Palitaw Recipe

This recipe will guide you through creating two irresistible takes on Palitaw, a chewy Filipino rice cake.

Enjoy the classic version, simply coated with shredded coconut, toasted sesame seeds, and sugar. Or, take it to the next level with palitaw sa latik, featuring a rich caramelized coconut sauce, with sweet and fragrant jackfruit pieces.

Filipino glutinous flat rice cakes.

Palitaw vs Palitaw sa Latik

Palitaw is a classic Filipino rice cake made of ground glutinous rice flour, and water. The word “palitaw” literally means “to float” or “to surface” in Filipino. This refers to how these rice cakes are cooked.

Classic or regular palitaw and palitaw sa latik are cooked in the same way, boiled until they float to the surface.

palitaw glutinous rice cakes with coconut, sugar and sesame seeds.

The key difference lies in their toppings. Classic Palitaw is enjoyed in its simple form, sometimes dusted with toasted sesame seeds and sugar for a touch of sweetness.

Palitaw sa latik, on the other hand, takes things up a notch with a decadent latik sauce.

rice cakes in coconut sauce with ripe yellow jackfruit.

This sweet coconut sauce, made from coconut milk and sugar, adds a rich and nutty layer of flavor, making it a more luxurious option.

So, depending on your mood, you can choose the simple sweetness of palitaw or indulge in the richer flavors of palitaw sa latik.

Toppings for Classic Palitaw

glutinous rice flour, grated coconut, white sugar and sesame seeds.
  • Grated Coconut – For the best results, use fresh grated coconut, which should be available at most Asian grocery stores. You can also use sweetened coconut flakes.
  • White Sugar – Adds sweetness and texture to the soft and chewy rice cake.
  • Sesame Seeds – Adding a nutty aroma and a satisfying crunch. Toasting them beforehand intensifies their flavor.

Palitaw sa Latik Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you need to make palitaw sa latik:

ripe jackfruit, glutinous rice flour, water, coconut curds, and light brown sugar.
  • Coconut Milk –  freshly extracted coconut milk has the best flavor. But if not available, canned coconut milk is your best choice. Check the list of ingredients at the back level. It should, at the minimum, only have coconut milk.
  • Sugar – Opt for light brown sugar if you prefer a lighter-colored sauce. For a richer and more intense flavor profile, go with brown sugar, which will also create a darker, caramelized color in your coconut milk sauce.
  • Ripe Jackfruit – Infuses palitaw sa latik with fragrant and fruity flavor. Its sweetness complements the coconut syrup and adds a nice textural contrast to the chewy palitaw.
  • Dry Latik – Also known as coconut curds.

How to Make Palitaw

And this is how to make the flat, round rice cakes that form the base for both regular palitaw and palitaw sa latik:

1. Make the Palitaw Dough

It’s as simple as combining the water and sticky rice flour in a large bowl. Then, knead with your hand until a smooth dough forms.

glutinous rice dough.

2. Shaping

Here’s how to achieve the signature palitaw flat rice cake shape:

  1. Divide – Portion your glutinous rice dough into bite-sized pieces, around 1 tablespoon full each.
  2. Roll each piece into small balls between your palms.
  3. Flatten – Gently press each dough ball between the palm of your palms to form a thin disc, about ¼ inch thick. Place the shaped disc on a large tray or wooden board that’s been brushed with vegetable or coconut oil to prevent sticking.
flat glutinous rice cakes.

3. Cooking the rice cakes

flat glutinous rice cake called palitaw cooking in boiling water.

And here’s how to cook the palitaw:

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rapid boil.
  2. Carefully add your shaped palitaw discs, one at a time, into the boiling water.
  3. Wait for the palitaw to float to the surface, about 3-4 minutes per batch.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the cooked palitaw, letting the excess water drip off.
  5. Transfer your cooked palitaw to a serving dish and enjoy them plain or with your favorite toppings!”

How to Make Classic Palitaw

Once the flat rice cakes are cooked, immediately coat your palitaw in a mixture of grated coconut, sugar, and toasted sesame seeds.

step-by-step process on how to make palitaw with sesame seeds.

You can do this in a large bowl or shallow dish. That’s it! Easy 🙂

How to Make Palitaw sa Latik (Coconut Sauce)

In a wide pan, combine all the coconut sauce ingredients including the chopped ripe jack fruit. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally.

step-by-step process on how to make palitaw sa latik or glutinous rice cake in coconut syrup.

Tip: Avoid using high heat to prevent the coconut milk from curdling. Maintain a gentle simmer and continue stirring until the sauce thickens slightly.

palitaw sa latik - flat glutinous rice cake in coconut syrup and ripe jackfruit.

This approach keeps the heat low and avoids curdling while simmering the latik sauce with jackfruit pieces.”

Watch how to make it

palitaw served in bowls.

Palitaw Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Palitaw, also known as floating rice cakes! Enjoy the classic version – chewy rice cakes coated in coconut, sugar, and toasted sesame seeds. Or, Palitaw sa Latik – featuring the same chewy rice cakes drizzled with a rich coconut sauce with ripe jackfruit.
Recipe Note: Have your chosen toppings or latik sauce ready before cooking the rice cakes.
Servings20 pieces
preparation time20 minutes
Total cooking time15 minutes

Ingredients
 

Rice Cake

Classic Palitaw (option 1)

  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut (note 2)
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds (toasted, note 3)
  • ¼ cup white sugar (add more if preferred)

Palitaw sa Latik (option 2)

  • 1 ½ cups coconut milk
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar (note 4)
  • tsp salt
  • ¼ cup coconut curds (dry latik)
  • ½ cup ripe yellow jackfruit (shredded, note 5)

Instructions

Rice Cake

  • In a large bowl, combine glutinous rice flour and water. Knead until it becomes a smooth ball. Add more water if it feels dry, about 1 tablespoon at a time. I added about 2 tablespoons more.
  • Scoop bite-sized pieces of dough, roughly 1 heaping tablespoon each. Roll each piece into small balls between your palms then gently press each dough ball between the palm of your palms to form a disc.
  • Place the shaped disc on a large tray or wooden board that’s been brushed with vegetable or coconut oil to prevent sticking.
  • Fill a wide pot with water and bring it to a rapid boil over high heat.
  • Carefully add your shaped palitaw dough, one at a time, into the boiling water. Wait for the palitaw to float to the surface. Meanwhile, prepare the toppings or coconut sauce.
  • Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the cooked palitaw, letting the excess water drip off.
  • Serve with your choice of topping

Classic Palitaw (option 1)

  • Place grated or shredded young coconut on a plate. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and toasted sesame seeds.
  • Once cooked, toss each rice cake in the shredded young coconut to coat it evenly. Sprinkle both sides with the sugar and sesame seed mixture. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Palitaw sa Latik (option 2)

  • Pour the coconut milk, sugar, salt, and jackfruit into a cold pan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.
  • Remove from heat. Add the cooked rice cakes while still warm. Sprinkle the coconut curds on top. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Notes & Tips:

  1. Glutinous rice flour – Also known as sweet sticky rice flour or mochiko flour. You can buy this online or in most Asian grocery stores and supermarkets.
  2. Grated coconut – For the best results, use fresh grated coconut, which should be available at most Asian grocery stores. You can also use sweetened coconut flakes. You may need to omit sugar if using this.
  3. Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned. Stir continuously to prevent it from burning.
  4. Light Brown Sugar – substitute with brown sugar for a richer and more intense flavor profile. Note that this will also create a darker, caramelized color in your coconut sauce.
  5. Ripe jackfruitFresh, ripe jackfruit is ideal for the best flavor and texture. However, canned jackfruit is a handy substitute. Just be sure to drain and rinse the canned jackfruit well before using.
  6. Shelf-life: Palitaw is best eaten fresh as the coconut has a short shelf life at room temperature. You can store it in the fridge for a maximum of 4 hours for later consumption.
  7. Nutrition: Calculation is per piece with the coconut sauce.
Author : Mella
Course : Snack
Cuisine : Filipino
Keyword : filipino palitaw recipe, palitaw recipe, palitaw sa latik recipe
Nutrition Facts
Palitaw Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
88
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.2
g
Sodium
 
17
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
48
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
13
g
4
%
Fiber
 
0.4
g
2
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin C
 
0.2
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
7
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag @rivertenkitchen or leave a comment below!

Originally published Dec 2018. Updated March 2024 with new photos, and a streamlined recipe after further testing to improve the recipe! 

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