also in the holiday goodie bag: apigigi (ah-pi-géeh-geeh--soft g), a chamorro treat made from young coconut meat, fresh coconut milk, and tapioca, then formed and wrapped in a banana leaf. it is steamed, then grilled on a fire, preferrably tangantangan (leucaena leucocephalu) wood. i didn't make these. these are a specialty of a neighbouring island, saipan, and these probably came from the vendor at the garapan market, or that guy? you know? the one with the roadside stand? is that the same guy? anyway, a friend brought in a couple hundred. they are super addictive. slightly smoky, slightly sweet, with that rather intangible taste of fresh coconut water tinged throughout the soft but not sticky tapioca.


I have a thing for anything that is wrapped in banana leaf and steamed or grilled. I wish I can taste this one.

helloooo oslo foodie! made a phone call for you, have an approximation of the secret recipe, should you care to try it:


2 c. tapioca
1/2 c. dessicated coconut (the unsweetened kind)
1/2 c. sweetened coconut milk
sugar to taste (most likely 1/4 to 1/2 cup)

mix all ingredients together, add more coconut milk if needed to make a sticky but workable dough. form dough into a 1 inch wide, 1/2 inch deep and 4 inch long flattened log and wrap in banana leaves. steam for 25 minutes, then pat dry. you can eat it as is, or grill over coals until it outside begins to char. eat hot or cold.

Hi Santos,

Looks delish. I probably wouldn't try to make this since I end up ruining these kinds of steamed desserts everytime I try to make them...I made suman once, it was a disaster. By the way, have you ever had puto bumbong? I haven't had it in ages and can't find it anywhere... =(

whoops did i say 4 inches? i meant 6 inches. no comments from the peanut gallery, please.

hey reid

i've only ever had puto bumbong in the philippines, i don't know anyone who would go through the trouble of making it here. as i tend to avoid the philippines during xmas and holy week (too many people!!), and puto bumbong is mostly found during those holidays, i haven't actually seen it in years.

i don't think i would make apigigi, either. don't have the knack for it, but then again, i usually have a stash from saipan in the freezer--i just pull a couple out and steam them whenever the urge strikes!

These have an uncanny resemblance to tupig, the suman of the Ilocos/Pangasinense region. The cooking procedure's the same, not sure about the tapioca. I love them, especially the young coconut strings in every bite.

Hi Santos,

Thanks for the information. =)

When I was in Intermediate school my friend's mother, who was Visayan, used to make puto bumbong often for breakfast. We used to eat it straight out of the steamer topped with butter, coconut and sugar. Served with some coffee (can you believe we drank coffee at that age?), it was so good!

Sorry I missed this comment earlier, thanks so much, Santos for the recipe. I'll definitely try this one day, we have plenty of banana leaves in Vietnamese or Thai grocers in Oslo.

Santos - this is now almost a year later and don't know if anybody has been on this same posting...however, was wondering what kind of 'tapioca' - is that tapioca flour - prepared tapioca pearl pudding? -

hi smitty! tapioca flour. the proportions are something like 2 cups of tapioca flour, 1/2 c of sugar, 1/2 c of coconut milk. mix, form into logs and wrap in banana leaves, then boil or grill.

oh whoops. see above recipe. smitty, i've been told you can use arrowroot starch if tapioca isn't available.

I was just surfing the net and happened to come across this topic.- Apigigi.
Yup, used to help my Mother cook this back in Saipan.

And it would be from the Garapan Street Market, too. Glad to know you folks are discussing this local delicacy!

do you have a recipe for manha titiya?

no, but i will ask our friendly neighbourhood chamoru chef soon....

Can anyone give me the recipe for the tamales that had a 1/2 red and the other half was white. It was rolled up in banana leaf. I would like to make it if I can get the recipe. Thanks.

hafa adai mr. cruz! you are looking for the recipe for tamales gisu. i have a recipe from my neighbour's auntie, i hope you like it. you can find it here.