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Puto Binondo is a steamed rice cake made with sweetened whipped eggs and flour. With the addition of some crispy pork bits and egg it makes a family great snack. In its hey day Puto Binondo was brought as an offering to ancestors. This is a recipe adapted from Philippine Breads by Chef Gene Gonzalez.
I’ve been reaching out to my food friends both here in the US and in the Philippines and no one has heard of Puto Binondo. It’s in a cookbook called Philippine Breads by Gene Gonzalez. I like to get cross references to not so popular recipes, but this one came to so many dead ends in my research. So I asked Chef Gene himself about the history of this recipe and apparently it was very popular in the 80’s in Chinese Bakeries and Deli’s in Binondo.
In making the recipe myself, it’s very special. No wonder it used to be the food used as an Ancestral offering during Araw ng mga Patay. There are lots of eggs used in the recipe as well as pork. The sponge is very sweet and the pork gives it some fat and if you use Itlong na Maalat, you get that salty punch.
Sadly, no one is making this anymore, as from asking around it is not familiar to anyone in the Philippines. I would say it can be classified as one of those dead or dying Kakanin recipes.
I have been wanting to cook it for years and finally the time has come! Let’s make it.
I do have to say making this is a journey, but so worth it. First you must cook the ground pork until it’s nice and brown, about 8-9 minutes. Then season it with the Coconut Aminos and Calamansi sauce. Take it out of the pan and transfer to a small bowl.
In a stand mixer (in this recipe it’s very helpful have one as there is lots of whisking) add the eggs and salt and whisk on high for about 8 minutes. Basically until it is quadruple its size and a light yellow fluff. Once it is fluffy add the sugar and whisk for 3 more minutes.
While the eggs are whisking prepare your steamer. Add about 2 inches of water in the steamer and wrap the cover with a dishtowel to absorb the condensation, so it does not drip into the Puto Binondo.
Line with plastic wrap either a 9 inch cake tin that is at least 2 inches high or two 6 inch cake tins. It all depends what your steamer can fit.
Once the eggs are done it should have lots of volume. Add the flour and fold it in softly. Not to hard so that the eggs stay fluffy. Mix until you no longer see flour streaks.
I’m going to break down the instructions further between using a 6 inch cake tin and a 9 inch cake tin.
If you are using a 9 inch cake tin divide the batter in half. Pour half the batter in the tin and spread out evenly, top with half the cooked ground pork and sprinkle some chopped chives on the top. Put in the steamer and cook for 10 minutes.
Take the Puto Binondo out and top with the rest of the batter and ground pork. This time add the chopped egg as well. Put it back in the steamer and cook for another 10 minutes.
Once done take out of the steamer and leave to rest for about 5 minutes.
I used two 6 inch cake tins as my steamer can’t fit a big tin. If you are using two 6 inch cake tins divide the batter into fourths. I also had to cook it one tin at a time so making it in smaller portions does take more time.
Pour 1/4 of batter in the tin and spread out evenly, top with a quarter the cooked ground pork and sprinkle some chopped chives on the top. Put in the steamer and cook for 10 minutes.
Take the Puto Binondo out and top 1/4 of the batter and ground pork. This time add half the chopped egg as well. Put it back in the steamer and cook for another 10 minutes.
Repeat this cycle for the second cake tin. Check the water often and top it up so you don’t run out of steam.
Place on the Puto on a platter and garnish with fresh chives. To serve cut into triangles. This Puto does travel well. Great for picnics.
You can see the layering when it’s cut.
Yes you can. The original recipe used salted egg as the topping. I didn’t have any so I just used regular boiled eggs.
Yes! I can imagine this with some skinless longganisa or like the original recipe small dice of crispy pork belly. If you do use longganisa, you can omit the cocomansi sauce or soy sauce.
I did not test this recipe using the oven, so I can’t tell you. However if you do try it that way and it turns out let me know.
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