Recipes for Poto and Ahu – Treats from Guam



My mother recently included recipes of some of my favorite treats that I loved growing up as a young boy on the island of Guam.  In the spirit of the holiday season, I have reposted them for you.





Can you share your recipes for poto and ahu?



Why, of course. To be absolutely truthful baking and cooking came from my mother. Although it has been a few years back, my mother who passed away a year ago, left quite a legacy for her son and daughters.

I remember those Sundays we gathered after church and she was cooking and baking. She not only fed her family, but shared with neighbors and relatives all the goodies she baked. We indeed learned from her, but no matter how we try to cook and bake, nothing compared to mom’s roast, stews, cakes, cookies and so forth.

From memories in mom’s kitchen, the recipes are as follows:


3 cups uncooked rice
2 and a half cups sweet tub (substitute: 1 package yeast and 1 cup beer)
3 tsp baking power
One half cup sugar (use substitute sugar) or honey
2 cups water

Wash rice. Brown lightly in oven. Grind into very fine flour. Mix rice and tuba (or use substitute). Add sugar or honey, then add water until it has consistency of cake mixture. Cover and let it rise (four to six hours; break bubbles every two hours by stirring). Add baking powder into mixture just before cooking. Wash molds in cold water, dry and then pour mixture into each mold (half fill only). Steam for 20 to 30 minutes in a regular steamer (insure condensation does not drip into the molds). Serve. Poto is delicious anytime of the day.


8 cups water
1 ? cups sugar
12 young coconuts (green skin and white meat still very soft) save liquid into a bowl
1 cup cornstarch or tapioca starch (this may require more)

With the stove at medium high, add 2/3 cup sugar into a large pot to caramelize. Add water and bring to boil. While water is boiling, scoop white meat from the ten coconuts and place in a blender with coconut juice. Blend into chunky pieces (not fine). Mix cornstarch or tapioca starch and rest of sugar with the coconut meat just blended. Mix well. Then drop by spoonfuls into the boiling water, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes. Turn off stove and cover for another ten minutes. Serve.

Good luck and I hope this brings back a bit of Guam into your kitchen. Enjoy!

si Joyce I. Martratt


Original Post: Ask Joyce Island Style, The Pacific Edge ,  December 5, 2008


2 thoughts on “Recipes for Poto and Ahu – Treats from Guam

  1. Hello,

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I was actually hoping someone would

    post it on utube and show exactly how to make the Poto. I am not sure

    how to steam it? Any advice? I was born on Guam and really miss a

    lot of the food my mother used to make.

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