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Mar 17, 2010 01:00 PM

looking for Puto Pao

Does anyone know where to get this Filipino dessert in the Bay Area? It's but the puto bun with some char siu beef inside and sometimes even an egg I think. I got pics below. My girlfriend talks about it a lot (used to have it all the time in Guam), but I just can't find it... anyone? I was going to give her some as part of a bday present.


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  1. You could call Andrea Foods in Vallejo they might have it.

    1109 Maple Ave., Vallejo

    (707) 644-0518

    1 Reply
    1. re: Scott M

      sigh.. no go.. did not carry that. half sounded like they had no idea what it is. :(

    2. "Puto Pao"--gee, I never thought I'd see those words outside the Philippines where it's considered one of our innumerable snacks and made of savory-sweet stewed pork stuffed in a steamed rice cake. I've never looked for it here, but if I were to try, one of the first places I'd check would be Valerio's in Daly City. The Yelp link below also shows some other Filipino bakeries. (Not being a great fan of sweetened breads, I'm not familiar with most of them.)

      Good luck, and let us know if you find a good version!

      1. Is that the same thing as siopao? If so, then Valerio's and Red Ribbon have them; I'm sure other places do too, but that's where my parents tend to get them (when they're not making them themselves)

        9 Replies
        1. re: josquared

          Not quite the same thing: same filling, but the yeast bread in siopao (a sibling of char siu bao) is substituted with a sweet rice cake (puto) usually leavened with baking powder or baking soda.

          1. re: pilinut

            Ahh, okay. Thanks for the explanation. I know of puto but didn't know that you could actually use that to make a pao.

            Funny how this stuff is - my mom's version of bibingka is totally different than any other people's versions of bibingka I've seen or had at various get-togethers. That's part of what makes this stuff fun

            1. re: josquared

              What sort of bibingka does your mom make? "Bibingka" covers several different kinds of sweet, some steamed, some baked, some cake-like, others more like pudding. The most common types are:

              Bibingka Galapong, made with ground rice (galapong) and traditionally baked using charcoal above and below the pan. It has a cake-like texture and is often topped with white farmer's cheese and/or salted egg;

              Cassava Bibingka, finely grated cassava root with coconut milk and eggs, often topped with kalamay (a caramelized coconut jam) this usually has the consistency of a dense bread pudding or very firm polenta.

              Bibingka, a.k.a., biko, another very dense slab of coconut milk, sticky rice, and/or pinipig (rice that has been flattened and dried, it looks a little like instant oatmeal), usually covered with kalamay as well. Texturally, it's a cross between mochi and oatmeal.

              And I'm sure there are others I do not remember, or simply have never tried.

          2. re: josquared

            no dice at Valerio's.. they did mention the siu pao though. :(

            oh Puto Pao, wherefore art thou?

            yelp searches only yield puto not puto pao... but i need that meat inside. sometimes it even has salted egg inside too.

            1. re: jackzhlin

              Here is an article that may give you some leads. I suggest just calling down the list, maybe you will get lucky.


              1. re: Scott M

                good stuff! but still no go.. none of them carry it.. one phone number is dead i think it's Gold Tray Manila. but at least some of them knew what I was talkin about.


                Gold Tray Manila
                5320 Monterey Hwy, San Jose, CA 95111

              2. re: jackzhlin

                i would call bakeries around the bay area, specifically in daly city, vallejo and union city, which are all cities with large populations of filipinos. As a poster mentioned above, this is not a common dessert amongst American based filipino bakeries. I tasted it when i was in the Philippines, but have not once come across it here in the states.

                1. re: jackzhlin

                  Would you consider making your own puto pao? Or buying a fluffy white puto and filling it with braised char siu or Filipino pork asado (which is nothing like a Mexican asado.)

                  1. re: jackzhlin

                    yeah i think if i cannot find any by cold calling around vallejo and other areas, i might just make my own.. did really want to have that authentic taste though.. with me it's just gonna be like a trial-and-error process haha.

                    wait does anyone know any relatives in the area that can make puto pao? i can pay...