Palitaw made with glutinous rice flour, grated coconut, sesame seeds, and sugar. Soft, chewy, and gluten-free, this Filipino delicacy is delicious as snack or dessert.

For day 7 of our holiday recipe series and as follow up to the sweet and sour meatballs yesterday is a classic Filipino delicacy, Palitaw. If you’re looking for a quick and easy snack or dessert to complete your holiday feast, this rice cake is a must on your menu!

With perfectly soft and chewy rice patty coated with grated coconut, toasted sesame seeds, and sugar, it’s sure to be the hit of the party!

What is Palitaw

Traditional Palitaw is made from glutinous rice grains which are soaked in water overnight and then processed into a soft dough via grinding. The dough is formed into thin patties, cooked in boiling water, and then coated with grated coconut, toasted sesame seeds, and sugar.

As their name which is from the Filipino root word “litaw” or “to surface” suggests, the patties will float or rise to the surface of the water when done.

Due to the availability of commercial sweet rice flour, making these mochi cakes can’t get any easier than mixing the flour with water! It is important, however, to note that a good palitaw is all about the texture.

Please check out my tips below on how to make them perfectly soft and chewy!

Tips on How to Make the Best Palitaw

  • To get the perfect chewy texture, you need the right ratio of glutinous rice flour and water. Not enough liquid and the cakes will be hard to chew. Too much and the patties will be hard to form.
  • I find 1 cup of water to 2 cups of flour yields the best texture for my taste. The mixture will look dry at first but keep on mixing with your hands until it gathers into a smooth dough. The consistency you’re looking for is like that of soft, pliable putty.
  • For more uniform size, use a small scoop to portion out the dough and use the palm of your hands to roll each portion into a ball and then flatten into an oval shape about ΒΌ thick.
  • If the dough is sticking, wet hands in between shaping.
  • Once the patties rise to the surface, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water right away to keep from over-cooking. Drain well.
  • Let them cool just enough to touch and begin rolling in grated coconut as they coat better when still warm.
  • Roll the patties immediately in coconut but sprinkle the sugar-sesame mixture when you’re ready to serve as the sugar tends to dissolve over time. Or you can serve it on the side and allow the guests to sweeten the cakes as they like.
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