One lazy afternoon at home I suddenly craved for a Pasiguenio Mirienda called Puto’t Laksa. I remember my late Mama Becca would usually buy one every 4 in the afternoon and we’ll enjoy every bit of it. It is quite a strange combination but I have grown to love it. What is strange about this mirienda, which can only be found in downtown Pasig, is that it is a combination of sweet rice cake and veggies. Weird as it seemed, even the looks of it is not really appetizing, it is one hell of a delight.
So that afternoon I searched for the recipe knowing that the vendor we used to buy it from already passed away even before my Mama Becca. Unfortunately, nothing in Google presents the recipe. I got more curious and hungry for it. Has the native Pasiguenio Mirienda died?
Based from my research, the recipe has been passed on from generation to generation of different Pasiguenio families but no one ever really published it. I came across a group of students who had a thesis about it and even contacted the Pasig Local government if they can give me a recipe. From the group of students, only one replied and told me it was a research they did a long time ago.
I had to consult Facebook, I thought. So I posted a status about it and many replied. Some who lived in Pasig for the longest didn’t even knew its existence. Many recommended a vendor down in Mercury Drug at Kapasigan. So I went off. Unfortunately, only the Laksa was available that time so it wasn’t a success.
A few comments after my status in FB, my high school best friend replied and told me her mom cooks it. How can I forget?! Her mom cooks rice cakes for a living. So we scheduled a session immediately.
I was quite excited and the experience never failed. Nostalgia on a plate was served after about an hour tutoring. So here goes the recipe, although the measurements may be approximates based on how I remembered it.
Ingredients for the Pasig Laksa:
¼ kg cubed pork
1 garlic bulb chopped
1 whole medium size onion chopped
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
¼ shrimp (deveined)
3 table spoons of fish sauce (patis) to taste
1 cup of banana bud (puso ng saging)
1 cup of sliced long green beans (sitaw) about an inch long
1 cup of squash sliced in cubes
3 table spoons of Achuete mixed in oil of lihiya for the red coloring
2 cups of fresh coconut milk
1 cup of eggplant sliced
½ cup Sotanghon (rice vermicelli)
¼ cup of oil
3 tbs pepper
Optional: sigarilyas, kangkong, bataw, dried Chinese black mushroom
Puso ng Saging soaked in salted water
- Boil the cubed pork until all the water evaporated and the natural oil of the pork comes out.
- Fry it until golden brown and set it aside
- Sauté onion, garlic and tomatoes
- Add shrimp until it is cooked
- Add fish sauce before putting the friend pork back in
- Add all the veggies: banana bud, sitaw, squash and eggplant. Cover the lid for 5-8 minutes
- Add achuete mix for coloring
- When veggies are half cooked, add the coconut milk
- Add pepper to taste or fish sauce for saltiness
- Add sotanghon when almost cooked
- Set the veggies aside
Ingredients for the Puto (Inutak):
1.5 cup coconut milk
3 pandan leaves
½ cup sugar
1 cup giniling na bigas at malagkit
1 whole cup of panutcha
1 cup water
Cooking Procedure for the toppings:
- Boil water with panutcha and pandan leaves
- Add ½ cup coconut milk while boiling
- Stir constantly until thick enough to slowly drip from the wooden spoon
- Set it aside to cool down
Cooking Procedure for the puto (white part):
- On a hot pan, mix 1 cup of coconut milk, sugar, giniling na bigas at malagkit with pandan.
- Constantly stir it until thick enough that the mixture doesn’t drip off the wooden spoon
- Set aside to cool down a bit before putting the sugar topping
Enjoy it while it is warm where the puto will serve as the rice for the Laksa. Eat it like a regular rice and veggies meal. It may not look appetizing enough but the combination is fantastic.