Dyed ampaw
Alternative namesAmpao, arroz inflado, pop rice, puffed rice, popped rice
Place of originPhilippines
Region or stateVisayas
Serving temperatureRoom temperature
Main ingredientsRice

Ampaw, ampao or arroz inflado, usually anglicized as pop rice or puffed rice, is a Filipino sweet puffed rice cake. It is traditionally made with sun-dried leftover cooked white rice that is fried and coated with syrup.


Ampáw means "puffed grain" in Philippine languages. Though it applies predominantly to the rice version, popcorn can also be referred to as ampáw (more accurately as ampáw na mais, "puffed corn").[1] In Cebuano slang, ampáw is also a euphemism roughly equivalent to the English idiom "[a person] full of hot air".The term is derived from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *ampaw (“empty husk (of rice, etc.)”).[2]

Another Filipino word, ampaw (also spelled as angpao or ampao, from Philippine Hokkien Chinese: 紅包; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: âng-pau; lit. 'red packet'), referring to Chinese red envelopes should not be confused with this term, as they are homonyms.[3]


Ampaw is made with cooked white rice (usually leftovers). It is dried in the sun for around four hours. They are then fried in hot oil to make them puff up. The oil is drained thoroughly after frying. The sugar glazing is cooked separately using muscovado sugar or molasses (or corn syrup), salt, butter, and vinegar or calamansi juice. The glazing is poured unto the puffed rice and mixed until the grains are evenly coated. It is then allowed to cool and shaped into the desired form before it fully hardens. They are usually cut into square or rectangular blocks or molded into balls.[4][5][6]

Traditional ampaw is white in color, but many modern variants are dyed in various colors to appeal more to children.[7]


Ampaw can be easily modified with added ingredients. Examples include roasted peanuts, pinipig (toasted young rice), and chocolate.[7][8] Ampaw can also be made with other types of rice, like brown rice or black rice.[9]


  1. ^ "Ampaw". Tagalog Lang. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Blust, Robert. "Austronesian Comparative Dictionary: Cognate Sets *a". Austronesian Comparative Dictionary.
  3. ^ "Ampaw Anyone?". Greenpeace Philippines. Archived from the original on May 27, 2019. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "Ampaw (Puffed Rice)". Mama's Guid Recipes. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  5. ^ "Filipino traditional snack: AMPAO (dried rice with sugar and lemon)". Sharsy. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "Puffed Rice (Ampaw)". Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Cebu's Sweet Ampao". Everything Cebu. Archived from the original on March 28, 2019. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  8. ^ "Chocolate Rice Puff". Panlasang Pinoy. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "Ampaw or Puffed Rice". yapak/yakap. Retrieved March 28, 2019.

See also