Puto bumbong derives from the words “puto” (steamed glutinous rice) and “bumbong” (bamboo canon or cylinder).
Puto Bumbong like Bibingka is a traditional Christmas food usually being sold outside of churches during the Christmas season after Simbang Gabi. (Misa de Gallo / Dawn Mass) and Pinoys habitually eat these two rice cakes together.
Puto Bumbong looks quite unique than the other Philippine Rice cakes because of its purple color and its thin long shape. The shape is the result from the process of cooking it from the bamboo tube where it is named after, while the color comes from the violet rice called “pirurutong”. It is served with margarine, sugar and grated coconut and like bibingka, it is served hot.
The lansungan or a specially made steamer is constructed with two protruding tubes on a kettle like shaped steamer. The tubes are for holding the bamboo tubes filled with the puto bumbong mixture in order for the steam to pass through
It takes only seconds for the puto bumbong to cook and the speed at which it is done is almost as fascinating as the taste.
Here’s one “How to Make Puto Bumbong” that I got from a Filipino Recipe page from the web.
- 1 cup glutinous rice
- 2 tsp purple food color (ube)
- 2 cups water
- panutsa (sugar cane sweet) or mascuvado (raw sugar)
- muslin cloth
- sifter or strainer
- 2 pcs bamboo tube (bumbong)
- steamer for making puto
Puto Bumbong Cooking Instructions:
Soak glutinous rice in water overnight.
Grind the soaked rice.
Mix food color while the glutinous rice is being ground.
Wrap the ground glutinous rice on a piece of muslin cloth and place it in a strainer to drain excess liquid. Another technique in draining excess liquid is by pressing a heavy object that has been placed over the muslin cloth.
Once the ground rice has slightly dried, rub it against the screen of a strainer to produce coarse grained rice flour.
The rice flour for making puto bumbong is now ready to cook.
Fill each bamboo tube (bumbong) with just enough glutinous rice and put them into the steamer. See to it that the steamer contains boiling water.
Steam rice flour in the bamboo tubes for 10 minutes.
Once cooked, shake out the contents of each bamboo tube or remove the cooked glutinous rice from the bumbong with the help of a knife.
Spread butter on the puto bumbong and place a small piece of panutsa (sugar cane sweets) or 1 tbsp. of mascuvado (raw Sugar)
Add a small amount of grated coconut before serving.