Have you ever tried Palitaw (Sweet Rice Cakes)? If you've never had it before or are curious about it, you'll want to read on. Here are answers to some of the most common questions.
It is called palitaw because it is cooked in boiling water until the dough floats or "litaw" to the surface.
The dough has no taste, as glutinous rice flour and water are the only ingredients. Palitaw gets its flavor from the coconut coating and the sugar topping with sesame seeds or peanuts.
Palitaw is one of those easy-to-make recipes requiring only a few ingredients. The dough consists of only glutinous rice flour and water. It is coated with grated coconut and topped with sugar and sesame seeds (or peanuts).
Glutinous rice flour is made from cooked and dehydrated short- or long-grain sweet rice milled into a powdery texture. It is also called sweet rice, sticky rice, or malagkit in Filipino.
Despite its name, it does not contain gluten and is not sweet at all. It has a neutral taste with a sticky, chewy consistency. It is commonly used in desserts or as a thickener in sauces.
Yes. Mochiko is a Japanese sweet or glutinous rice flour made from short-grain rice, while other types are from long-grain varieties. Some people find mochiko denser and chewier.
Unfortunately, there isn't a substitute I can recommend for sweet rice flour in palitaw. Its pillowy-soft, chewy consistency is hard to replicate. Rice flour does not produce the same texture. Tapioca and potato starch are challenging to form into a dough and become too sticky and chewy when cooked.
No. Rice flour won't produce a sticky, chewy consistency like glutinous rice flour.
Grated coconut is finely shredded coconut. It is available fresh or dried and has a subtle sweet taste. Frozen grated coconut is available in Asian supermarkets in the US. Most grocery stores sell desiccated coconut, which is dried and finer than coconut flakes or shreds.
Yes. Without fresh or frozen grated coconut, desiccated coconut will work. Desiccated coconut is dehydrated coconut meat that has been finely grated. With all its moisture, the freshly cooked dough will rehydrate the dried coconut.
The difference is in the texture. Desiccated coconut is finely grated and resembles fresh snowfall, while shredded coconut is larger and made of small, thin strips.
Coconut is technically a fruit rather than a nut. Consult your doctor if you have a nut allergy. While coconut is not a nut, some people allergic to tree nuts are also allergic to coconuts.
Palitaw dough is the easiest to make — combine glutinous rice flour with water until you get a smooth and pliable consistency like Play-Doh. To get the right consistency, add flour if the dough is too sticky or water if it's too dry.
The best way to cook palitaw is to drop them in boiling water; once they float to the top, they are ready! It takes only one or two minutes for them to cook.
You can make the dough a day or two in advance. Form them into thin, flat cakes and separate them so they won't stick together. Cover and refrigerate or freeze to keep them longer.
You can cook them ahead and coat them with grated coconut, but leave the topping until just before serving. Refrigerate or freeze.
Palitaw is best when it is fresh. Refrigerate it if you have to store it. Freshly grated coconut goes bad after about two to three days in the fridge. It will last a bit longer if you use dried coconut.
Palitaw can be frozen to extend its shelf. After thawing, reheat in the microwave to restore its soft, chewy texture.
You can freeze palitaw for a few weeks without the sugar mixture. After thawing in the fridge, microwave them for about a minute to restore the warm and chewy consistency.
Yes. There are a few ways to do it. Palitaw can be warmed up in a microwave for about a minute until soft and chewy. You can use a steamer on the stovetop or wrap them in foil and heat them in the toaster oven.
Thanks for reading! I hope this has inspired you to give it a try. It is super easy to make, and I promise you will love the results.