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Putong Babi – Pan de Sal with Pork

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Putong Babi is a Kapampangan snack made of open-faced Filipino pan de sal buns topped with ground meat like pork or beef, eggs, bread crumbs and cheese. It’s pan-seared in a skillet and flattened like a panini.

The phrase Putong Babi is Kapampangan (of Pampanga) and translates to ‘bread with pork’. My mother-in-law made these for our merienda (afternoon) snacks. She called them ‘paradadas’, a term which originated from the Spanish word ’emparedado’ (sandwich), used by our family’s older generation Kapampangans, and as confirmed by food historian Felice Prudente Sta. Maria — when I recently included a cooking video of Putong Babi in my presentation for the First International Conference of Kapampangan Cuisine and Food Tourism (at Holy Angel University in Angeles, Pampanga) this past week.

Whenever we visited my parents-in-law, Mama had putong babi newly-cooked, warm and toasted, waiting for us. She paired it with chilled Kapampangan Fruit Salad. She said she prepared it, to tide us over till dinner.

I have simplified my mom-in-law’s version of Putong Babi and make it with leftover Picadillo or Arroz a la Cubana. When my sons were little, it was the hearty snack I had waiting for them when they got home from school. It was a snack that I could put together quickly with bread and leftovers, and which my boys wolfed down with gusto.

Putong Babi Ingredients

  • Pan de Sal buns: are the classic Filipino bread buns. Although the term pan de sal means ‘bread of salt’, these oval-shaped buns are actually mildly sweet in flavor. They are crusty on the outside, and soft inside. I bake them from an easy recipe here. Or I buy them at Asian markets. You can also substitute dinner rolls or hoagie bread.
  • Eggs: One or two beaten eggs are used to bind the ingredient toppings together and keep them on the bread slice.
  • Bread crumbs: Use regular, unflavored bread crumbs. They add a crunch to the topping.
  • Grated cheddar cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese makes a good contrasting flavor to the mildly sweet pan de sal buns.
  • For the meat topping: ground pork or beef, sweet potatoes, green peas, carrots, and raisins. You can cook the ground pork sauté with the condiments and seasonings, or take a shortcut and use the leftovers from Picadillo or ‘giniling’ (a main course of sauteed meat and potatoes) or even Arroz a la Cubana.


  • Prepare the Pan de Sal

Slice open the bread buns. Use both sides.

  • Fill the top of each bun with the ground meat.

Spread the cooked ground pork or beef on top of the open bun.

  • Sprinkle the bread crumbs.

Pour some of the beaten egg over the meat. Then sprinkle the bread crumbs.

  • Sprinkle the cheese.

Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese all over. Add a generous amount.

  • Pan sear bread in the skillet.

Add cooking oil to the non-stick skillet. Using a flat turner, put the bread bun with the meat side down on the skillet over medium heat. Press the bun down to flatten and sear. Turn the bun over after about 2 to 3 minutes, to cook evenly.

  • To cook the ground meat:

If you do not have leftover picadillo or arroz a la cubana, sauté the ground beef or pork in a skillet with oil, garlic, onions. A splash of toyo (soy sauce) and calamansi to flavor the meat will do wonders.

Can you make Putong Babi ahead?

Putong Babi can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen till ready to serve. Simply thaw (if frozen) and reheat the buns in an oven toaster.

Can you freeze Putong Babi?

Putong Babi can be refrigerated and frozen. Simply wrap the buns filled with meat in plastic wrap, then foil, then freezer-friendly plastic containers. This can keep in the refrigerator for 5 days and the freezer up to one month.

What do you serve with Putong Babi?

Serve this delightful bread bun snack with chilled fruit or a favorite beverage.

Can you make Putong Babi with chicken?

This is a versatile recipe and can be a template. One can make Putong Babi with ground chicken or even a savory corned beef hash with potatoes.

Putong Babi – Pan de Sal with Pork

Putong Babi (say ‘pooh-tong bah-bee’), is a favorite bread snack in Pampanga, Philippines. These are open-faced Pan de Sal, the Filipino bun, sliced in half, with a ground meat- potatoes mixture nestled on it, coated with beaten eggs, cheese and bread crumbs on top. This whole assembly is then  pan-seared stove top, and pressed down with a turner to cook Panini-style. Makes a great snack. This is a recipe by Elizabeth Ann Quirino for The Quirino Kitchen.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Merienda, Snack
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 167kcal
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • chopping board
  • Medium and small mixing bowls
  • Cheese grater
  • Large Non-stick Skillet – 12 to 14 inches diameter
  • Slotted or solid turner, to flatten the bun



  • 10 pieces (45 grams each) large or medium sized Pan de Sal buns, sliced open

For the meat topping:

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole (110 grams) medium-sized white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 whole (130 grams/4.6 ounces) medium-sized camote (sweet potato), cubed into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound ground pork or beef; or combination of both
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon calamansi juice (or use lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Putong Babi toppings:

  • 1 to 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese


To prepare the Pan de Sal buns:

  • Slice the Pan de Sal in half. You should have 20 pieces open-faced buns. Keep them covered or in a bread box to prevent them from drying up or getting tough.

To cook the meat topping:

  • In a skillet, over medium heat, add the oil. When oil is hot enough, saute the garlic and onions.
    When onions are soft in about 2 minutes, add the cubed sweet potatoes. Cook till soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef to the sweet potatoes in the skillet. Sprinkle the soy sauce and calamansi juice. Season with salt and pepper. Blend ingredients.
    Cover and cook till the ground meat is completely done, about 8 to 10 minutes.
    When meat is cooked, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

To assemble and cook the Putong Babi:

  • Beat the egg in a small bowl. Set aside.
    For each half of a pan de sal, place about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cooked meat topping. Spread the meat on the bread.
    Pour about half a teaspoon of the beaten egg over the meat.
    Sprinkle with a teaspoon each of bread crumbs and grated cheese.
    Repeat this process for the rest of the pan de sal slices.
  • In a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, add vegetable oil.
    Pan sear the open-faced bread slices, meat side down.
    Press down with a turner to flatten it. Brown each side for about 2 minutes.
    Flip the bread slice, meat side up, for even browning.
    Transfer to a serving platter. Serve warm.

Cook's comments:

  • Regular potatoes can be swapped for the camote (sweet potato).
    I have also added frozen green peas, chopped carrots and raisins to the ground meat mixture while cooking.
    I sometimes add a pat of butter instead of vegetable oil to the skillet. It adds a richer flavor to the Putong Babi.


Serving: 100grams | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 687mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 142IU | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 1mg

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