If you’re eager to bring the warmth of this dish into your own home, you’re in luck. In this article, we will take you through the step-by-step process of making Putong Bigas, ensuring it becomes a cherished addition to your family’s recipe collection.
What is Putong Bigas?
Putong Bigas (Steamed Rice Cake), also known as putong puti or rice puto, is one of the popular Filipino delicacies and a famous snack food of Bicolanos that is made mainly of rice flour or ground rice.
Traditionally, it is made from rice grains soaked in water overnight then ground with stone mills into a smooth rice batter called galapong. The fermented rice batter is then steamed in a banana-lined bamboo platters or banana leaf liners.
These steamed rice cakes are usually enjoyed as a filling midday snack or eaten alongside savory viands, most notably the dinuguan.
Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s gather all the necessary ingredients:
whole milk or plant-based milk
To make the perfect Putong Bigas, start by washing and soaking the glutinous rice for at least 30 minutes. This step ensures that the rice becomes tender and sticky when cooked.
Mixing the Ingredients
In a mixing bowl, combine the soaked glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved, resulting in a smooth batter.
Filling the Molds
Line your molds with banana leaves for that authentic touch. Then, fill each mold with the rice batter, leaving a bit of space at the top for the cake to expand during steaming.
Steaming the Putong Bigas
Place the filled molds in a steamer and steam for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the rice cakes are firm and no longer sticky. The aroma of coconut and rice will fill your kitchen, making it even more enticing.
Serving Your Delightful Dish
Allow your Putong Bigas to cool for a few minutes before removing it from the molds. Serve warm and savor the comforting flavor of this Filipino classic. For an extra flavor boost, sprinkle some freshly grated coconut on top.
Variations to Explore
While the traditional Putong Bigas recipe is a timeless favorite, you can experiment with different variations. Toppings such as cheese, chocolate, or even salted egg are popular options for a unique twist.
Tips for Perfect Putong Bigas
Use fresh ingredients for the best flavor.
Don’t rush the steaming process; slow and steady wins the race.
Experiment with different molds to create interesting shapes.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
Putong Bigas, despite its sweetness, offers some health benefits. It’s gluten-free and provides a source of energy, making it a suitable treat for those with dietary restrictions.
This traditional Filipino dish has a long history and is frequently served at special occasions and celebrations. It represents unity and togetherness, which makes it a favorite at family gatherings.
Feel free to substitute whole milk with plant-based milk, coconut milk, or evaporated milk.
If rice flour is not available, you can substitute all-purpose flour or ordinary rice soaked in water overnight before liquefying the softened rice and water in a blender to make a thick batter.
You can make this dish with silicone molds. If you’re using tin or glass molds, make sure to brush the insides with oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray. You can also make an easy gift out of aluminum molds.
Storage: After it’s steamed, it can be frozen for up to 3 months, and defrosted and heated up in the microwave. Make sure to use an airtight container.
In a world of fast food and convenience meals, reconnecting with family favorites like Putong Bigas can be heartwarming. This simple but delicious rice cake brings generations together while also providing a taste of Filipino heritage.
Can I use brown rice for Putong Bigas?
Yes, you can use brown rice for a healthier twist on this classic dish. However, the texture and flavor may differ slightly.
How long does it take to steam Putong Bigas?
Steaming time typically ranges from 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of your molds and the thickness of the rice cakes.
Can I freeze Putong Bigas for later use?
Yes, you can freeze Putong Bigas. Just ensure it’s properly wrapped to prevent freezer burn.
What are some traditional accompaniments for Putong Bigas?
Putong Bigas pairs well with hot chocolate or Filipino coffee. It’s also delightful with ripe mangoes.
Is Putong Bigas gluten-free?
Yes, Putong Bigas is gluten-free, as it is made from glutinous rice, which does not contain gluten.