Puto Bumbong is one of the signs that Christmas is near. Outside churches starting at early dawn, vendors line up waiting for churchgoers to finish hearing mass. It became a tradition for people to stop by and buy puto bumbong (and bibingka) before heading back home. Usually, it’s served with salabat (ginger tea) or coffee.
Simbang Gabi is a devotional nine-day novena mass practiced by a lot of Filipinos. It was started by the Spanish friars during the time when Spain colonized the Philippines. Masses were heard at dawn (as early as 4am) so the farmers can go to mass before going to the fields to work. It’s believed (and a lot attest to it) that whatever you are praying for will come true after completing the novena masses.
Puto Bumbong (no bamboo steamer needed)
- cheese grater
- 1 400 g pack glutinous rice flour
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon ube flavoring or violet food color
- Margarine or butter
- Muscovado coconut or dark brown sugar
- Grated coconut
- Grated cheese with Condensed milk optional
- pieces of foil 4×6”
- Oil spray or butter
- Banana leaves for serving
- Combine water and ube flavoring (or food color). Add to the flour and mix well (using clean hands) until it forms a dough. Pass through a grater.
- Prepare foil pieces and lightly spray with oil or brush with melted butter.
- Gently place about 3 heaping tablespoons of grated dough on the prepared foil. Form into a long log. Do not pack for faster and even cooking.
- Pinch the edges (log ends) to seal but leave the top open. When done, arrange in a steamer, leaving a bit of space between pieces to give room for the steam to evenly cook the puto bumbong.
- Steam for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a clean banana leaf and brush with softened butter or margarine. Top with grated coconut and sugar. Alternatively, you can use grated cheese and condensed milk. Serve hot.