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looking for Puto Pao

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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...