If you love mochi and coconut but have never had Palitaw - YOU’VE BEEN MISSING OUT! This Palitaw recipe is one of the easiest desserts to put together in a matter of minutes.
What is Palitaw?
Palitaw is chewy Filipino rice balls coated in grated coconut, sesame seeds, and sugar. It’s one of the easiest desserts to put together!
They’re typically made during celebrations or parties… But don’t let that stop you from making them! Even if it’s a party for one, these are too good to pass up.
The word “palitaw” in English translates “to float”, which refers to the cooking method. To cook palitaw, you boil them in water. Immediately, they sink to the bottom of the pot, but once they’re ready, they’ll float completely to the top.
Then it’s almost time to party!
Key Tips for Easy Palitaw
Getting the RIGHT Texture
For super chewy Filipino rice balls, getting the dough texture is the most important part.
If the dough is too dry, the dough won’t come together and the Palitaw will have a tough texture when cooked. To fix this, just add a VERY LITTLE amount of water at a time until it combines.
If the dough is too wet, you’ll have a hard time forming the patties. You can counteract that by adding a VERY SMALL amount of Mochiko rice flour at a time.
You’re looking for a putty-like texture that easily comes together and forms a patty.
Using Water to Make the Process Easier
Mochiko can be very sticky when handling, but this little trick will make things easier!
Using a melon baller or tablespoon will help keep your Palitaw uniform, but before dipping it in the dough, dip it water first! You can do the same with your hands when forming the patties.
This will help the dough from sticking… So you’re not left with a sticky mess later.
Know EXACTLY When It’s Ready & What to Do
Making this Palitaw recipe is SO easy once you know what to look for.
After a few minutes in boiling water, you’ll notice the Filipino rice balls start to float. Wait until they’re completely floating (sometimes they halfway float when they’re almost done). Then, use a slotted spoon to drain and remove them.
I like to place them directly onto the grated coconut. Once they’re cool enough to touch but still warm, I’ll flip them to make sure they’re fully coated. The brown sugar tends to dissolve over time, so I highly recommend dusting them right before serving or you can serve the brown sugar mixture on the side for guests to sprinkle on themselves.
More Easy Desserts You’ll Love!
- Ube Mochi Waffles (4 Ingredients Only!)
- Mochi Covered Strawberries (Sweet & Refreshing!)
- Vietnamese Avocado Smoothie (4 Ingredients Only)
- Strawberry Matcha Latte Recipe (5-Minute Drink!)
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Palitaw Recipe | Filipino Rice Balls
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- 4 tablespoons muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1 cup Mochiko sweet rice flour
- ⅓ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup water
- Heat a small pan on medium heat. Add in sesame seeds and toast for a few seconds or until they’re golden and fragrant. Transfer the sesame seeds onto a plate then mix in the muscovado sugar. Set aside.
- On a large plate, pour on grated coconut. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine Mochiko, coconut milk, & water until it forms a clay-like dough. You want just enough moisture in the flour for everything to come together If the dough is too dry and won’t combine into a dough, add a very small amount of water at a time until it combines. If it’s too wet and mushy, add a very small amount of Mochiko at a time. You're looking for a putty-like texture that easily comes together.
- Use a tablespoon or melon baller to scoop out dough. Dampen your hands with water to help prevent sticking, then roll the dough into balls then flatten them into disks.
- Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil on medium-high heat. Working in batches of about 4 pieces, carefully add the dough to the pot. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes, or until they float completely. Remove them using a slotted spoon to drip off excess water.
- Transfer them onto the grated coconut and coat them well.
- Sprinkle on the sesame seed mixture right before serving (the sugar dissolves on the palitaw over time) or serve the sugar mixture on the side for guests to sprinkle on their own. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and provided for informational purposes. Nutrition may vary based on product availability, methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients, etc. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.