Food from The Philippines: Palitaw

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 Replies to “Food from The Philippines: Palitaw”

  1. 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. 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!

    1. 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. 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!


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

    1. Hi Ivy, yep very difference to European food. At least todays type. I think I saw Romanian and Turkish deserts like this. Though the Romanian didn’t have coconut!

  5. 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! :)

    1. 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 :)

  6. 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.

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