Hello, everyone! How's your week going so far? I hope, as always, it's filled with fun, food and family. In case you're wondering why there has been nothing but crickets here at Kawaling Pinoy these past few days, I've been busy spring cleaning!
Although I basically turned the condo upside down with deep cleaning and rigid organizing, most of my efforts were concentrated on our garage. Our living space is pretty limited so we keep a lot of our out-of-season and/or hardly-used stuff in the garage, packed in large plastic totes. This was, however, very counterproductive as I have to race back to the garage and rummage through the stacks of odds and ends every time I need props for food photography. We decided to clear a small closet downstairs we used as a coat room and turned it into a more functional area to house the assorted plates, bowls, glasses, pitchers, cloth napkins and et al I use for the blog. The ever supportive G put up shelves along the wall of the little room to neatly hold all my cooking/kitchen/blog accessories and I couldn't be more happy! This small project took me away from the blog for a good few days but with everything I need now within convenient reach, my food prep and photography should be easier and smoother in the future. 😊
So, what do we have here today? Puto maya with sikwate! Puto maya, a type of rice cake which originated from Cebu, is made of glutinous rice, fresh ginger and sweetened milk. The rice is first soaked in water for an hour to hasten cook time, steamed with the rest of the concoction until tender and sticky, and then wrapped in banana leaves or molded using individual-sized bowls to serve. The sweet, sticky rice is commonly enjoyed with juicy chunks of Manila mangoes and delicate sips of piping hot chocolate drink called sikwate.
Please note that I included in the recipe two ways to make the puto maya, one method is the traditional steaming and the other is cooking the rice in a pot (or rice cooker). I've used both in different occasions and in my humble opinion, steaming is best. Cooking it in a pot may require less work but I prefer the overall texture of the "steamed" rice and the earthy scent from the lining of banana leaves. Give this delicious food pairing a try and let me know what you think.
Puto Maya and Sikwate
For the Puto Maya
- 2 cups glutinous rice
- 1 thumb size ginger peeled and sliced into strips
- 1 can 13.5 ounces coconut milk
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Manila mangoes peeled and sliced
For the Sikwate
- 4 cups water
- 4 pieces tablea
- ½ cup brown sugar
- In a bowl, place glutinous rice and add enough water to cover. Soak for about 1 hour and then drain. Under cold running water, rinse rice two to three times or until water runs clear. Drain well.
- Line a steamer basket with banana leaves. Place rice and ginger in steamer basket, spreading the rice across the surface. Fill lower part of steamer with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Place steamer basket over steamer, cover, and steam rice for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.
- In a bowl, combine coconut milk, sugar and salt. Stir until well-blended and sugar and salt are dissolved. After 40 minutes or when rice is half done, gently add coconut milk mixture. Stir until well combined. Continue to steam for about 20 to 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, and rice is fully cooked and tender but not mushy. Remove from heat.
- If cooking in a pot (or rice cooker), combine soaked rice, coconut milk, sugar and salt. Over medium heat, bring to a boil uncovered for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved. Lower heat, cover, and continue to cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is fully cooked and tender but not mushy. Stir occasionally to prevent rice from sticking to bottom of pot. Remove from heat.
- While still hot, spoon puto maya onto banana leaves, shape into a triangle and and wrap with the leaves. Alternatively, pack rice into serving bowl to shape and invert on a plate. Serve with mangoes and sikwate.
For the Sikwate
- In a sauce pot over medium heat, bring water into a boil. Add tablea and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until tablea and sugar are fully dissolved. Serve hot.