Palitaw recipe is an authentic Filipino dessert traditionally made from cracked “malagkit” (glutinous rice) soaked overnight in water, ground into soft dough, shaped into small balls and then flattened into patties, boiled in water, coated with grated coconut, and then served with a mixture of muscovado or brown sugar and toasted sesame seeds on the side or coated with it.

This scrumptious delicacy is believed to have originated in Pangasinan, a province in Northern Luzon, Philippines. It’s also called colloquially as dila-dila for its tongue-shaped appearance.

The traditional method of making this delicacy is very laborious. Don’t worry! For homemade versions, ready-made ground sticky rice is used. All you need to do is add water to the ground glutinous rice.

The amount of water you add will depend on how you want your Palitaw to come out. For dense, rubbery, and chewy Palitaw, add little water to form a hard dough. If you want a soft and chewy texture, add enough water to create a loose dough.

Palitaws are packed with selenium, antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, helping you stay young-looking. It’s also rich in manganese and vitamin B5, which helps boost the body’s metabolism, maintain hormone balance, promote healthy brain function, support the immune system, and promote healthy bone tissue and cartilage.

This “kakanin” (Filipino native delicacy made from various forms of kanin or rice) is usually served as a dessert or “mereinda” (snack). It is called Palitaw because the patty-shaped glutinous rice pieces “litaw” (rise, surface, or float) to the top of the boiling water. And once they rise, they are done and ready to be coated and devoured.

You will often find this soft, chewy, crunchy, and sweet treat sold in stores near schools, churchyards, and public markets. Most kids love it and even adults can’t help resist munching a piece or two. It’s actually pretty hard to stop eating once you get a taste of it.

The sweet muscovado or brown sugar perfectly complements the bland taste of the glutinous rice. The shredded coconut and the toasted sesame seeds complement the soft and chewy texture of the sticky rice.