Puto-maya is a pre-breakfast meal made from glutinous rice simmered in coconut cream, it has a distinct ginger aroma to it and is best paired with Filipino hot chocolate made from Tableya (roasted cacao, grounded and pressed into coin-shaped tablets).






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This is a childhood favourite of mine; I would wake up around 5 am or earlier and run down to my local vendor to indulge a quick meal before going back to bed. This is how I started to develop my love for sweets.


  • 200 g (1 cup) Thai glutinous rice
  • 310 ml (1¼ cup) coconut cream
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) hot water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 40 g peeled ginger, bruised
  • 20 g white sugar

Hot chocolate

  • 50 g raw sugar
  • 150 g tableya, or 80-100 per cent dark cooking chocolate

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


This recipe needs to be started one day in advance.

  1. Place the glutinous rice in a large bowl, add water enough to cover the rice well and stir to combine well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and stand at room temperature for 12 hours.
  2. The following day, drain the rice and place in a non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 250 ml (1 cup) of coconut cream, the hot water, salt, ginger and sugar and stir to combine well. Cook, stirring continuously for 5 minutes, then add the remaining coconut cream and stir for another 10 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat.
  3. For the hot chocolate, place 500 ml (2 cups) water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the chopped tableya or chocolate and stir continuously until dissolved and smooth. Serve immediately with the puto–maya (sticky rice).


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.