Puto bumbong has become a favorite in a Filipino Christmas. It seems like it has become an icon. Every last quarter of the year beginning in late October stores will pop up selling this yummy treats and people will flock to get a taste of it. It is not a Filipino Christmas without them on the feast table. But did you ever get curious about how it is cooked and why it is called that way? Read on to this Puto Bumbong Recipe to find out.

Puto Bumbong Recipe
Puto Bumbong Recipe

Puto bumbong is one of the many puto variants in the Philippines. Puto is a steamed rice cake that is traditionally made from slightly fermented rice dough. Bumbong, on the other hand, is a bamboo tube. Puto bumbong is a rice cake steamed in a bamboo tube and that is why it is called “Puto Bumbong”. Its main ingredient is the sticky rice called pirurutong  which is deep purple to almost black in color. This gives the delicacy the unique purple color. Pirurutong is mixed with a larger ration of white glutinous rice. Regular white rice may also be used to give the dish a less chewy consistency.

Bumbong Steamer
Bumbong steamer or lansungan is used to cook puto bumbong. It is made with bamboo tubes called bumbong.

The rice grains are soaked in water over night, traditionally salted water, to give it a slightly acidic fermented aftertaste. It is then drained and packed in a bamboo tube greased with oil or butter and then steamed. When steam came out from the tube it means the puto is ready.

Recipes using alternative ingredients have emerged. Purple yam is used instead of “pirurutong” or sometimes just the white glutinous rice and then added with food coloring. But these varieties are usually frowned upon because it is considered inauthentic.

Puto bumbong
Puto bumbong is served topped with grated coconut, muscovado sugar and cheese

This rice cake is usually sold outside churches during Simbang Gabi. It is a night mass which is a a devotional nine-day series of Masses practiced by Filipino Catholics and Aglipayans in the Philippines in anticipation of Christmas. Other kinds of rice cakes are also sold like bibingka, suman malagkit and puto with cheese.

In this Puto Bumbong Recipe, we will try to capture the traditional taste of the Filipino Christmas favorite treats.

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Puto Bumbong Recipe

Puto bumbong

Puto bumbong is one of the many puto variants in the Philippines. Puto is a steamed rice cake that is traditionally made from slightly fermented rice dough. Bumbong, on the other hand, is a bamboo tube. Puto bumbong is a rice cake steamed in a bamboo tube and that is why it is called “Puto Bumbong”. Its main ingredient is the sticky rice called pirurutong  which is deep purple to almost black in color.

  • Author: Pilipinas Recipes
  • Prep Time: 1 day
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 4 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Steam
  • Cuisine: Filipino
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sticky purple rice or pirurutong
  • 1 1/2 cups glutinous white rice (malagkit)
  • 2/3 cup long grain purple rice
  • 5 cups water for soaking the rice
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • butter or cooking oil (for greasing the bamboo tube)

For toppings

  • 3/4 cups muscovado sugar or panutsa
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • cheese (optional)

Equipment

puto bumbong steamer (lansungan), food processor or blender (optional)

Instructions

  • Pour water in a bowl. Add salt. Mix the rice grains and soak it up to 10 hours or overnight.
  • Drain the water.
  • Grind the rice grains in a food processor or blender up to 10 minutes. (This part is optional. You can cook puto bumbong even without grinding it.)
  • Fill the steamer with water until it’s halfway and let it boil.
  • Prepare the bamboo tube by greasing it with butter or oil. Fill each tube with the mixture until full. Do not compress to let steam pass through.
  • When the water is boiling, arrange each bamboo tube on the steamer. Cook until steam starts to come out from the tube.
  • When steam is coming out from the tube, it is ready. Remove the tubes and shake it on a plate or banana leaf to let the puto bumbong fall or use a thin stick.
  • Topped it with butter, grated coconut, panutsa or brown sugar and cheese.
  • Serve hot.

Notes

Grinding the rice grains is optional. You can cook it even without grinding.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6 grams
  • Calories: 688
  • Sugar: 28g
  • Sodium: 165mg
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 122g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 40 mg

Keywords: sticky rice cake, black rice, glutinous rice, Filipino dessert, holiday treats, Christmas dishes, traditional, steamed rice cake

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