How to Make Palitaw

The name “Palitaw” originated from how the rice dough, when dropped in boiling water starts to float on top after a few seconds.  In Tagalog, this is termed ‘lumitaw’ (making an appearance or rising to the surface).  Hence the name “Palitaw”.  

Palitaw is usually served during special occasions as dessert or with a hot drink such as tea or coffee.

e71b6a00f29d4bd91183089ce5986f0b How to Make Palitaw

How to Make Palitaw


  • 1 lb glutinous rice (malagkit)
  • 1 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 cups freshly grated coconut
  • Water


  1. Soak glutinous rice in water overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the water. Grind the rice using a miller or a grinder. The end result is a dough of rice flour in a pasty consistency.
  3. Shortcut: you can buy ready-made glutinous rice dough from your nearest public market (example: "Mochiko" brand), follow instructions on the package on how to make it into dough.
  4. In a deep, large sauce pan, bring water to a boil, about 5 inches deep.
  5. Take about a spoonful of the rice dough and roll it into a ball between the palms of your hands.
  6. Flatten it in the middle using your thumb until it takes the shape of a tongue.
  7. Drop the flattened dough into the pot of briskly boiling water. Wait for a few seconds until it starts to float.
  8. Remove it from water.
  9. Place the cooked palitaw on a bed of grated coconut.
  10. Turn it over to cover both sides. Set aside.
  11. Repeat the steps with the remaining dough.
  12. In a separate small bowl, mix sugar and toasted sesame seeds (toasted for about 2 to 3 minutes on a hot skillet over medium heat).
  13. Sprinkle this mixture over the cooked palitaw as you serve them.


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