RECIPE : Puto Maya

Puto Maya on Banana Leaf

Puto is the classic Filipino rice cake traditionally made by steaming. But since it is intensive work, Filipinos came up with an easy version based on using rice from a regular cooker or pot.

The Tagalog phrase gaya-gaya puto maya is used to mock someone who is trying to copy someone else (gaya means “to imitate”). The inclusion of the phrase putomaya is not only a rhyme; it could also be an allusion to the fact that puto maya is trying to be a replacement for real puto.

This recipe for Puto Maya yields 12 servings.


1 and 1/2 cups of malagkit (glutinous or sticky rice)
1 cup regular rice
2 and 3/4 cups gata (coconut milk)
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 cups grated coconut


1.  Combine the two types of rice in a pot.

2.  Add the coconut milk and water. Stir well.

3. Boil the mixture for 20 minutes or until the rice is soft and fully cooked.

4. Use a spoon to pack the rice firmly into muffin molds. Let cool.

5.  Once cool, remove the rice cakes from the molds and transfer to a serving dish.

6. Top with grated coconut and sugar just before serving.

Puto maya is often paired with slices of ripe mango and a hot sikwate chocolate drink.