Sweet and Easy Puto Bumbong Without Bamboo Steamer ( A Filipino Holiday Delicacy)

puto bumbong in banana leaf
Jump to recipe button

You can jump ahead to the recipe but it will be nice to read a little history about this puto bumbong without bamboo steamer delicacy and its significance in the Filipino culture.

Sweet and Easy Puto Bumbong Without Bamboo Steamer. One way of knowing that Christmas is getting nearer is when you see local vendors near churches selling puto bumbong delicacy. A unique sweet delicacy made of purple steamed rice cake usually eaten after attending simbang gabi.

Disclaimer: This post contains links to affiliate website or links to Amazon shop. As an affiliate member I will earn from qualifying purchases made by you at no additional cost ever. I appreaciate the purchase you made. Read my disclosure.

Originally, puto bumbong is made of “pirurutong” a type of glutinous rice that has a color of dark purple and close to black. It is mixed with a higher ratio of white glutinous rice. The process will take a while as both have to be soaked overnight in water before cooking puto bumbong.

After soaking overnight, it is drained to remove excess water then it has to be ground. Grinding can be done before or after soaking glutinous rice in water. Once its ground it will be shot to “bumbong” (bamboo tubes) which is greased with coconut oil.

The process of making puto bumbong has evolved. It is now difficult to find pirurutong and therefore most uses glutinous rice flour with yam and purple food color which also represents Christmas.

Some Vocabulary for Puto bumbong

  • Puto – steamed rice cake
  • Bumbong – bamboo tube
  • Pirurutong – dark purple glutinous rice
  • Galapong – rice dough
  • Misa de Gallo – rooster’s mass. The mass before Christmas (midnight mass)
  • Simbang Gabi –  a tradition/devotion of 9 masses practiced and attended by Filipino Catholics before Christmas that usually starts on Dec. 16. A similar practice in Puerto Rico called Misa de Aguinaldo.

For those living abroad, many miss this traditional delicacy puto bumbong and as we approach the holiday season especially Christmas I will be sharing this simple yet easy puto bumbong without bamboo steamer.

This puto bumbong recipe is originally from the Philippines and plays a significant role in Filipino Catholic practice as a tradition. After attending simbang gabi or 9 traditional novena mass stores are open outside the church to sell puto bumbong and mass goers will buy and eat right away.

Puto Bumbong without bamboo steamer on a white plate
Puto Bumbong with coconut and sugar

Trivia: In December 2019 did you know that Pope Francis acknowledged the simbang gabi and celebrated it in Vatican City for the first time which is attended by many Catholics and not only Filipinos. There is a saying that when you complete the 9 novena mass you can make a wish and it will come true. 

Truth is many Filipino catholics complete it as a devotion and way of thanksgiving for all the blessings.

For this recipe, I use white glutinous rice flour, yam powder, purple food coloring and water. While for the toppings I use vegan butter, brown sugar and freshly grated coconut. 

I made two versions: first I cooked without using purple food color and second I applied food color and both cooked without using a regular or bamboo steamer but an improvised steamer.

This easy puto bumbong without bamboo steamer is a sure hit to keep you full and warm at the same time it is best consumed while it is hot.

Preparation is very easy, you don’t need large equipment to prepare just a large bowl, spatula, measuring cups, grater, vegan butter, sugar, coconut and banana leaves which will be used in cooking puto bumbong.

Free pantry checklist guide. Subscribe to my email list and get access to the resource library.

You may also need parchment paper to aid in rolling the grated galapong or rice dough. After you have formed the dough it has to be grated and form like a log in the banana leaves.

Traditionally local vendors put the ground galapong inside bamboo tubes which are actually opened on both sides. The bottom part is covered by fingers, once it is filled it is placed on the bamboo  steamer and cooked for about 10 minutes. 

Making Puto Bumbong with bamboo steamer
Image taken from wikipedia (traditional way of cooking puto bumbong)

The steamer use is also unique and nice to see when you observe you’ll notice how fast their hands are filling the bamboo steamer and transferring the cooked puto bumbong in the banana leaves. When the puto bumbong is already cooked it is then transferred into banana leaves greased with butter or margarine top with coconut and sugar before serving.

For this recipe, I use vegan butter with brown sugar. I also try to pour some sesame seeds on top to add variety and contrast with the sticky rice.

Maybe you are wondering how I made puto bumbong without a bamboo steamer. In a pot, I put a ceramic bowl inside filled with water and on the stove to start the water to boil. I put another ceramic plate to place the puto bumbong then covered the lid with a cloth before covering the pot to ensure no water will drip in the banana leaves of puto bumbong.

Another trick is to cover your plate with aluminum foil, grease with butter then place shaped puto bumbong then cook. Transfer cooked puto bumbong on greased banana leaves and serve with toppings.

I prefer the first method as I like the smell of banana leaves being steamed while waiting for my puto bumbong to be cooked.

Puto Bumbong Without Bamboo Steamer

Ingredients

  • 3 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tsp yam powder
  • 2 tsp purple food color

Materials needed for Puto Bumbong

  • Banana leaves ( sub. aluminum foil)
  • grater for the rice dough

Toppings of Puto Bumbong

  • Vegan butter
  • grated coconut
  • Brown sugar
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  • Wash banana leaves in water, dry and run on the stove the shiny portion. Alternatively, if you do not have banana leaves, set aside aluminum foil for later when puto bumbong is ready to cook.
  • In a large bowl mix glutinous rice flour, yam powder and purple food color. Mix well. Slowly add water while mixing continuously. You can use a spatula but I prefer mixing it with hands to attain the desired texture easily and it’s a labor of love for cooking.
  • The mixture should be clay-like in appearance and feel. Make sure that all ingredients are combined and the color is already purple.
  • Chill the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Once chilled remove from the fridge cut a portion and roll.
collage ingredients of Puto Bumbong
rice dough to steamed puto bumbong
  • Now grate the rolled portion of dough. Use a separate bowl for the grated dough continue grating until you finish the remaining dough.
  • Prepare a parchment paper or sushi bamboo roll it will be used to roll the dough like a log before cooking.  I use parchment paper in this process.
  • Scoop a portion depending on your preference, ¼ cup or 2-3 tbsp of grated dough and place it on the parchment paper. Arrange horizontally and roll inside the parchment paper.
  • After rolling, grease the center of a cut banana leaf enough to cover 4 log-shape doughs about 9×6” and place 4 pcs of rolled dough. Be sure to leave enough space on both ends and sides to fold the banana leaf before cooking puto bumbong.
  • While preparing your puto bumbong you can now start heating your pot as a steamer.
  • Once the water is boiling, place the wrap puto bumbong inside your steamer and cook for about 7-10 minutes on low fire.
  • Ensure to cover the lid with a kitchen towel to avoid water dripping in the banana leaf.
  • Depending on how big or small your steamer is you can place 1 or 2 at a time.
  • After 10 minutes remove cooked puto bumbong and check the inside it should have a darker purple color compared to before and has a more sticky texture.
  • Cook the rest until you finish all, You can make about 28 logs of puto bumbong wrap in 7 cut banana leaves.
  • It is now ready to serve. Grease with butter or vegan butter, top with grated coconut and brown sugar. 
  • Enjoy while it’s hot.

Notes

  1. If you cannot find banana leaves and you have a regular steamer you can also roll the doughs in an aluminum foil before putting them inside the steamer.
  2. If you are using a regular pot, cover your plate with foil and put rolled doughs inside.
  3. If you do not like to use purple food color, you can just opt for yam powder but the color will be super light purple.
  4. Alternatively, you may use purple sweet potato, both the purple sweet potato and the water from where you boiled it add to your glutinous rice flour. Although I have not tried this option.
  5. You can also add cheese or vegan cheese if you like as additional toppings for your puto bumbong.

Nutrition

265 calories per serving | Total Fat 1.7g | Saturated Fat 0.9g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 3mg | Total Carbohydrate 57.1g | Dietary Fiber 1.8g | Total Sugars 2.7g | Protein 4.1g | Calcium 10mg | Iron 1mg | Potassium 63mg

Puto Bumbong

Easy puto bumbong without bamboo steamer

Sweet and easy puto bumbong without bamboo steamer. Enjoy the warm and be filled with puto bumbong as we near the christmas holiday season.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 7 people
Calories 265 kcal

Ingredients
  

Main Ingredients

  • 3 cups white glutinous rice flour
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tsp yam powder
  • 2 tsp purple food color

Toppings

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 2 cups grated coconut (1 pack-250g)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • Wash banana leaves in water, dry and run on the stove the shiny portion. Alternatively if you do not have banana leaves, set aside aluminum foil for later when puto bumbong is ready to cook.
    Banana leaves
  • In a large bowl mix glutinous rice flour, yam powder and purple food color. Mix well. Slowly add water while mixing continuously. You can use a spatula but I prefer mixing it with hands to attain desired texture easily and its labor of love to cooking.
  • The mixture should be clay-like in appearance and feel. Make sure that all ingredients are combined and the color is already purple.
    rice dough
  • Chill the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Once chilled remove from the fridge cut a portion and roll.
  • Now grate the rolled portion of dough. Use a separate bowl for the grated dough. Use a separate bowl for the grated dough continue grating until you finish the remaining dough.
  • Prepare a parchment paper or sushi bamboo roll it will be used to roll the dough like log before cooking. I use parchment paper in this process.
  • Scoop a portion depending on your preference, ¼ cup or 2-3 tbsp of grated dough and place it in the parchment paper. Arrange horizontally and roll inside the parchment paper.
    collage ingredients of Puto Bumbong
  • After rolling, grease the center of a cut banana leaf enough to cover 4 log-shape doughs about 9×6” and place 4 pcs of rolled dough. Be sure to leave enough space on both ends to fold the banana leaves before cooking puto bumbong.
  • While preparing your puto bumbong you can now start heating your pot as a steamer.
  • Once the water is boiling, wrap puto bumbong inside your steamer and cook for about 7-10 minutes in low fire.
  • Ensure to cover the lid with a kitchen towel to avoid water dripping in the banana leaf.
  • Depending on how big or small your steamer is you can place 1or 2 at a time.
  • After 10 minutes remove cooked puto bumbong and check the inside it should have a darker purple color compared before and has a more sticky texture.
  • Cook the rest until you finish all, You can make about 28 logs of puto bumbong wrap in 7 cut banana leaves.
  • It is now ready to serve. Grease with butter or vegan butter, top with grated coconut and brown sugar.
    puto bumbong in banana leaf
  • Enjoy while its hot.

Video

Notes

Notes
  1. If you cannot find banana leaves and you have a regular steamer you can also roll the doughs in an aluminum foil before putting them inside the steamer.
  2. If you are using a regular pot, cover your plate with foil and put rolled doughs inside.
  3. If you do not like to use purple food color, you can just opt for yam powder but the color will be super light purple.
  4. Alternatively, you may use purple sweet potato, both the purple sweet potato and the water from where you boiled it add to your glutinous rice flour. Although I have not tried this option.
  5. You can also add cheese or vegan cheese if you like as additional toppings for your puto bumbong.
 
Nutrition
265 calories per serving | Total Fat 1.7g | Saturated Fat 0.9g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 3mg | Total Carbohydrate 57.1g | Dietary Fiber 1.8g | Total Sugars 2.7g | Protein 4.1g | Calcium 10mg | Iron 1mg | Potassium 63mg
Nutrition values are estimated using an online nutrition calculator as a reference only.
 
 
Did you make puto bumbong? Snap a photo and tag #therunningbaker24 and @therunningbaker24 on Instagram
 
Keyword christmas, dairyfee, puto bumbong

Other warming and holiday recipes

puto bumbong in banana leaf
Puto Bumbong (A Holiday Delicacy)

Published by therunningbaker24

A hobbyist by heart. A plantbased runner who enjoys dairy-free baking. I like to run and write on the sideline and recently discovered my fondness of baking and making guilt-free desserts. Just like running I get the same relaxing feeling when I bake.

12 thoughts on “Sweet and Easy Puto Bumbong Without Bamboo Steamer ( A Filipino Holiday Delicacy)

  1. I just picked up some beautiful purple yam powder in NY recently. I had no idea how I was going to use it, I just knew it needed to come home with me. Thanks for the recipe! Now I can give it a try and I have all the right ingredients.

  2. Loved reading the history, I don’t think I’ve heard of this before but it sounds very interesting and I’m kind of intrigued to see what it taste like. Anything sweet sounds good to me though!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating