The Philippines is home to some of the most creative and delicious delicacies in the whole world. One of these amazing delicacies is the Puto or Filipino Rice Cake. Puto is a favorite snack or breakfast for many Filipinos, every morning, a Puto vendor roams around the village to sell the ever-famous Puto and its partner-in-crime, the Kutsinta. Both of these rice cakes will blow your mind just because of how good they taste. They differ in both texture and flavor in their own unique and delicious ways.
Rice cakes are popular all over the world. Each country, especially the ones in the Southeast Asian region, have their own versions of it. For example, in Myanmar, they have a staple food called Mont, which is made with various types of rice, rice flour, and glutinous rice. On the other hand, Cambodia also has the Ansom Chek and Num Kom. Ansom Chek is a banana leaf sticky rice cake traditionally served during the Bun Pchum Ben or “Ancestors Day”. While Num Kom is a steamed sweet sticky rice flour cake filled with palm sugar, grated coconut, and sesame seeds, yum!
Today, we’re going to focus on the brother of our traditional Puto, the one and only Kutsinta! It is said that the term Kutsinta was derived from a pre-colonial rice tool used to shape rice cakes. While some people believe that the name came from a Chinese Hokkien term called “Kueh Tsin Tao” which means a little steamed cake or cookie for a snack. Whatever the origin of our beloved Kutsinta is, only one thing’s for sure. It’s so delicious!
Basically, the Kutsinta is made from a mixture of tapioca or rice flour, brown sugar, and an enhanced yellow food coloring combined with annatto extract called the lye. It has a chewy consistency unlike its brother Puto, also, Filipinos love to top the Kutsinta with freshly grated coconut or the Latik. Latik is like a caramelized condensed milk, some may also call it the Dulce de Leche but in some provinces, it is like a syrupy caramelized coconut cream. Well, I recommend you add both because it tastes the best!
Filipinos so loved the Kutsinta that they made a lot of its variations throughout the years. One of the most remarkable and the most popular today is called the Black Kutsinta. This one’s a lot different from the original Kutsinta in terms of flavor and texture because its main flavoring ingredient is molasses. The molasses gives the Black Kutinsta a unique sweet, bitter, smoky, and robust flavor that makes it a hit for many Filipinos! Most people also like to top it with Yema which complements the overall flavor of the Black Kutsinta.
Don’t worry, all of the ingredients we’ll be using can be easily found in your local markets and grocery stores! Moreover, the preparation process is also quick and easy to follow! Are you ready? Let’s do it!
For the ingredients, we’ll need cassava flour, all-purpose flour, water, brown sugar, lye, vanilla, grated coconut, and grated cheese for the special topping!
To start, simply put a half cup of brown sugar in a pan and keep on stirring until it’s melted. Make sure to keep the fire at low to medium heat to prevent burning. Then, add a half cup of water then keep on mixing until it is completely dissolved.
Now, let’s proceed to the dry ingredients. Just combine the cassava flour, all-purpose flour, and brown sugar in one bowl. Make sure to mix all the ingredients well until they’re all fully incorporated with each other. While mixing, gradually pour water until the consistency we want is reached. It is important to add the water gradually so we could prevent committing mistakes, so watch out!
To achieve the desired color, add lye water. Then, also add a little bit of vanilla to improve the overall taste of our Kutsinta! Also, add the dissolved sugar then keep on mixing until it is completely mixed.
Now, put the mixture into individual molds and arrange them neatly into the steamer. Steam the Kutsinta mixture for about 40 minutes to 1 hour. Be sure to check it after 40 minutes, if not yet ready, then keep on checking until you reach 1 hour. If it’s already cooked, then remove it from the steamer and set it aside.
Finally, you can now remove the Kutsinta from the molds and then place it neatly in a bilao with banana leaves for better presentation. To top it off, serve with grated coconut and grated cheese! You can also add dulce de leche or latik if you want. And voila! You’ve successfully made your own Kutsinta at home!
How about that? Pretty easy, right? Now that you can make your own version of our beloved Kutsinta at home, snacks and meriendas will always be extra special!
- 2 cups Cassava Flour
- 2 cups all-purpose Flour
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp. Lye Water/Lihia
- 2 tsp. Vanilla
- Grated Coconut(for toppings)
- Grated Cheese(for toppings)
- Other Ingredients:
- ½ cup of Brown Sugar
- ½ cup of Water
- In a cooking pan put the ½ cup of brown sugar and stir until melted.
- Add the ½ cup of water then mix until dissolved and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, put the cassava flour, all-purpose flour, and brown sugar then mix well.
- While mixing, add water gradually and continue to mix until mixed.
- Add lye water, vanilla and mix well.
- Add dissolved sugar then continue mixing.
- Place the mixture into individual molds and arrange into steamer and steam for 40 minutes to an hour.
- After 40 minutes check if it is already cooked.
- Then remove and set aside.
- Remove the kutsinta into the molder.
- Serve with grated coconut or grated cheese on top.
How to Make Delicious Original Pinoy Kutsinta – #1 Kakaning Pinoy