The Daily Roar

Partners in Crime: Puto’t Dinuguan

The Philippines is home to the most bizarre food combinations you can ever think of. Like most Asians, rice is also one of the most loved staples in this country, and a lot of Filipinos cannot live without rice. Imagine an average Filipino eating around two cups of rice per meal, and around three meals per day. That’s a total of six cups of rice just in one day! Of course, there are many variants of rice dishes and snacks that Filipinos have come up with as well. One of which is the Puto, or the Filipino rice cake.

The Filipino rice cake, puto, is a steamed rice cake made out of rice flour. It is best eaten as is, with butter or grated coconut, or paired with savory viands like dinuguan. Dinuguan, coming from the Filipino word dugo which means blood, is a delicious stew of pork meat and/or offal (internal organs), cooked with garlic, chili, vinegar, and pork blood. Most people find this dish weird, but Filipinos are very proud to have dishes like dinuguan, which are pretty much comparable to the best dishes of other countries all over the planer.

Some Filipinos who don’t want offal in their stew cook their dinuguan with only choice-cut meat. Some even fry the meat first prior to cooking their stew so they could have what they call their Crispy Dinuguan. This only proves that there are so many ways to cook the dish, and people love it all the same.


And here’s where the pairing comes in. Puto is like the Juliet of the Romeo dinuguan. It is like the flower of a bee, and the fruit of a tree. You get the idea, right?
Dinuguan is an exquisite dish with an exquisite flavor even when eaten on its own. It can be eaten with rice for lunch or dinner, and it will still be an amazing dish. But the rice cakes complement its distinct flavor that much that it will make you believe in fate and Puto’t Dinuguan couple shirts all over again. And to tell you honestly, most Filipino households which are serving dinuguan for lunch right now are definitely also serving some puto.

The Philippines is a country that is rich in its culture in beliefs. With that strong foundation, the Filipino people are used to following tradition and practices. Most of us grew up knowing that the Filipino rice cakes truly are the best pair for Dinuguan. And so they are.

If you are in for one of the most unforgettable gastronomic experiences in your life, you should head on straight to the beautiful Philippines to try this awesome duo! You will never know how perfect they are for each other unless you try them!

/// Written by Mary Elizabeth V. Francisco, The Philippines

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