"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Squash Kutsinta

From squash kutsinta
Last week I tried making kutsinta using the recipe posted by JMom. However, I used the regular white flour (not sticky sweet) that I got from Spice of Life, a health food store. As what she implied as she referred to her basis for the recipe, there really is no standard rice flour, that's why results can be expected to vary. She used mochi. Mine was not branded. Probably that was the reason why I ended up with rock hard solid bottomed-liquidy top kutsinta, which I first mistook as undercooked after 20 minutes of steaming, so I extended the time to reach 1 hour, and I gave up at the end of that. I tried one and threw them all away, not because of the taste but because of the consistency as I described above.

So I looked around again for another recipe I could try so I could bring kutsinta to our Filipina get-together (yesterday, actually). I would have tried to make the same recipe using the sticky sweet (glutinous) rice flour, but thought better of it..."What if it does not turn out the way I wanted it to be" So I looked again for another recipe not out of a homemaker's experimentations, but from a nationwide publication, the DOST's Tekno-Tulong website, using all purpose flour (can't go wrong with that!) and guess what? SQUASH! "This sounds insteresting!," I thought. Not only do I make use of my extra squash sitting in the freezer for more than a year now, but I also make my kutsinta more power-packed. Well, we know how nutritious squash and other yellowish-orange-ish veggies are.

The final verdict was made, of course, by my Filipina friends.
From lye solution
Although the recipe only gave me several kutsinta, we all decided it was good!

The only issue I encountered was that some of them was too liquidy at the top, that I resorted to microwave them one by one to further cook, but still ended up with soft solid bottom and a liquidy top. I guess that is because of sedimentation problems, with flour going more to the bottom and making that part more solid when cooked. But this won't stop me from making this again in the future. I might end up cooking it the same way I microwave-cooked pichi-pichi, but I will double or even triple the recipe. Or I might try using the double-boiler method, where I will boil water in a deep 10-in saucepan, place the cups there and pour the mixture; that way, the mixture will start cooking right away and not have time for sedimentation. Then as soon as I have poured into all the cups I will just cover then cook 20 minutes (I remember my ex-MIL using this technique for her lech flan and it worked good!)

1 cup mashed boiled squash
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lye solution (potassium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate solution)


1.Dissolve the sugar in water and boil, allow to cool.
2.Add the flour little by little.
3.Add the squash, keep on stirring until it becomes fine in texture.
4.Strain using two layers of cheesecloth (wring to extract the most out of the mixture).
5.Add the lye, stir.
6.Put the mixture in muffin cups, with allowance of a little space from the rim. (Photo in slides shows the second layer, I ended up probably with 12 cups, 3 of which had super liquid-y tops.)
7.Steam for 20 minutes.


  1. Hi there, thanks for your recipe. It looks yummy!
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  2. sarap namn nito manang,prob is walang lye d2 sa asian store sa amin..kainis.....patikim na lang tru my imagination,bet masarap talaga to..

  3. manang,i have a ? madalas ko kasing napapansin ur using the silicone muffin cups ,how is it ? i been wanting to get some kaya lang hesitant ako kung useful ba sya or just like using the tin kind. what's ur opinion (pros and con ) thanks !!! this recipe looks so good by the way ! :) thanks !

  4. hi manang, tagal ko n gusto gumawa ng kutsinta pero dko mahanap sa asian store d2. pwde pabili dyan/? heheh jowk. sarap sana gumawa nyan oh...

  5. un lye solution dko mahanap d2.

  6. Wena and ellen,
    I included a photo of the lye solution. Probably the reason you could not find it was that it does not really say on the label what it is, and I doubt that Chinese staff would know about it. I met a Filipina in an Asian store and I heard her ask the staff if they had grated coconut. Staff said no, but I approached them and told them where the grated coconut was.

    I purchased the silicone muffin cups for steaming puto/kutsinta because my muffin pan would not fit in a steamer. I still prefer the tin (plus paper cups) for baking. :)

    Maybe for kutsinta, you can use water bath if you are using muffin tin pan.

    Pros of silicone cups include ease of removing the kutsinta. Cons: hard to grease and clean up because of the ridges.

    I won't dare use it to pour hot caramelized sugar into.

  7. Now I want to try making this with ube instead of squash....

  8. I've been wanting to make kutsinta! I'm so glad someone asked about the silicon cups - I bought some this weekend precisely to use in my round bamboo steamer for the same reason you had - the muffin pan won't fit! I was worried that they weren't appropriate for steaming but you've confirmed it. Thank you! This also gives me a good reason to use my new coconut grater, all the way from the Philippines - I just have to attach it to the little bench I bought at Michaels Crafts.

  9. hi battleajah,
    Welcome to my site :)
    That would be interesting to try this with ube...I do have ube at present, but I would like to make ube cake first (I have cooked my grated ube into haleya! Quite hard to figure it out when the grated ube was uncooked to start with).

    There you go! have fun with all the steamed goodies and break in your coconut grater ASAP! Haha!

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. i see the picture of the lye solution, what is the brand name, heheh bka meron dito nyan sa amin n brand. thanks so much, iam so excited na.

  12. Hi ellen,
    Brand is Koon Chun (it has orange cap)

  13. thanks manang .... my tin pans too are hard to clean (it was a pasalubong from manila with ridges too.) thanks for your opinion. :)

  14. sa wakas i was able to find the lye solution and made this recipe right away and it is really so yummy...thanks so much... should i put the lye solution in the refrigerator after use or i can just leave it out lng? and do u know b if un solution d madaling masira?

  15. Hi ellen,
    I just keep mine at room temperature in the pantry. I don't think it has to be refrigerated.

    Mely of pinoyamericanrecipes.blogspot.com also has kutsinta recipe making use of all purpose flour. You might want to try that as well.

  16. Thanks for the mention, Lory. I too am still perfecting my puto and kutsinta recipes. I have a non-branded glutinous flour in my pantry now and your post just made me think of trying kutsinta again :)

  17. JMom,
    I have been checking out Mely's site as she as a lot of recipes of kakanin that seem tried and tested already.


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