June 9, 2014

Puto Maya

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Reading always makes me hungry. Once again I cooked something after reading a novel; this time it's FALLING TOGETHER by Marisa de los Santos. The last third of the novel is set in Cebu, Philippines and she mentioned some of the delicacies of that region. One of the yummies is puto maya, glutinous rice mixed with a little regular rice, cooked/steamed in coconut milk, sugar, salt, and a little ginger.

Although I lived for 6 months in Cebu City, I never had this style of puto maya. It's probably because I was not a food enthusiast back then. The puto maya I knew where I grew up in Laguna didn't have any coconut milk nor ginger. My mother cooked puto maya in plain water with a tiny bit of salt and no sugar added because it's usually eaten with just sweet mango or guinatan which is sweet enough already.

However, I made the puto Cebu style but I tweaked it using buko (young coconut) water and its meat with glutinous rice only, and I didn't add ginger. It's also good specially with ripe mangoes. I also made suman (rice cake bundles wrapped in banana leaves) using the same recipe, using dark brown raw sugar instead of white sugar before wrapping and boiling.

Puto Maya
2 cups long-grain sweet rice (glutinous)
1 cup water
2 cups buko water
1 cup shredded buko meat
1½ teaspoons sea salt
4 tablespoons sugar, more or less to taste
optional: banana leaves, mangoes, coarse raw sugar
  • In a medium non-stick saucepan, wash sweet rice twice; drain. Add water and buko water. Soak for 2 hours. 
  • Stir in the rest of ingredients except banana leaves, mangoes, and raw sugar. Let come to a boil over medium heat. Turn heat to medium-low, cover, and steam cook until liquid is fully absorbed and rice is  soft and translucent. 
  • Spoon into a banana-lined serving dish or form into 3-inch balls. Serve topped with coarse raw sugar and ripe mangoes, if desired.  


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