Puto Pao

Puto Pao recipe is a fusion between two of our well-loved snacks, Puto and Siopao! Soft and fluffy puto filled with pork asado made more delicious with salted egg and cheese topping. Amazingly delicious!

rice cake in a bowl on top of table

I kid you not! these puto pao were gone in minutes after they were cool enough to eat. Just like when I make puto flan or puto cheese, my kids can’t get enough of these delicious treats. 

What’s not to like? Soft and sweet puto with sweet, savory pork asado filling made special with salted egg and cheese sitting on top. You get the best of both worlds in a single bite!

rice cake with filling, egg and cheese

What is puto pao?

Filipinos are creative, especially when it comes to cooking. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that we have this unique take on puto. But, let’s dive a little deeper on the two components of this delicious culinary fusion which are puto and siopao.

rice cake ingredients on top of table

Puto –  Traditionally, they are categorized as “kakanin” or delicacies made from slightly fermented rice or “galapong”. These steamed rice cakes goes best with dinuguan or pork blood stew. The term puto applies to a wide variety of other Filipino delicacies like, puto flanputo lason, and puto bumbong that are all cooked by steaming. 

filling ingredients on top of table

Siopao – Siopao is a renowned snack in the Philippines. It comes with different names in Asia. These hot buns are filled with meat either chicken or pork and then steamed to cook. Pork asado and siopao bola-bola are the commonly sold hot buns in the Philippines.

Other puto variations

  • Puto Flan – Also called Leche Puto, it’s delicious and relatively easy to make. Combining Puto and Leche Flan is a “why didn’t I think of that!” fusion of two yummy desserts. They are also great as finger food.
  • Puto Yema Loaf – is a combination of puto and custard frosting that is great as a snack or dessert. This well-loved Filipino delicacy made more delicious with yema filling and frosting. 
  • Puto Lason – is another variation of the Filipino rice cake that everybody enjoys. With a bit of sourness and unique aroma that sets it apart from its cousins. A great coffee match for breakfast especially when sprinkled with grated coconut. 
  • Puto Cheese – Light, fluffy, and loaded with cheese! This is what Cheese Puto Cupcakes are all about! This beloved steamed rice cakes done differently using only egg whites will be a great addition to your puto recipes. 
rice cake in a plate with coffee on side on top of table

How to make the Pork Asado Filling?

Making the filling is pretty straight-forward and quick to make. It is similar to ingredients used for siopao filling. You can make it a day ahead to save time especially if you’re busy. Here are some tips for the best filling when making puto pao.

  • Pork – I used ground pork for this recipe. No cutting needed and gives a great texture when biting into. You can also use pork cuts like shoulders or other meat like beef or chicken.
  • Hoisin sauce – works magic for making the filling but you can also use oyster sauce. Remember to add bay leaves and star anis if you choose to use oyster sauce.
  • Salt and black pepper – These are your bestfriends whenever you cook. Taste and season the filling before adding the cornstarch slurry according to your preference.
rice cake with filling top with egg and cheese on top of table

Tips for an amiable experience

  • Place a clean kitchen towel between the lid and the steamer to avoid water drips. Condensation will make the puto soggy or cook unevenly.
  • Pre-boil the water for steaming in high heat. Once you are ready to steam the puto, turn it down to medium-low heat. This will make for a crack-free dome when cooking the puto.
  • If you do not have puto molds, you can use cupcake liners or muffin cups.
  • For the puto batter, I used cake flour but you can also use all purpose flour.
  • To achieve a good rise when steaming the rice cakes, only grease the bottom of the molds and not the sides.
rice cake topped with cheese and egg in a bowl on top of table

The secret ingredient is always love.

You may also like

Pork Dinuguan is a well-loved Filipino pork blood stew dish that goes well with puto. Tender pork cutlets in lush ,dark, sour, and spicy sauce of pork blood.

Leche Flan dessert is a joy to eat! Crowned with soft caramel on top, it’s just what you need after a hearty meal.  

Puto Bumbong Cake lets you experience the Filipino Christmas kakanin but in cake form. A delicious and decadent twist of our beloved holiday street food!

rice cakes in bowl

Puto Pao

Puto Pao recipe is a fusion between two of our well-loved snacks, Puto and Siopao! Soft and fluffy puto filled with pork asado made more delicious with salted egg and cheese topping.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread, Snack
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: puto pao, puto pao recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 256kcal
Author: Mia


For Pork Asado Filling

  • 100-150 grams ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • salt and pepper ( to season)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch diluted in 2 tbsp water ( slurry/thickening agent)

For puto batter

  • 1 cup cake flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
  • 3/4 cup water


  • 12 slices salted egg
  • 12 slices cheese


Making the filling

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, saute onion until translucent then saute garlic until fragrant. Add groun pork and stir fry until lightly browned.
    100-150 grams ground pork, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp cooking oil, 1 small onion
  • Pour soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar. Stir until fully incorporated. Simmer until pork is soft and tender.
    1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper according to preference. Then add cornstarch and water mixture. Cook until sauce is reduced and thick. Transfer in a bowl to cool down.
    salt and pepper, 1 tbsp cornstarch diluted in 2 tbsp water

Making the puto batter

  • Prepare puto molds by greasing bottom of molds with oil or butter. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, tip in cake flour, sugar, vanilla sugar/extract. Stir to incorporate.
    1 cup cake flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • Pour milk, melted butter, and egg. Beat for a few seconds or until the egg yolk breaks.
    1 tbsp melted butter, 1/4 cup fresh milk, 1 egg
  • Add water gradually or in batches while stirring until no traces of flour is left. Add baking powder then stir to incorporate.
    3/4 cup water, 1 tbsp baking powder


  • Pre-boil water in a steamer. pour prepared molds halfway with puto batter then add 1/2 tsp. of pork filling.
  • Fill the rest of the mold with putto batter again then top with slices of salted egg and cheese.
    12 slices salted egg, 12 slices cheese
  • Steam for 20-25 minutes over low-medium heat or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Turn off the heat and let it rest and cool down a bit.
  • Transfer in a cooling rack to cool down then gently remove puto pao from molds. Serve and enjoy. Bon appetit!




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Serving: 12pieces | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.7g | Protein: 12.2g | Fat: 13.7g | Saturated Fat: 7.2g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 11.3g | Calcium: 272mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Share it with us! @amiablefoods or tag #amiablefoods!

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