My aunt has been living with my parents for the past few months. A quick note about this particular aunt: she apparently owns all of the family recipes from my grandmother and just dishes them out whenever she can. So when I went home to visit, she pulled these out: puto pao.
If you’re familiar with Filipino food, think of it as siopao in puto form—a Chinese spongey meat bun shaped like cupcakes. She makes these all from scratch—from the sweet meat mixture inside, boiling egg yolks for the filling, making the flour mixture for the cake, cutting little cheese squares for the top, and then finally steaming them. The result is this super spongey and filling bite, that’s apparently steeped in family history! My dad told me their mother—my grandmother—used to make these from scratch and then sold them in their little food store.
It’s good to know the food gene is still influential now, and I will one day learn this recipe and hopefully teach a new generation how to make it too!