How To Make The Best Puto Pao

Are you wondering how to elevate your siopao and puto dish into something unique? Well, we would suggest an authentic and unique dish from the Philippines. They called it Puto Pao. 

Many people, especially Filipinos, love to puto, and siopao. Since Filipinos are wise and creative, they thought of a certain dish. They would enjoy puto and siopao at the same time without wasting money. 

And that’s when the best Puto Pao exists. If you wonder how it tastes and how it looks like, you have to try recreating this dish. 

We would support you with ideas and insights that you would use to make this dish easier and faster. So, why don’t you begin to step into your kitchen and get started!

(Photo Credits to: Reddit)

What is Best Puto Pao

Puto Pao is a unique dish in the Philippine cuisines. It is a combination of two different dishes with different flavors and makes it one. 

Puto is also a delicacy for various steamed rice cakes or even those not made from rice. It is a traditional food made from galapong referred to as white puto or putong puti. 

Siopao is a hot bun mostly sold as a snack and has a filling like pork Asado or bola-bola. It is a dish that originated in China and was adopted by the Filipinos. It is a meat-filled steamed dish served in many restaurants and bakeries. 

It is a dish made out of all-purpose or rice flour filled with different kinds of fillings. This steamed cake is between siopao and puto, but instead of using dough, you could use an airy batter made with baking powder and egg whites.

Ways to Cook Puto Pao

(Photo Credits to: Carousell)

This savory dessert featured here would have various ways to prepare and cook it. We present to you some of those, including baked, steamed, and stove. 


Baking is the most popular and classic way of cooking the dish featured here. You have to preheat the oven up to 325 degrees Fahrenheit before you place the baking pan filled with the ingredients. 

Some Filipinos used to bake the featured delicacy because it is easier to present the dish when you baked it. It would cook to the extent you desired to cook on the dish.

If you love baking and love the featured dish simultaneously, this cooking method is a suitable way to cook it. 


Steaming is the most traditional way used by Filipinos to cook both Puto and Siopao. You have to use two simple kitchen cooking essentials: a pot or casserole and a steamer basket. 

In this method, you have to put a generous amount of water in the pot or casserole and boil it. Afterward, you may put the steamer basket at the upper portion of the pot or casserole and then cover it. Wait until the dish is ready and cooked. 


Cooking on the stove is easier than any other way of cooking. You don’t need to use an oven and steamer. It is very convenient for those who are not familiar with ovens and steamers.

Other Delicious Variants and Recipes

This unique delicacy of the Philippine has tons of variations to try to cook in your kitchen. It allows you to enlarge your taste and flavor palette by adding all ingredients in one single dish. 

With Pork Asado

It is one of the most popular fillings of this dish in the Philippines since Pork Asado is the famous stuffing in the Filipino version of siopao. This stuffing gives the sweet delicacy a savory side when you eat this version of the featured dish. 

Pork Asado is also popularly known as Chinese-style Asado is the variation of the very popular dish named Asado. It is a dish usually sliced thinly and served with the braising sauce. Primarily, the Philippine pork Asado is commonly and particularly used as the stuffing to the well-known siopao. 

They shred it and make a dish called siopao Asado. It is also similar to some dishes like pata tim, humba, adobo, and hamonado

With cheese

It is the classic stuffing of the featured dish. In this version, you used the cheese not as a topping but as a stuffing, making this sweet dish have a touch of saltiness from the cheese. 

Cheese is a versatile ingredient to use in many sweet and savory dishes. You could use different types of cheese to give a salty flavor to your dish. But you have to make sure that the cheese you might use compliments the dish to avoid ruining a great dish. 

This version is a suitable version for you to try on in your kitchen if you are fond of cheese. 

Tuna Puto Pao Recipe

This dish’s variation is very interesting to try on because of the stuffing you may use, which is tuna. You could use canned tuna in this version or freshly cooked tuna if you prefer. You could use the plain tuna or the tuna with sauces to make your dish tastier and delicious. 

Tuna is a great type of delicacy in most areas. It has different kinds which probably you love, and you already try cooking it. 

But in this version, you may use canned tuna. The tuna in the can is a type of processed food that is in the market today. It could be in edible oil, in water, in brine, or different kinds of sauces. 

Ube Flavor Recipe

Another version is also an old age stuffing- the ube. It is a type of dish used as a stuffing to the famous dish. Its succulent and sweet flavors enrich the taste of the featured dish. 

Ube is a dish similar to the Nilupak made from mashed or pounded starchy root crops like sweet potato with sugar and coconut milk. It is an ingredient used in different dishes like halo and ice cream. It could also serve as a jam or spread. 

With Salted Egg

If you are a fan of salted egg, this version is the right one for you. Salted egg taste blends with the sweet taste of this dish, which helps balance the dish’s taste that makes it outstanding. 

Salted eggs are eggs from ducks. The process of curing it originated in China. It is a type of food considered a preserved food made by soaking and curing it in a salty brine. You could avail it in supermarkets and stores as well. The salted eggs sold in the Philippines undergo the same curing process. They add red color by dyeing it. 

In this version, you could place the salted egg above this dish or place it as stuffing as well. 

With Dinuguan 

It is another version that makes the featured dish elevated by adding different stuffings, including dinuguan. 

Dinuguan is a type of Filipino Stew similar to the British and Irish black pudding in a stew form or European style bloody sausage. But it is closely similar to the ancient spartan dish known as black soup made from pork, blood, and vinegar. 

It is one of the most favorite dishes served on different occasions in the Philippines. Its sour and savory taste is perfect for the sweet flavor of the featured dish when you put it as stuffing. 

With Adobo 

Another stuffing you could put inside this dish is the Adobo dish. It is a very popular dish in the Philippines. It has a savory taste, including sour and salty flavor, which could make it stand out. 

Adobo is a Filipino dish executing the indigenous process of cooking in the Philippines. They used ingredients like soy sauce, vinegar, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. 

You could also make a variation of the dish, including adobong puti, adobong dilaw, or even adobong tuyo, which is the perfect adobo version to use in the featured dish as a stuffing. 

With Corned beef

Corned beef is one of the Filipino dishes commonly eaten during breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. But in this version, you would make it with corned beef stuffing. 

Its delicate taste and savory flavor make it amazing. It could be in two different forms, the one cured or pickled in a seasoned brine and the canned corned beef which we prefer to use the canned form since you don’t have to shred it and cook it. 

It is one of the popular canned goods sold in the market. It has a great taste and flavor that surely compliments the featured dish’s sweet taste. 

With Chocolate

This version is the perfect choice for those who are not fans of savory stuffings. It allows you to make your beloved chocolate to be stuffing in this dish. Its sweet, authentic, and bold flavor incorporates a great combination with the dish. 

Chocolates are the most popular food globally, and many people love this ingredient so much. It has three common varieties, dark, milk, and white. This ingredient would surely make those sweet teeth enjoy this version of the dish.

Trivia about this Recipe

Puto is a term derived from the Malay word puttu that means “portioned.” Malay was the language commonly used in the Philippines before the Spanish Colonization. 

Puto has many variations you could choose from to recreate. All of those variations have special ingredients used to highlight the taste and flavors of the Puto dish. 

Even though siopao is a Cantonese dish, they elevate, discover, and recreate the dish into something unique and authentic Filipino flavors when Filipinos adapted it. 

Until they make different kinds of siopao, including the Siargao version of it, called “Paowaw.” It is a dessert bun filled with Bukayo or a sweetened shredded coconut meat dish. 

There is also an old urban legend or story that alleges siopao’s stuffing used cat meat because of the siopao’s low price and also due to the Chinese Sinophobia.


Creating this exceptional dish needs to be perfect. In that case, we look for a few helpful tips to pull off this sweet and savory delicacy featured here. 

  • You have to know what kind of flour you have to use to recreate the dish. 
  • Use the right molds to create a well-shaped dish.
  • You should know that different cooking methods result differently. 
  • Cook the filling perfectly since you have to cook it again when it is inside the dish. 
  • You could also add different fillings and topping as you recreate the dish. 
  • Make sure to season the dish correctly. 
  • When creating this dish, make sure that you would use a measuring cup to avoid mistakes.


When you make a mistake when cooking rice or cake-like the featured dish, all you need to do is save it for further ruining. 

  • If your recipe sauce mixture is a bit watery, try adding more flour and other ingredients until you get the right consistency. 
  • Regarding the cook on the dish, avoid closing and opening the lid or the oven to cook the dish to perfection. 
  • If the dish’s filling happens to be salty, make sure that the puto Pao batter is sweeter to balance the taste of the filling and the buns.

Best Serve With

This authentic Puto Pao is perfect for eating with dishes that would highlight its taste and texture. Thus, we found some dishes that you would love to eat along with the featured dish. 

  • Pancit Guisado – is one of the traditional partners of Puto recipes featured here. Its taste and flavors complement the featured dish. 
  • Pancit Palabok – is a noodles dish perfect to compliment the taste of the featured puto dish. 
  • Spaghetti – is an all-time favorite pasta dish that is perfect for puto dishes. 
  • Pancit Lomi– is a popular dish in town, which helps the dish incorporate wonderful taste as you serve the featured dish with it. 
  • Molo Soup– is one of the soup dishes you would love to serve along with the featured puto dish during the rainy or winter season. 
  • Sotanghon Soup – is a perfect soup dish highlighting the flavor of the featured here. 
  • Macaroni Sopas – is another pasta dish that helps the dish to stand out. It is also very common to serve on certain occasions with the dish. 
  • Chicken Noodle Soup – is a chicken soup that gives a highlight to the featured puto dish. 
  • Dinuguan– is one of the great dishes paired up with our menu because it is the most common dish served along with the featured dish. 
  • Coffee – is one of the perfect pairs of the featured dish.


This puto Pao dish is an extraordinary and unique dish that shows the Philippines indigenous way of cooking the featured recipes. Aside from its uniqueness, one amazing thing about it is you could recreate it in any way you want as long as the ingredient you used compliments it. 

Are you wondering how to pull this off, don’t stress out because we will prepare all the things you need to know about this sweet and savory delicacy you want to try to cook?

It is easy to make a recipe and a great chance to bond with your family while recreating this dish. Enjoy cooking and discovering peculiar recipes in the Filipino food palette. 

So, try to check out more unique recipes on our website You could share the fun and excitement of recreating recipes with your friends and family!

puto pao on a paper wrapper
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Best Puto Pao Recipe

These are steamed buns and considered as part of "kakainin" dishes popular in the Philippines. Soft and milky bread made from rice.
Course Comfort food
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Rice Recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 461kcal
Cost $5-20


  • steamer
  • Puto molder


  • 1/3 kg All-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 pc Egg
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Milk powdered
  • 1/4 cup Water


  • In a large bowl, filter all-purpose flour using a strainer, then add baking powder, powdered milk, and sugar. Mix well and set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine egg, water, evaporated milk, and salt. Mix well.
  • After mixing the milk mixture, add the flour mixture. Mix until well-incorporated.
  • Boil water into the steamer, then pour puto mixture on each molder, just half of the height of the molder.
  • When you're done, place all the molder into the steamer and cover. Steam for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, transfer onto a plate. Serve hot and enjoy!


Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 663mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 253mg | Iron: 4mg
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