Suman Malagkit, Suman sa Lihiya / Sumang Magkayakap, and Suman sa Ibos

Suman 3 Ways

Hello Everyone! Just 20 more days until Christmas, which means that Simbang Gabi is just around the corner! Simbang Gabi is a well-loved holiday tradition amongst Filipino Catholic devotees who attend mass at 4am. It is a series of 9 Novena Masses that commences on the morning of December 16 and culminates with the Misa de Gallo on Christmas Eve.

Apart from the Mass itself, another much loved part of the Simbang Gabi tradition that many look forward to are the local delicacies served just outside of the churches. You’ll find many vendors selling local Christmas favourites such as Suman, Puto Bumbong, Bibingka, Sapin-Sapin, and plenty more! Nowadays, these yummy treats, also known as kakanins, can be found in many establishments nationwide all year around so you don’t have to wait for Christmas to have your fill of them.

For the last month of the year, I will be sharing recipes for these traditional Filipino Christmas breakfast delights with you. And I’m going to kick it off with a popular favourite – Suman 3 ways!

Glutinous Rice (Malagkit) is a type of rice that is famous throughout Asia for its culinary use, especially in many variations of sweets. Here in the Philippines, one of the MANY most loved ways to cook glutinous rice is to wrap it in a banana leaf and then steamed. It is very easy to make, however time consuming. Filipinos take pride in doing it and many households have their own secret way to making this sweet and sticky rice delicacy.

Suman Malagkit

Suman Malagkit

In its simplest and most basic form is the Suman Malagkit, or translated, Sticky Rice Roll in a Banana Leaf.

PREP TIME 4 HOURS | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 20 PCS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups glutinous rice, uncooked
  • 2-3 cups coconut milk (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Banana leaves for wrapping

METHOD

  1. Malagkit Mixture: In a large bowl, soak the glutinous rice for 2 to 3 hours to soften, and strain when ready to cook.
  2. Place the strained glutinous rice in a large pot together with the coconut milk and salt. Bring to a brisking boil.
  3. Once boiling, immediately turn the heat down to low until the rice and coconut milk mixture comes down to a slow simmer. Give it a good stir and then simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Turn the heat off, and leave the mixture for a further 15 to 30 minutes, covered, to allow the rice to finish cooking and cool down.
  5. Wrapping: While waiting for the rice to finishing cooking, prepare the banana leaves by quickly passing them over an open flame to make the leaves soft and pliable so that they are easier to work with when wrapping. This method also releases the natural aroma of the leaves.
  6. Cut the leaves into equal sizes, depending on the size of the suman roll that you want to make.
    Scoop about 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of the rice onto the prepared banana leaf and shape into a log, leaving about 1 inch on the sides. Roll the banana leaf tightly around the rice to form a log and fold both edges in to seal.
  7. Repeat until all of the rice has been wrapped, yields about 20 pieces.
  8. Cook: Stack the suman rolls in a steamer and steam over boiling water for about 30 to 60 minutes. Make sure that they are tender before removing them from the steamer.
  9. Serve: Allow to cool slightly before unwrapping. Serve with fresh grated coconut, brown sugar, or my absolute favourite – with sweet ripe mangoes! They can also be enjoyed on its own without any accompaniments.

Suman sa Lihiya / Sumang Magkayakap

Suman sa Lihiya / Sumang Magkayakap

This is basically the same as Suman Malagkit, but is treated with lihiya (lye water) which gives the suman its yellowish colour, a delicacy from the southern part of Luzon, especially in the Batangas Region.

It is also known as Sumang Magkayakap because of how it is served – two rice cakes tied together appearing as if they are embracing/hugging (magkayakap) each other.

PREP TIME 4 HOURS | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 24 PCS

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups glutinous rice, uncooked
  • 1 tbsp lye water
  • Banana leaves for wrapping
  • Food-safe cotton string

METHOD

  1. Rice Mixture: In a large bowl, soak the glutinous rice for 2 to 3 hours to soften. Strain the water and then mix in the lye water together with the drained rice until it turns yellow in colour.
  2. Wrapping: Prepare the banana leaves by quickly passing them over an open flame to make the leaves soft and pliable so that they are easier to work with when wrapping. Cut the leaves into equal sizes, depending on the size of the suman roll that you want to make.
  3. Scoop about 3 heaping tablespoons of the rice onto the prepared banana leaf and shape into a log, leaving about 1 inch on the sides. Roll the banana leaf tightly around the rice to form a log and fold both edges in to seal.
  4. Take two of the wrapped rice rolls, with the folded sides facing each other, and tie them together using the cotton string.
  5. Repeat until all of the rice has been wrapped, yields about 24 pieces or 12 pairs of Sumang Magkayakap.
  6. Cook: Arrange the suman rolls in a large cooking pot. Pour enough water (room temperature) to cover them. Bring to a boil over low heat for about 2 hours or until done.
  7. Serve: Allow to cool slightly before unwrapping. Serve with fresh grated coconut or a sweet latik sauce.

Suman sa Ibos

Suman sa Ibos

A native delicacy known simply as Ibos (or also spelt as Ibus) by Ilonggos that is wrapped in palm or buri leaves. This is the counterpart of banana leaves, which is commonly used in many other suman recipes. They are mostly grouped and sold in bundles be it on the streets, in markets, mall stalls, and even restaurants.

The challenge with Suman sa Ibos is not the in cooking processing, but in preparing the ‘container’. You will need to swirl the palm leaves over a mold and locked properly to make individual containers to hold the glutinous rice mixture.

PREP TIME 3 HOURS | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 20 PCS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups glutinous rice, uncooked
  • 2-3 cups coconut milk (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Palm or buri leaves for wrapping

METHOD

  1. Preparation: In a large bowl, soak the glutinous rice for 2 to 3 hours to soften.
  2. While waiting for the rice, prepare the ibos (palm leaf) container/wrapper. The leaves should be about 1.5 inches in width. Fold the bottom edge of the palm leaf into a triangle. Swirl the leaf in an overlapping manner to create a cylindrical mold. To secure the tube, you can lock the leaf using a small piece of wooden pick. Prepare about 20 containers.
  3. Once the rice is done, drain the excess water and mix the coconut milk and salt in thoroughly. Set aside to stand for about 10 minutes.
  4. Fill the ibos container 3/4 of the way with the glutinous rice mixture. Seal the container by using the strips of the palm leaves.
  5. Cook: Arrange the suman containers in a large cooking pot. Pour enough water (room temperature) to cover them. Bring to a boil over low heat for about 2 hours or until done.
  6. Serve: Allow to cool slightly before unwrapping.Best paired with muscovado sugar or regular white sugar. Also best eaten with ripe mangoes or native tsokolate/tablea.

And there you have it! 3 ways in which you can make Suman! Of course there are many others way in which you can make suman that is native to the province of which they originate from. Two favourites of mine, which I have not included in this post, are Tupig native to Pangasinan and Ilocos Norte, and Suman Pinipig from Bulacan. These two are a little more complicated than the basic ones that I’ve shared in this post. You can find Suman Pinipig in many mall stalls across Metro Manila, however I still have yet to find Tupig around here.

With these rice cakes, you don’t necessarily have to eat it the moment you finish cooking it. It does however; definitely taste better when it’s not chilled. If you need to keep it in the fridge and indulge in them the day after, you can easily steam them again for 10 minutes before serving.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

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Puto (Steamed Rice Cakes)

Puto (Steamed Rice Cakes)

Hello Everyone! So this is kind of unrelated, but related at the same time – I typed puto into Google because I wanted to know the English name for it (well I knew what they were in English, I just needed confirmation). To my surprise, Urban Dictionary was the first result. Puto is a Spanish word used to describe a male prostitute and is sometime’s offensive for homosexuals. In Mexico, the word is used for cowards and traitors. Anyway! Sorry but this post will not be about male prostitutes, but instead, it’ll be of a recipe for a steamed rice cakes. Before I begin, if from this point onwards you see me write put instead of puto, it’s because my laptop automatically autocorrects it to put. I have tendency to just keep typing without going back and reviewing what I’ve written.

Anyway, here’s an interesting fact about puto that I myself did not know until I did some research for this post. Puto is believed to have been derived from from Indian puttu of Tamil origin. These steamed rice cakes are usually eaten as a dessert, but most Filipinos much prefer to have them for breakfast with coffee or hot chocolate, or for a mid-afternoon snack with dinuguan (blood stew). The recipe that I will be sharing today is not, in a sense, the traditional puto you’d find in the Philippines. It is non-traditional because, self-raising flour is used instead of rice flour. Texture wise, it has more bite and is less airy than what I’ve had before. To be very honest, these are the best-tasting putos I’ve ever had and I am glad that I came across this recipe.

Puto (Steamed Rice Cakes)
the photo above was taken when I made these cakes for a family dinner in Brisbane. The silicone moulds I used here were a bit smaller so I think I was able to make a good 4 dozen mini cakes that time

I actually learnt this recipe from my Mom’s high school friend when we visited her and her family in Melbourne a few months back in early June. She runs her own catering business, together with her mother and sister, and while spending time at hers, I learnt how to make these delicious non-traditional putos. I think I made quite a hefty batch over the two days that they needed to be made, and I missed out on making a hundred of them for a special order because that was the day my family and I left and flew over to Brisbane.

I’ve made these rice cakes numerous times after having learnt from my Mom’s friend. I’ve made them for a family gathering in Brisbane and they were a big hit! I’ve also made them for a few family friends here in Brunei and they too loved it. The last time I made these, which was for this blog post as well, was a big hit when I shared them amongst my friends too. I’m pretty sure that you’ll love these cakes too when you get around to making them. If you for some reason don’t like them, then I’m sorry, but we can’t be friends *cheeky grin*.

Puto (Steamed Rice Cakes) Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR* | SERVES 2 DOZEN**

*Cooking time depends on how big a steamer you have. Mine is quite small and therefore I had to work in 3 batches to steam all cakes for this recipe.

**Serving size depends on the size of the moulds that you use – as stated above, when I used smaller moulds, I could easily get about twice the serving size from the bigger moulds that I used for this recipe post

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup fresh milk
  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 3-4 pcs sliced cheese, cut into thin strips
  • 3 large free range eggs, well beaten
  • 2 tbsp butter (I used olive butter)
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Prepare your steamer by wrapping the lid with cloth and tie it in place around the handles. This will catch the water vapours from dripping onto you cakes and prevent them from getting wet and soggy.
  2. Add water to a pot and bring it to a boil.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk it together until combined. Next and in the butter and mayonnaise, and using the whisk, mash it into the flour mixture until moist crumbs form. Next, add in the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined.
  4. Line your moulds in the steamer and carefully pour the batter into the moulds and top, making an X, with the sliced cheese strips (see photo above).
  5. Carefully place the steamer over the top of that pot and cover with the cloth-wrapped lid. Steam for about 20 minutes.
  6. Once done, remove the steamer from the pot and place on a heat-proof surface. Remove the cooked rice cakes and repeat steps 4-6 for a fresh batch (because my steamer is quite small, I had to do three batches altogether).
  7. Leave the cakes in their moulds aside until they have cooled down slightly. Once they are quite cool, they will easily pop out from their moulds.
  8. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm – either for breakfast, dessert, or an afternoon snack. Share and enjoy!

Puto (Steamed Rice Cakes)

Puto (Steamed Rice Cakes)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Steamed Whole Snapper

Hello Everyone! My fridge (or should I say, my part of the fridge since I share a house with about 20 other people) has been looking a bit lonely for the past week. Nothing makes me happier than going to Paddy’s Market, and coming home with bags of fresh meat, seafood, and vegetables – and a bonus development of arm muscles from carrying heavy shopping bags, but probably not good for my back in the long run. My part of the fridge is looking happier now with all that food!

I probably bought more than 5 kilos of meat ranging from beef, chicken, and yummy pork ribs. I also got 2 whole snappers for $15, one of which will be featured in today’s post, and the other probably later in the week, as well as some prawns and salmon portions. I know that this sounds like a LOT of food for a tiny girl like me, but all this will probably last me a month or so. Paddy’s is not difficult to get to from where I live, but it is quite a bit of a trek and time consuming to go to every week to shop especially when there are a few other supermarkets close by. The reason why I go to Paddy’s at least once a month is because of their meat, seafood, and vegetables – cheaper and definitely fresher and of better quality than your local Coles or Woolies. I once got sick from meat that I got from Coles… That’s all I’m going to say.

Anyway, onto the recipe – this is a dish that my mom would always make for dinner, using a different fish of course and a different method of cooking. She usually cooks it over a charcoaled barbecue and I don’t know, there’s just something about it being cooked that way that made it so much more tastier. I obviously wasn’t going to start a barbecue for just one fish, plus, I don’t actually have a barbecue in the house (well I do but it runs on gas and I kind of blew it up towards the end of last year – don’t ask). So I stuck to steaming the fish today, but if you do want to give this a try, I highly recommend my mom’s way of cooking. Lip-smacking goodness I tell you!

Steamed Whole Snapper Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole snapper, gutted, scaled, and cleaned
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk green onion, sliced, green and white parts separated
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp rock salt
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced

METHOD

  1. Nestle the snapper on a large piece of foil and scatter the red and white parts of the onions, ginger, tomatoes, peppercorns, and salt. Drizzle the lemon juice, soy sauce and sesame oil over the fish.
  2. Loosely seal the foil to make a package, making sure that there is enough space at the top for the steam to circulate while the fish cooks.
  3. Steam for 20 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, you can place the parcel on a heatproof plate, or a stainless steel wire steamer rack, over a pan of gently simmering water, cover with a lid and steam.
  4. Garnish with the remaining green onions and chilli slices. Serve with steamed rice.

Steamed Whole Snapper

Steamed Whole Snapper

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com