Thursday, January 7, 2010

#213_Palitaw or Unday-Unday

Palitaw 1
Rolled in fresh grated coconut
then topped with Macapuno Balls

Palitaw 2
 Dredged in freshly grated coconut, then sprinkled with
toasted, ground sesame seeds with sugar.

Palitaw is a very popular snack item in the Philippines and I bet that most Filipinos know how to make it or have eaten at least a variety of it.

There are several variants of this type of kakanin, one of which is the Bilo-bilo, (glutinous rice balls) click here. Another one I know is the Pangasinan's Masikoy of which I'll be posting next. Actually this Palitaw post is a prelude to the masikoy recipe post, click here.

These three snack items,
palitaw, bilo-bilo and masikoy, are basically made with glutinous rice flour and water and are made the same way by dropping them in boiling water.

When first dropped into the boiling water, the shaped rice doughs will sink all the way to the bottom of the pot, but it won't take very long before they come up floating to the surface, thus the root word
litaw, a Tagalog word meaning to emerge or to surface, where Palitaw got its name. "Lulobog, lilitaw".....what goes down must come up!"

In the province of Pangasinan, where I am from we call this Unday-Unday. Unfortunately, I don't know what that means.

Palitaw is very easy and super simple to make with only 2 ingredients:
2 cups of glutinous rice flour
3/4 to 1 cup water

Mix well to form a soft dough, gradually adding some more water if the dough is too dry and hard. Pinch off little pieces at a time and roll into about 1 inch balls between the palms of your hands, flatten into oval shapes, then toss them in rice flour to prevent the formed doughs from sticking to each other.

In a pot bring about 8 cups of water to rolling boil then drop these rice doughs into the rapidly boiling water. When they start to float, they are cooked, but I like to simmer them uncovered for about 3-5 minutes longer, then take them out with a slotted spoon onto a platter. At this point, it is not a good idea to eat them because they are bland and it would be like eating spaghetti without the sauce or like eating rice without ulam or viand.
For toppings:
In order to put some good flavors into these rice doughs, you need to dredge them in freshly grated coconut after taking them out of the pot, then top them with anything you like such as macapuno strings; toasted, ground sesame seeds with white sugar; toasted black sesame seeds with white sugar or just plain sugar and grated coconut.
My father liked soft bucayo on top of his palitaw. This soft bucayo were made with young coconuts and white sugar and were sold every morning at the market.


  1. Thank you Queenie for visiting. Oo nga, ang sarap talaga!!
    Take care!

  2. Salamat a balbaleg... Iner kaud Pangasinan, Amiga?

    1. Salamat met ya balbaleg! diad Dagupan city...sika eyy?

  3. Hello, salamat po sa recipe, I've been craving for masikoy lately and I've been wondering how to make it. I am also from Pangasinan, mangaldan po to be exact. I am now living in Australia though.