Before she left to Pangasinan, she said she was going to bring home some tupig. What tupig? I never knew what it was and I never asked. My mind schedule was full considering she will left me alone to take care of our toddler, do the household chores and still find enough time to do my writing activities.
Two days passed and the tupig was here. Packed inside a sando bag. I just told her to store it in refrigerator. It was late night already. I was so tired and so sleepy. I gonna get some the day after.
Afternoon, after fixing our roof water pipe, I saw her holding the digital camera and taking pictures. It was tupig – looks like mini rice cakes, a broiled rice cake.
It was my first time seeing a broiled rice cake. A broiled rice cake from Pangasinan. The food was mixture of glutenous rice, grated coconut and sugar. The recipe I know used coconut milk instead. Packed in banana leaves, precooked and cooked over ember. Precooking might be similar to this suman recipe.
The taste was really good. A suman with grated coconut and smoke flavor. I never thought this combination will taste so good. A regular suman with coconut might be good too. I gonna find time to try it.
I googled the word tupig to find similar pictures. Images I found are big tupig, about the size of regular suman. I think bite size is just right for this smoke rice cakes. It allows better penetration of smoke flavor. Larger version requires longer broiling time for deeper smoke absorption – might not be possible cause banana leaves cannot withstand long broiling.
A good friend brought us to Nueva Ecija. A province, in my opinion, not so far from Pangasinan. We talked about tupig on our way home. He said there is a certain clan in certain place there, that make real good tupig. What he meant was, high quality. A thing that you will sought for after tasting. The clan has a weird habit of cooking only one batch everyday. They close store after selling it all. You have to be there very early if you wanna get… Call for reservations if possible.
I think this scenario is a bit similar to buko pie. If you wanna have good tasting piece, you have to fall-in line and wait for your chance. I mean “chance”. There is no assurance that stock is available when it is your turn. On the other hand, there are plenty of low quality options available. There is no need to look left and right. Street sellers will pester you.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.