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Tupig is one of the Filipino street foods that I loved and miss most. It’s simple sweet smokey taste reminds me that the simplest things in life are often the most enjoyable, like camp food, or cowboy coffee by the fire, It tastes better because it’s experienced in an unusual and perhaps more simplistically pure way.

Tupig is one of the more simple local delicacies of rice and coconut wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over a bed of coals.

It looks something like this, and may not appear delicious but to my adventuresome taste buds it is!

Photo cred -Google

I didn’t learn first hand how to make these, but from what I gathered during my time on Bohol island, combined with a little research yields a very simple and easy seeming recipe.

Traditionally in the Philippines Tupig is cooked by digging a hole in the ground which is filled with hot coals, the wrapped bundles are placed inside and then covered with more hot coals to cooked for a few hours. This would certainly produce a more flavorful and authentic taste, and sounds like a foodie adventure all its own, but I doubt many people here will be digging holes in their back yards. So for our sake I think grilling will do, and I’ve heard people have with great results.

First steps, Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ”Filipino malagkit rice” glutinous rice/ sticky rice or Asian sweet rice soaked in water overnight. (You can find these ingredients at most Asian supermarkets)
  • 1 can Coconut cream (8oz)- you can find this in many regular supermarkets. Not to be confused with coconut water.
  • 1 pack frozen (thawed and drained), fresh, or dried coconut meat (8oz)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup molasses (optional)
  • 1/4 cup rice four
  • Banana leaves, frozen and thawed, or dried about 20 pieces cut in 8 x 8 inch pieces (if you buy the dried leaved soak them in water until they are soft, then drain well)

The night before place rice in bowl and cover with water, leave at room temperature. Next day, drain water completely from the rice and process in blender until smooth. Add all other ingredients, except banana leaves, and process till thoroughly mixed. The texture should be somewhat moldable so it won’t leak, not too runny, but not thick either. Next place about 2 tablespoons down the center of the banana leaf going the direction of the grain, then wrap like a burrito.

Cook the bundles either over an open grill on med, or directly over a hot coals for about 30 min, turning after 15min, or until the outsides of the banana leafs are charred.

Unwrap and enjoy a smoky sweet sticky and delectable taste of the Philippines! You can enjoy them hot or cold, and I hear some people like to eat them with ginger tea 🙂