fermenting agent available
    coconut milk (unang gata)
    cane sugar
    banana leaves

    The yeast has to be prepared with a little bit of hot water. Add the rice flour, sugar, a little coconut milk and knead well. Then allow the dough to rise for atleast half an hour. Line the steamer with banana leaves. Once the dough has risen, re-knead a bit then you can make them into balls. Place them on the steamer with enough spaces between. Sprinkle with anise. Prick with a toothpick to test if ready – the toothpick comes out clean. The puto should be fluffy and soft.

  20. I regret not learning to make puto. Where I grew up in Pampanga at the crack of dawn there were these people out on the street calling out puto lasong on top of their voice. Same puto but call it with a different name. Puto vendors are everywhere in the market, in front of the church and schools. Totally ignore this since it was so easy to commission someone makes a delectable variety than the one being offered in the market or out on the street. I know the age of the rice and the variety plays a major role in puto, kutsinta and bibingka making. It has to be at least one year old as the grain is lighter then, soaked overnight and cooked rice is added before grinding it. It has to be a smooth grind and the right consistently. They said the water ratio for every cup of rice, 2 tablespoons cooked rice and 1 1/4 cup of water is added to the combined soaked and washed rice before grinding. They use the same palayok over and over again without rinsing it. Yes, sounds creepy the mother yeast or labadora embedded in the palayok and they save a cup of the day’s batch and add it to the new batch. For future puto making – they save a cup of day’s batch let it dry out in the sun and then bury it in a grind that has been dried like powder and keep it in a jar. They let the mixture sit at least four hours for fermentation with the addition of little sugar and then the last batch of sugar is added before steaming them. Once done steaming while still warm they run a banana leaves with regular cooking oil for that shiny look No baking powder is used. Same concept applies to bibingka.

  21. By the way, we never pair puto with dinuguan (can’t stand it anyway), but with a more salty fare. This is because the sweetness of the puto balances the salty ulam like pulang itlog, tuyo, binagoongang, meats, veggies etc.

  22. Maria Clara, You just wrote the “hidden gem” in puto making. The LEVADURA or the MOTHER YEAST which my mom calls Mother Liquor, added to the new batch and given time (a couple of hours) to ferment before the steaming process.

    My guess is, one needs a week of fermenting the rice flour mixture to obtaining the LEVADURA. I suppose, the process is similar to SOUR DOUGH recipes.

    Filipino ingenuity or something passed on from generation to generation?

    Worth a try for the Die Hard puto makers.

  23. I buy powdered Jasmine rice from Oriental stores in Boston for my puto. They tastes so good!

  24. I also like Puto Manapla, maybe you can experiment making it next time – after you’ve perfected your first puto recipe. Looking forward to it.

  25. I understand your frustrations MM. We’re sort of in the same page, I’m also looking for a perfect puto recipe myself, and I got so excited when I read that you’ll be making puto in your coming post! I remember back in high school (back home), as part of home economics, we had to make batches and batches of puto, too bad, and I still pinch myself for not keeping or remembering the recipe.

    I have a few recipes at home, some calls for rice flour, one recipe calls for regular flour, but somebody told me that u can use Bisquick (I know, that’ll be cheating if you’re looking for the authentic puto recipe). However, when I made it for the first time, the recipe a followed is from pinoycook.net; her recipe calls for egg whites (beat in electric mixer until stiff peaks form). Well, in terms of presentation, mine looked like a disaster, and it was my fault. She indicated to use bamboo steamer, but since my bamboo steamer was too small for the muffin pan, I had to improvised, and I followed her direction, wrapping the stock-pot lid with a towel to catch the steam or it will prevent the puto from rising properly. However, there wasn’t enough space for the puto to rice to the actual lid, so the top was ruined and all the cheesey-goodness got stucked in the towel.

    But, that did not stop me from making puto again, this time around I bought a new, bigger bamboo steamer, I followed the recipe, it looked better the second time around, it tasted good, I like it with lots of cheese on top, the only problem was, I did not butter the aluminum mold I used, so some got stuck in the bottom of the mold. See I wanted a perfect-looking puto for presentation purpose (hehehe). As I get the hang of it, theycame out perfect looking and yummy tasting too!

    I still have to make a Bisquick version and see how they taste. But we’re still wait for your recipe! Good luck!

  26. I’m actually one of your readers who requested a puto feature from you! I used to watch my mother make puto, but now that she’s gone, I regret not learning the techniques from her. She made big rounds of puto (like puto binan size), not muffin size. She would pour the batter to a kacha-lined steamer basket set over rapidly boiling water. Then when the puto was about done, she would uncover it and place slices of cheese on top. She would either add cheese or anise seeds. The puto was then sliced. I can still remember how fluffy & white it was, and how the butter would melt on it. I miss this kind of puto. I’ve made several unsuccessful attempts so far. The latest one though proved a bit promising. It was from Playing with my Food blog, a Vietnamese version. The puto batter uses yeast as levadura & was fermented overnight, rising & falling, before steaming. I found another recipe I’ve yet to try, a Chinese version from a Hawaiian online newspaper. I just bought another batch of rice flour but I have to wait for your version MM. With your patience in perfecting traditional recipes, I’m sure the end result will be a good one. Wishing you success and thanks for sharing your puto trials. Thanks!

  27. My favorite puto is the one from Bacolod, although we’d get it from the house along Reposo (so I have it fixed in my mind that it’s puto reposo). It’s a little more flat than the other putos, and heavenly with butter. There’s a certain hint of tuba to it, or perhaps as one of the earlier comments said a leavening agent.
    Someone should consider organizing a travel series based on puto of the ‘pinas.

  28. I prefer the smaller, malagkit puto. The cake-y ones just don’t do it for me. The small malagkit ones are usually sold wrapped in banana leaves. Sometimes they are combined with kutsinta in one paper bag. They are sold on Carvajal Street in Binondo, Country Chicken branches around Metro Manila, and in front of the Chinese temple on Narra Street, Divisoria.

  29. MM, My mom used to make wonderful puto (I don’t really eat puto but I did enjoy eating hers) but its supposed to be her secret recipe. She made it big and round with cheese. Later on my sister found out how she made it and copied it, she would add red eggs to differentiate hers and my moms. It was awesome, kinda cakey and moist. Wishing you success on your next puto quest. =)

  30. hi mm, have you tried puto marikina. It’s taste like a combination of kutsinta and puto in one. You can buy them near San Roque church in marikina. The best ones are by Rochas (it’s more expensive than the others), which are only available by order only (tel 029411519).

  31. Wow,I appreciate puto and puto makers more now that I know how difficult it is to make these yummy goodies! (BTW, had a good snicker over the pics of the puto-na-mukhang-kutsinta and the puckered up ube puto with cheese in the steamer!)

    Thanks for all the effort, though! Two thumbs up for that!

  32. I had the same fever last Sunday but the rush resulted in so-so puto :(. I do look for the porous texture when you split a piece of puto into two. One can tell that it was made the traditional way much like the the puto sold in the markets of Batangas City. A nice light brown colored puto covered with cheese and salted red eggs. They even use a strung to cut it up. Marketman, if you do get to perfect your shortcut puto, please share the recipe.

  33. hi marketman, thanks for sharing what you’ve got so far, i’m one of those who asked for a puto recipe. Looking forward to round 2 ^.^
    Jade186 – would you post the measurements please? thanks.
    aridelros – you bring up a good point, dough vs batter. all the recipes i’ve tried with varying degrees of success are batters. Jade186’s is a dough, which i’m keen to try.

  34. Well I’m gladd you finally posted Puto. I believe I asked for a recipe over a year ago…hehe…I can’t get the online recipes right either. I’ve tried grinding my own, using rice flour, using eno salt, fermenting overnight, but the Puto starter must really be the secret. I don’t understand why the Filipino boxed mixes are made with wheat flour, since when was that real Putong Puti?! According to Idli (Indian rice cake) makers, distilled water should be used where tap water contains chlorine otherwise fermentation is impeded. I’ll be checking back regularly because I want that final recipe!

  35. I beg to disagree aridelros, in fact I appreciate MM for trying to come up with the original puto recipe. I mean the only one I know how to make is the easier but fake one. I remember when I was young, pancit luglug and pancit palabok were made from scratch, with included pounding shrimp heads and deboning tinapa. Now everything is instant. So is with kare-kare, I remember my mom cooking kare-kare for hours and everything made from scratch too. Like grinding the peanuts in a stone grinder instead of using store bought peanut butter. She even made tamales, puto, yemas, bibingka, different variety of suman, halaya, maja blanca and more kakanins all from scratch. As a young kid I never appreciated my mom being a stickler to details, don’t cook it too fast, your not cutting the meat right, let the veggies sweat first, gata is not hot enough, and so on. Now I regret that I did not pay attention enough. There are many Pinoy recipes that I wanted to make and will try doing but just isn’t comparable to mom’s home cooking. And it’s too bad that none of those cooking techniques were passed on to any of the kids.
    I think in my opinion, inheriting family tested recipes are incomparable to any material wealth. Really I would love to just have mom within a phone call away when I’m having trouble making puto myself or my maja blanca tastes floury or cracking instead of that gentle mixture of coconut and milk that is perfectly formed, but that isn’t just possible.

    Sorry for the rant, I’ll step off my soapbox now. LOL.

  36. connie, and others wondering about the reference, I have deleted a few comments on this post that just didn’t seem relevant or useful… but thanks, yes, I think it is a big deal to get some basic recipes for basic foods down pat…and yes, I always tend to stumble on the easiest sounding ones… I did fail, after all in my quest for the thin lumpia wrapper…so other failures are very likely…:) lee, what body part would you trade for Apicio’s food knowledge bank?…

  37. lee, let alone eat easily or do other important body functions… hahaha, it’s so nice to know there is someone in Western Visayas with such a good sense of humor…

  38. aiaiay. i missed your quests! a.k.a. edible experiments. Saves me from doing the “what nots” and keeps me from doing my “what ifs”. But then again, I’m glad that the final products are edible.

  39. I miss the original puto from my childhood. The very white in a big rectangular pan, cut into diamond shapes. I remember peeling the skin off the top and saving it for last. I wish you success in your efforts!

    On the food colouring… have you tried using colour paste? You need much less than liquid colouring and the colours are vibrant.

  40. when i was in highschool my classmates and i can make puto without even looking in the recipe book! it’s because in our home economics class we cook for our canteen. hehehe. too bad i forgot the recipe already.

  41. I like the puto (and kutchinta) from Calasiao, Pangasinan! :D so yummy… sometimes I top it w/ butter or cheez whiz! Mmmm.. ;) the ones w/ cheese strips on top are also okay! I also wanna try the putong ube I saw in Mall of Asia..

  42. waiting for your next posting of the next puto recipe. I made
    puto once and when it got cold it was rockhard you don’t want
    to eat it, so I give up. I already tried the vegetable dish
    and it taste great my whole family liked it so much. Thanks
    for sharing.

  43. I thought I am the only one who is not having any luck in cooking puto. I tried to imitate the way my mother cooked puto sa Pinas; I can still remember the taste twenty years later. But, I just couldn’t get my hands on the right recipes; I even asked my mother to write me the recipes, but, it just not the same. I am still trying though. I will try to use malagkit rice flour. I am trying to avoid to use regular flour because, I know it will come out like a cupcake. I will check back again, just in case you got the right recipes.

  44. I use to cook puto just to make ends meet as a young student in the 70’s. The very traditional method is always the best puto and never failed. My puto mix also can be my bibingka mix and I get up at 4am in our dormitory to cook them ready to be bought by the students for breakfast. Like you, I tried all variations of using the commecial rice flour available in the shop without any luck and I gave up after 5 years of attempt.

  45. Great post. On your water comment … bottled water oftentimes is “dead”, and has a flat taste. I would use tap water for the puto as it has more character in terms of flavor. Personally, I’m not a big fan of puto that uses baking powder as the leavener. Baking powder discolors the puto and gives it a more cakey consistency.

  46. Yes Melvs that Putong Marikina along JP Rizal Avenue right after San Roque’s church is Aling Remy’s Puto. They used to be located right in front of the church. And yes again, You’ll actually mistake the puto as kutsinta at first for its fudge-like texture and orange color. Bits and pieces will stick to your hand. They’re Kutsinta is also divine. Rocha’s is near that area Marikenos call Paliparan. And they only sell Puto by order. They’re kind of puto is similar to Aling Remy’s but the texture is smoother. Same taste. Sarap!

  47. Just tried making puto again and it came out pretty good. Fermented a thick batter of ground medium grain rice, some sugar, and water for 3 days in a warm room. After 3 days, the batter had turned even thicker almost like a paste. Added sugar and steamed on high for 15 minutes. Result came out pretty good, with the texture being just slightly heavier than puto calasiao. I wonder if the puto would turn out even lighter if long grain rice was used. Maria Clara mentioned that year old long grain rice would be better since it was lighter. Hmm … must try again, but the results are getting better. I’m trying to achieve both calasiao and manapla textures.

  48. Haaay, its like reading a suspense novel with “reveal the antagonist” page torn. I grew up in Pangasinan and now that I am in Singapore, the perfect puto recipe is like a holy grail of mine. I tried doing it like 40 times (tonight will be my 41st attempt after failing again yesterday)and I can’t wait to get home. I’ve read that baking powder reacts to salt so i think i’ll put a bit of salt too. My aunt is so famous for her puto but she took the recipe to her grave. i really regret that I did not ask the recipe from her. I was too young then, busy with friends but i remember that she will have the rice milled in the afternoon like 5pm and then mix the sugar and baking powder,to be left overnight. the batter is thick and it tasted (i used to open it up and dip my index finger ala peanut butter)and smelt like panis with a bit of sour taste.

    Market Man, please share your ultimate recipe here. the picture with green puto is not bad.

  49. Oh the baking powder brand is “calumet” with an Indian portrait, if i am not mistaken

  50. Minerva, my puto experiments have ground to a halt, unsuccessful so far. I have failed at a few things, like thin lumpia wrappers and puto so far… but may take up the challenge again towards the Christmas holidays…

  51. for the lumpia wrapper you have to use the commercial all -purpose flour which you can buy from lowly baker store supply or even the lowly wet market. the secret is in allowing the gluten in the flour to develop and non-stick pans over low to medium heat.

  52. i will make puto today. wish me luck! this is my first time to make a puto ever! hopefully mag success.. hehehe..

  53. We used to eat puto with Lapaz Batchoy before.That’s the best PUTO ever. I’ve spend my vacation in the Phils. last 3 months ago & taste the puto of our neighbor which my mom ordered for my cousin b_day.Oh no! I used to make with my own Puto recipe here in Europe. Put some dice of cheese & taste much better. I have a niece who don’t like to eat Puto or Siopao but, she was inspired & from then on her mom must have the recipe. Wish you could have your own,too next time.

  54. We would like to introduce our product, the MANAPLA PUTO, a native delicacy from Iloilo and Bacolod with DTI Certificate No. 00246606. MANAPLA PUTO started in a small town north of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental in the year 1950’s by our grandparents.

    In 1960, my parents moved to Iloilo City, in the town of Jaro where they started making puto in the traditional way. Thereon, Manapla Puto became a byword in the puto making as a cottage industry. It has served the Ilonggo taste as a partner foodstuff in the well-known La pAz Batchoy and Dinuguan, and also in the early morning and afternoon snacks with their favorite coffee or fruit juice.

    The fine quality and chewy texture of Manapla Puto is a product of long years of experience which made it different from the other puto found in the market.

    We hope that you will give it a try and we shall be looking for a better and more successful business partnership.

    for more information and queries, email us at gwapito1087@yahoo.com

  55. hi there

    i have a problem regarding the texture of kutchenta, i made puto kutchenta but it doesn’t taste like one… hinde katulad sa ibang kutchenta na smooth and tastey ewan ko kung bakt… paano po ba?

    thank u.. email me

  56. hi…..im looking for the best recipe of kutsinta in town.can u help me or give a good recipe of kutsinta…thanks

  57. i really love manapla puto..its not too fancy,no salted eggs,no coloring,no cheese on top just white puto wrap in banana leaf, but the texture and taste…superb!

  58. my puto is not fluffy?i used egg white and egg yolk together.also i used all purpose flour.please let me know why???

  59. Lily:
    You are only suppose to use folded egg whites. From my experience- you take 4 very cold eggs and seperate the yolks. Allow the whites to warm to room temprature. Then with and electric beater on med, beat the whites (and make sure you stir around the edges to aviod missing any) until they stiffen and form peaks-like cool whip. Then carefully fold the 1/3 of the whites into the batter (this will make it easier to cut the rest into it). Do not stir the batter as this will cause the whites to lose its consistency, yet make sure to “mix” it well.
    Egg whites worked wonders to add fluffy-ness to my puto, but I am still having trouble reaching the perfect cake.
    Hope this helps!!

  60. Wala sang maka da-og sang puto nga gin obra sa manapla, amo ini ang puto nga halin sa langit gani ang iban da nga gusto mag sunod sang puto sang Manapla pahoway na lang kamo. puto sang tagalog lawlaw na daw ga kaon ka lutak.

  61. iba ibang puto..iba ibang recipe…pare pareho kaya ang lasa?
    ang masasabi ko lang e napakayaman nga ng ating kulturang Pinoy sa larangan ng pagluluto ngunit nakakabahala na unti unting nawawala ang pagka “genuine” nito sa unti unti ring pagkawala ng mga yumaong matatanda na may taglay ng sanay naipamana sa ating mga recipeng ito…Ito marahil ang dahilan kung bakit di natin makuha ang “tunay” na lasa at pamamaraan…alam natin at kita natin noon ibang iba ang gamit at pamamaraan..Siguroy ang “hirap at pagod” sa paghahanda at pagluluto ang sikreto kung bakit may kakaiba tayong hinahanap…Kung anuman ang matutunan natin ngayon sanay maipamana natin sa ating henerasyon….

  62. hi!
    Pls. email me naman recipe ng puto like the puto binan(maasim-asim )…its my first time to make..im hir in canada, i want to learn mga kababayan ko! thank u…

  63. Did you find the Puto recipe that works? I have had the same struggles with finding the Puto recipe that works. I have been told that Puto is made with rice flour only, but alot of people use cake flour… Do you have a recipe? Have you defeated the Puto mystery? Let me know.
    Stevie, Silverdale, Washington

  64. Where can a buy a good steamer online and also where do I buy the puto molds? I live in Japan on an Airforce base and have limited resources out in town.

  65. MM, I have been trying this all week – I NEVER would’ve imagined there would be so much variation in the final product. And why can’t there be some kind of agreement on the basic recipe? AGH!!! I am going nuts with this – I hope you finish your “puto quest” some day!! I am a white chic who desperately wants to impress my amazing-cook filipino mother-in-law!! I am off to the market to get the perfectly-made puto that eludes me…

  66. am also looking for a puto that satisfied my taste until this time..i have a copy of my puto which i usually have in our church merienda..
    1 kilo all purpose flour
    1/2 kilo sugar
    1/4 kilo margarine
    3 cups water
    1 can big evap milk
    6 tablespoon baking powder
    6 pcs eggs
    cheeze for toppings

    hope u’d try this…

  67. I use 1 1/2 c. long grain rice that has been soaked in water overnight. I liqueify it 1 c. at a time in the blender with 1/2 c. water. Repeat until all of the rice has been processed. Add 5 tbls. baking powder and 3/4 c. sugar and blend again. Spoon into greased puto molds. Steam 15 min.

    This is my mother’s recipe, which was given to her by an auntie. Its very easy, and the cakes aren’t too heavy or sweet.

  68. Back in the days after volleyball practice, we would go straight to aling_ (sorry po i forgot her name), we usually our food the day before, we would tell her what kind of merienda we want, i remember her serving us puto’t dinuguan, oh soo good!! some days, we’d ask for palabok, lugaw just to name a few…

    I think it was in “batibot” that i first saw how they make puto in a bilao, it’s the one with salted eggs on top (dunno which variety of puto it was), but it was amazing to watch them how they do it the old fashion way…

  69. i saw a chinese recipe which adds fermented rice and wine yeast..? their puto look like the ones u eat at the chinese buffet..the batter looks light and fluffy..like chiffon cake.

  70. hello MM. I appreciate your puto quest.. I even made several attempts to make perfect puto from internet and one of our magazines in national circulation but failed.

    I got frustrated one time and cursed the magazine!!! hehehe anyway, as i read your experience, I was inspired again to try new puto recipes.

    I have perfected the toppings already, its a different one but my problem is the puto…

    Am waiting for your next puto endeavor.

  71. I just started on this quest as well. Your entry made me think as someone mentioned using a starter from the day before much like sourdough. I wonder if the location has to do with how the puto turns out.

    just as sourdough from san francisco tastes different than anywhere else due to the bacteria that is attracted in the starter dough. i wonder if that mother yeast is of the same variety where it’s also dependent on the bacteria floating around in the wonderful philippine air.

  72. there’s a youtube video of “ronbrendon” – also,the name of the channel, on making puto calasiao. the 2 video presentations give an idea how they make puto in their “puto shop”.

    he explained the primary methods on how they produce the product. he welcomes general questions on the puto making.

    recommended youtube search words – mike, my brother making puto ; how to make puto.

  73. MM,

    It is February 2009, have been looking for good recipe on the puto, have also tried all the the ones on the U tube , but mine dont come out right, by chance have you come up with a good recipe yet? just wonder.

  74. Marketman,

    after reading the blogpost, I have gathered all the ideas regarding the puto making quest, I have just started to soak my rice and also started a sourdough which I will harvest 3 days from now, I will try using that levadura for another attemp on how to make this puto. I have been trying to make puto about a week now and have never got good result so I will keep trying until I succeed. I wonder if sly can give us the recipe in this blog for the manapla puto?

    Sly, if you happen to visit this blogspot again, will you be kind enough to give us the recipe for the Manapla Puto? Hmm I love that manapla puto, I don’t know about the calasiao puto because I have never tasted that, I did not even know that there was such, I was in Calasiao on the early 80’s but have never come accross it. but I tell you though I have tried manapla puto and I thought it was the best; just simple puto without cheese. by the way Fyi for everybody, Cheese is not good for you anyway.


  76. the kind of rice they use in puto from calasiao is corazon -r64 variety.

    the method of fermentation is through the use of matured coconut shells….the coco shells should be well sanded and polished… soak the shells with the mixture of ground rice, (produce from stone grinder) sugar and water. they
    use “palay” husk as their fuel to steam cook the puto c.

    there is a similarity in the fermentation process that is use in our province in bicol, however, we use the coco
    shells from a “lukarin” coconut.

  77. I wonder why the texture of manapla vs calasiao is different. Assuming both of them using freshly ground rice, are the differences in texture primarily because of the use of baking powder and/or flour? I mean, does manapla have baking powder and/or flour in it? Ack! Boggles the mind!

  78. OK – you guys, count me in the quest for the perfect puto. I started using the recipes on the internet – came out good but not the true puto taste I’m looking for. The last recipe I used is from the Philippine cookbook circa 1973, only four ingredients. Putong Puti: ground rice, baking powder, sugar and salt. I tried tweaking this recipe by using commercial rice flour with cold water soaked about 1 hr. I add the baking powder just when I’m ready to cook. According to the instruction, anytime you add baking powder, it should be cooked within 15 min. The water is also important, I use spring water or filtered – NO DISTILLED.

  79. Hi everyone!
    Its time for everyone to know the origin of this recipe.
    To ur great surprise its actually South Indian way of cooking a dish called “aappam”. the only difference is, the dough is steamed in a different way. As “jade186” said, the ingredients are the same and as follows….

    rice flour
    yeast (dont use anything like Baking soda as they are harmful to our body)
    coconut milk(unang gata)
    cane sugar
    banana leaves

    Note: The flour cannot be too watery also . And instead of using banana leaves, u can use a small utensil like a stainless steel cup(s).If u use stainless steel cups remember to rub the inside portion of the cup with a little oil (to avoid sticking of the dough)before u pour in the dough.

    The yeast has to be prepared with a little bit of hot water. Add the rice flour, sugar, a little coconut milk and knead well. Then allow the dough to rise for atleast half an hour. Line the steamer with banana leaves. Once the dough has risen, re-knead a bit then you can make them into balls. Place them on the steamer with enough spaces between. Sprinkle with anise. Prick with a toothpick to test if ready – the toothpick comes out clean. The puto should be fluffy and soft.

    also try this…..
    after the puto is ready to eat, place them in a plate and add coconut milk (coconut milk + cane sugar mixed gives a sweet taste)to the puto.Let them get soaked in it and then eat it. I’m sure u’ll love it.No one can deny that….sure ….100%.

  80. To everyone’s notice:
    As far as came across, the thai, South Indian, malasian,korean & chinese dishes are moreover same. Also the way of cooking are same.

  81. MM or anybody here, i would like to ask if you know anybody here in manila selling Puto? I am opening a food kiosk and one of the item is Puto.

  82. Here’s a puto recipe that I have tried and tested thru trial and error method for almost two years of experimentation.

    rice (soaked overnight and ground)
    white sugar
    coconut milk
    baking powder

    Squeeze the ground rice in katsa to remove water in it, or put the ground rice in katsa and put the katsa in a strainer to let the water drip until it is dehydrated but not totally dry — the consistency of which is something that you can roll it with your hands to form a ball.

    For every cup of squeezed ground rice, add 3/4 cup of coconut milk, one third cup of sugar, two teaspoons of baking powder, a pinch of salt. Mix well until bubbles disappear.

    Note: One kilo of rice, soaked in water overnight, will give 5 cups of squeezed ground rice. Meaning that these 5 cups need one and two third cups of sugar, three and three fourth cups of coco milk, 10 teaspoons of baking powder and approximately one teaspoon of salt.

    Pour the mixture into small individual puto molds three fourth full and steam it for 8-10 mins.

    If using ordinary gas stove, the puto will not have a crack on top. If you want a puto with a beautiful crack on top, use firewood in cooking — it’s much hotter compared to gas stove.

    You can also add flavorings such as ube and pandan. I use the McCormick brand sold in small bottles at the supermarkets, they’re safer.



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