Food from The Philippines: Palitaw

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ October 28th, 2010. Updated on May 30th, 2012. Published in: Travel blog » Food around the world » Filipino food.
Palitaw coconut desert from The Philippines

Palitaw coconut desert from The Philippines (click to enlarge)

Palitaw from The Philippines

I’ve only just come across Palitaw. And, it is already my second favorite sweet food in The Philippines.

Made from sticky rice, sugar and then dipped in coconut it’s a delicious not overly sweet food.

The little dusty stuff your see to the left is ground peanut.

A little more about Palitaw

Found mainly in “ethnic”  food stores, I’ve not seen this on the street. At a market yes, but not so often. It’s also meant to appear at children’s parties a lot too.

I’ve read that Palitaw is meant to be flat, and not tubular like the photography of Palitaw above. But, I’ve not seen that, only this type.

If you do travel to the Philippines, I really recommend Palitaw, add some honey to it and it’s one of the best foods in The Philippines.

This is an additional post and one of a series highlighting Food in The Philippines

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18 Great responses to Food from The Philippines: Palitaw

  1. Chichi says:

    Yum yum, one of my favorite afternoon snack when I was growing up in Cebu. Brings back a lot of memories everytime i bite into a palitaw.

  2. Marnie Alvez says:

    Glad you like the palitaw! Not really one of my favorites =) I remember my high school used to serve it for snack.

    Palitaw was derived from ‘litaw’ which means ‘to surface’. When cooking palitaw, you know it’s cooked when it start to float and surface on boiling water =)

    Have you tried the puto bumbong yet? Christmas is just around the corner! When you start to see people selling it on the street, which should be anytime now, you know the long Christmas season in the Philippines has started!

    • Puto bumbong??? Nope never heard of that one. But yes, I started seeing Christmas decorations last month, scary how quickly they go up here. I’ll keep an eye out for that one though!

  3. Cristine says:

    One of my favorites, too! That is one special palitaw! In our village, a man goes around selling this, shouting at the top of his lungs, “Palitaw, Lumpiaaaa”. It can be topped with sesame seeds, too.

    Palitaw’s name comes from the word “litaw” which can be roughly translated to mean “to appear”. The uncooked palitaw is dropped in boiling water, and when it “floats” to the surface, then it’s cooked!


    • I guess the best Palitaw is in the village so. Would love to hear a man shout it around the city! But never have. My tip is to really try it with honey, it makes a huge difference! :)

  4. Renny says:

    Looks really good, I wonder how hard it is to make!

  5. Ivy says:

    So different food than the one we are used to eat in Europe. ;) looks great!

  6. Juno says:

    Interesting… you know what? According to the ingredients, it looks a lot like Korean snack we call it ‘dduck’. Basically sticky rice with.. whatever you like. It is steamed. and deep it or stuff it whatever you like.
    So dduck covered with coconut, that I can imagine how it is. Delish! :)

    • Hi Juno, good to know there’s something similar in Korea. I really wish there was more sticky rice over here. But it’s only used in a few dishes. Lot’s of Korean’s in The Philippines, hopefully they open a restaurant soon :)

  7. ciki says:

    you are making me salivate all over the keyboard.. stop it! Ondeh ondeh in KL.. yummz!

  8. the dish looks delicious, it must be very hard to make, what else does the dish go with? stew? curry?

  9. ervin says:

    palitaw is traditionally made from ground sticky rice. water is added to make it gooey. it’s cooked the way it was metioned above. it is then coated with shaved coconut then dusted with sugar combined with toasted sesame seeds.