Flat Rice Cakes (Palitaw Recipe)

Flat Rice Cakes (Palitaw Recipe)

Flat rice cakes by the way are known here as “Palitaw” and they are the bomb.

*Palitaw – Just a quick lesson, Palitaw means “to float” or “to rise” and the reason why this delicacy is called as such is because you will know that your Palitaw is cooked as soon as it floats to the top.  Not the most creative name I know but the taste makes up for it!

Palitaw is made from glutinous rice flour cooked in boiling water then smothered and garnished with freshly grated coconut meat, sesame seeds, and a sprinkle of sugar.

The easiest dessert to make.

The first time I made Palitaw was way back when I was a freshman in high school. As part of our practical exam in Home Economics and Livelihood Education, we were required to cook Palitaw in school. In my books? I aced it.

Never mind what my teacher thought.

Me and glutinous rice flour, we have a love affair. I just love that it’s so versatile, you can make a lot of delicacies out of it. Like rice cakes!

And rice cakes.

And more rice cakes.

Fine, all I can think of right now are rice cakes. So many types of rice cakes.

Let’s get cooking!

You remember my Carioca Recipe? This Palitaw Recipe has a very similar process except that after forming the glutinous rice flour dough into balls, you flatten these babies into small discs or patties.

Drop them in a pot of boiling water. Let them hang out in there for a few minutes and as soon as they float to the top, they’re done. Nothing could be easier, right?

Fish ‘em out of the hot bath using a metal strainer, drain water out, smother with grated coconut and sprinkle a dash of sugar to taste.

And viola!

And viola!

Flat Rice Cakes!

Aren’t they purty?

Flat Rice Cake Recipe


  • 3 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Sugar


  1. Mix glutinous rice flour and water until it forms into a dough.
  2. Using your hands, make small dough balls and flatten them into discs/patties.
  3. In batches, cook discs/patties in a pot of boiling water.
  4. Once they float to the top, fish them out with a metal strainer.
  5. Cover patties with grated coconut.
  6. Sprinkle sugar on top.
  7. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
  8. Serve warm or chilled.

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