Monday, May 4, 2009

Puto Maya (Sweet, Sticky Rice), Sushi-Style

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“Ohhh.,… it’s mango season again!”

The words came out from my mouth almost like a song when I saw some mangoes being sold in the grocery that I go to. Adding to my delight was the fact that the mangoes are the ones that taste and look like those that come from the Philippines. I don’t see them often in the local grocery stores; I get them from the Asian markets all the time. I believe they are from Mexico. Naturally, I grabbed a box before they ran out.

This is one of the reasons why I love spring. Mangoes.

Mangoes are probably my most favorite tropical fruit. If you ask me, this is one of the food items that I miss most from the Philippines. I am especially partial to the mangoes that come from the city where I was born/raised – Cebu (Guadalupe). Those mangoes are so sweet; it is a dessert in and of itself. No kidding!

Philippine mangoes have none of that fibrous / stringy stuff, which is characteristic of those green/reddish mangoes that abound here in South Florida. They are pure, sweet flesh and the best way to eat them is by hand—yeah, peel off the skin and bite into it just like you would an apple (except that you have to remember, mangoes have huge seeds in the middle - you don’t want to loose a tooth). It’s a bit messy, but it’s totally worth it.

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Having these mangoes is so timely. April was a crazy month for me, reason why I was MIA from the blog scene. For some reason, the past month was jammed with a lot of activities that ran from birthdays, baby showers to church functions. In the midst of all the helter-skelter, I began longing for something comforting; something that reminds me of home --- and this breakfast trio just hits the spot: freshly cooked "puto maya" (sweet sticky rice cooked in coconut milk), with ripe, sweet, golden mangoes and finished off with a hot "sikwate" (hot chocolate/cocoa drink processed locally in the Philippines). What is more comforting than something you grew up with eating?

So with my precious mangoes at hand, I was ready to tackle making the puto maya. Normally, puto maya requires soaking the rice for at least 6 hours. I believe this process lessens the liquid (in this case, coconut milk) needed to cook the rice in, at the same time, shortening the cooking period. However, I didn't have the luxury, nor the patience to wait for 6 hrs, so I decided to do my own short-cut method, hoping that it will yield the same results - more or less. And it did, thank God.

Mr. J likes the puto with mangga (mangoes, in our dialect) as well. As a matter of fact, it was him who suggested that I make sushi rolls out of it. He goes, “why don’t you make it like sushi? Form the rice into sushi, roll the rice in brown sugar to make them look like those sushi with fish eggs, and then put slices of mangoes on top of it!” (But I discovered later on that the turbinado sugar which I used melts easily that it didn't look right, so I ended up just sprinkling the rice with sugar as you can see in the photos.)

A popular Filipino breakfast served the popular Japanese way? A Filipino-Japanese fusion of sorts. Cute idea, isn't it? Now why hadn't I thought of that before?

“Oh, that is brilliant, Honey!” was my excited response to him. Not only is it brilliant, but it sounds like really fun to do (and it really was). Hey, who says we can’t have fun with our food? .. Which reminds me, one of my favorite bloggers, La Tartine Gourmande, did something similar to this but using rice pudding. Mind you, my hubby hadn't seen her post, so he thinks that this was a very original idea. I didn't have the heart to break it to him, so, let's just keep it a secret....ok??? SHHH...

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This puto-mango-hot chocolate trinity is my entry to this week's Lasang Pinoy Sundays - Shades of Spring and Summer . La.Pi.S is a weekly food thematic photography meme, Filipino style.

Also, I'm sharing this to Iska of Iskandals for her Bloggoversary. Congratulations, Iska and here's to many more prolific years of cooking, eating and blogging!

Puto Maya
2 cups glutinous rice (sweet, sticky rice)*
4 cups thick coconut milk
3-1/2 tsps salt
1 cup sugar (or less, depends on how sweet you like it to be)
2-pcs ginger root cut into approx. 1", washed and smashed

1. Rinse rice and place in a 2-qt pot.
2. Add coconut milk, cover and let it come to a boil. When boiling, add the rest of the ingredients. Stir.
3. Turn heat to a lower setting and let mixture simmer for about 15 minutes or until rice is done. (I had to test the rice every now and then).
4. When done, scoop out rice, discarding the ginger root.Wrap rice in clean banana leaf, if available, and steam for about 30 mins.
5. If not, mold into cups and sprinkle with brown sugar if desired. Best enjoyed when warm, served with ripe mangoes and sikwate (hot chocolate).

Sikwate (Hot Chocolate/Cocoa Drink)
2 cups water
4 or more pcs tablea (pure dried cacao)*
1/2 cup brown sugar (or more, depends on your taste)

1. Place water in a pot. Let it come to boil.
2. Add the tableas and whisk vigorously by hand until tableas have melted.
3. Add sugar. Adjust sweetness to taste.
4. Serve with puto maya, while hot.

*NOTE: Glutinous (sticky) rice are available at Asian markets. Tablea is a Philippine product, so you might need to find a Philippine specialty store. Otherwise, you may use unsweetened cocoa powder as substitute.

37 comments:

Ning said...

Oh, yummy!!! yummy!!! Ultimate comfort food indeed! :)

noobcook said...

Very creative! I love the idea of mangoes on sticky rice.

iska said...

I think that's original! Even the presentation looks cool. I miss Philippine mangoes, too. Yup, peeling it and eating by hand is the best. I remember doing that while up the tree!

Thanks for joining and wish you luck!

JMom said...

That truly is a brilliant idea! I love how the whole presentation looks.

Susan said...

Beautiful presentation!

I agree. The typical Mexican mangoes we import here are Tommy Atkins, and not the greatest for flavor nor texture. Sometimes you can find Kent, Keitt and Haden - much better, more like the Asian varieties.

Mirage said...

Ay...nakakaaliw! :D Ang ganda tingnan and surely masarap right? Cute ng sushi set!

PS. Japanese: Would love to live in Japan if given the chance, I learned a little nihonggo for the love of the language hehe. ;)

ces said...

very clever! i admit, even I get lots of crazy ideas from M..thanks to them, huh? and yes...mangoes forever! PI mangoes, at that!:)

Juliana said...

Very interesting recipe...I had similar dish in Thai restaurant, where they serve sticky rice cooked in coconut milk with mangoes. Like your pictures.

Sadao said...

This would make a great sushi dessert after a sushi dinner.

Maria said...

How fun, great idea!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

an amazing presentation! *while stealing all your sweet sticky rice sushi* hehehe

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a beautiful and delicious treat! I love sticky rice and mangoes!

Cheers,

Rosa

oggi said...

That's brilliant! It's presentation is excellent and easier to eat too.:)

Lori said...

This looks delicious. I have been wanting to make coconut rice for so long. The magoes are a wonderful addition. Mangoes are my favorite of tropical fruits as well and they are second in all fruits. The only thing I like better is raspberries.

Joie de vivre said...

Mums the word! It looks like you had your original take on the recipe though so it is is well deserved that your hubby thinks you are brilliant!

The Bargainista said...

Thank you so muc for joining the blog roll over at COOK IT, BLOG IT! I can not wait to see what the future holds on your blog! :)
--Nikki, The Grourmet Momma

Sara said...

This looks delicious! I love mangoes too, I usually just eat them plain. I want to try this though, it looks like a great way to showcase them!

The Duo Dishes said...

Mmmmmm, this sounds like a perfect dessert considering how much we love coconut rice and mangoes. When combined, it's gotta be good.

Annie said...

The only way I have ever eaten a mango is just cut up. This looks like a delicious way to use them.
It IS a brilliant idea!

Jude said...

I miss mangoes a lot, too. Can never find anything that comes close around here.

Zita said...

hiks... I miss mangoes too, can't wait for for the summer to bring good mangoes in town, what a lovely presentation :)

Grace said...

sadly, oh-so-sadly, i've never sunk my teeth into a hunk of fresh mango. mango chutney? love it. mango salsa? delightful. i'm still really missing out though, aren't i! great presentation here, jescel. :)

Tangled Noodle said...

I can't think of anything else that I would love to eat right now! I always teased my mom b/c she insisted that Philippine mangoes are the best in the world (I'd become used to the Mexican/Costa Rican-grown ones). But after having eaten them during our visit this past Christmas (when they weren't even in season!) I'm convinced she's right!

And I lovelovelove sweet sticky rice of all kinds!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Gorgeous photos! And count me among the sweet sticky rice lovers as well. This looks amazing!

Zee said...

J! Bisaya d ai ka?! Wow! Hehehehe add na tikaw sa list sa bisaya bloggers that I met online! :)

BTW I loooooooove puto maya and it used to be my daily breakfast when i was still in elementary but I douse mine with tsokolate... and I don't like it with mango. I eat ripe mango with vinegar (weird but yummy)

BTW I love the idea! And I love the shots and tablescape... :)

Bette said...

hi! got here via iskandals.

ang galing ng presentation. applause to the husband for the idea. i think my kids will like this considering that mango is their favorite.

5 Star Foodie said...

How creative! I love this mango sushi! Wonderful presentation!

mikky said...

wow!!! making a suman sushi is such a creative idea... :) love this!!!

Heather said...

lovely pictures!! and this sounds so good! i love it when fresh mangoes are in season :) mmmm!

Reeni♥ said...

There is nothing more comforting than eating the foods you grew up on. I've never had this combo before but I can imagine, if only a little bit how it might taste. And it's nothing but delicious! And what a beautiful presentation!

Elyse said...

What a divine comfort food :) I love mangoes, too, and seeing them in this dish makes me totally hungry for them. You did a great job!! Sorry that I've been an absent commenter; I just finished up my law school exams and am finally getting around to my google reader.

A Scientist in the Kitchen said...

Wow!!! Love the way you presented puto maya and mangoes!

Gay

pigpigscorner said...

What a great idea!! Wonderful presentation.

Jinky said...

tnx for this psot, now I know to make puto maya. . .

Anonymous said...

wow!! i found the right recipe... my daughter requested me to cook this for her and her beau - exactly as they remember what the taste like when they had some in the market of Cagayan de Oro city when they visited the philippines just a couple of weeks ago.
thanks for this... (it seems so easy (exactly how my mom cools it) but finding banana leaves in Australia is ??!)

Anonymous said...

hi! been searching for this puto maya recipe...thanks you so much..

bitay said...

Thank you Jesc, will definitely make this.....yummm....im excited! ;-)