Two Philippine Christmas Recipes

There are a number of dishes that are traditionally eaten during the Christmas season in the Philippines.  I have chosen two recipes to present here.

Puto Bumbong is usually purchased from vendors outside churches and enjoyed by those returning home from Simbang Gabi masses held in the predawn hours each morning from December 16 to December 24.

Rellenong Manok is a deboned, stuffed chicken.  It is said that the proficiency of a cook can be determined by the presentation and deliciousness of their rellenong manok.

Maligayang Pasko! (Merry Christmas!)

Rellenong Manok


  • 1 whole chicken, deboned with shape kept
  • 2 tablespoons calamansi juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar


  • 1/2 kilo ground pork
  • 1/2 cup bacon, diced
  • 1 cup ham, diced
  • 1 can Vienna sausage, drained and sliced
  • 1/4 cup sweet green peas
  • 1/4 cup carrots, minced
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 5 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  • Marinate chicken in calamansi juice, soy sauce and sugar.
  • In a bowl, mix all stuffing ingredients well.
  • Stuff the chicken in all parts.
  • Sew the cavity opening and truss the chicken.
  • Wrap chicken in aluminum foil.
  • Heat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake breast-up for an hour or until chicken is cooked.
  • Open the foil and rub chicken with butter and put back in oven until golden brown.

Puto Bumbong


  • 1 Pack (400 grams) glutinous rice flour
  • 2 Packs (115 grams) purple yam powder
  • 2 1/2 Cups of water
  • Brown sugar or mascuvado (raw sugar)
  • Banana leaves
  • Grated coconut


  • knife
  • muslin cloth
  • sifter or strainer
  • 2 pcs bamboo tube (bumbong)
  • steamer for making puto

Cooking Instructions:

  • Prepare steamer with enough water for  steaming.
  • In a large bowl, combine purple yam powder and glutinous rice flour , Mix together until well combined.
  • Gradually add enough water to the rice flour to make a dough. Knead until smooth.
  • Pinch off about 2 tablespoons of the dough, using your hands make a ball and roll into a round and long shape, about 4 to 5 inches in long.
  • Spread margarine or butter in a  heat proof plate and layered the dough, steam for 3-4 minutes or until done.
  • Apply margarine or butter then roll in shredded coconut and serve with muscovado sugar.

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