We keep a supply of rice flour in the house for general use. Lately, to make siopao (steamed dumplings) and puto (native rice cakes). When we recently ran out of rice flour, I asked my husband to pass by the supermarket on his way home from work to buy a kilo of rice flour. Surprise, surprise. The brand he bought had a few recipes printed in the plastic packaging. One of them was a recipe for palitaw. I used the recipe as a guide. With the given proportions, the dough was too stiff. Since I prefer my palitaw to be really soft, I added more water. Shaping was a little trickier but the cooked palitaw turned out just the way I want it.
So, what is palitaw? Palitaw is a native Filipino snack made with galapong–a soft dough or batter (depending on the amount of water) made with rice flour and water–cooked quickly in briskly boiling water, rolled in niyog ( freshly gratedcoconut) and served with a mixture of white sugar and toasted linga (sesame seeds). The name is derived from the Filipino word litaw, literally to surface.The name is descriptive of the way palitaw is cooked–the dough is dropped in a casserole of boiling water and when it rises to the surface after about 30 seconds, it is fully cooked.
The first photo above shows a cooked palitaw before it is rolled in niyog. The second photo is the white sugar and linga mixture. The third photo shows a stack of palitaw after rolling them in niyog. The fourth photo shows an individual serving of palitaw.
5 c. of rice flour
3-1/2 c. of water
1/3 c. of linga (sesame seeds)
1 c. of white sugar
3 c. of niyog (freshly grated coconut)
Cooking procedure :
Boil about 8 c. of water in a large saucepan or casserole.
Toast the linga (sesame seeds) in a small skillet, stirring often to avoid burning. Cool completely before mixing with the white sugar. Otherwise, the sugar will melt.
Mix the rice flour with the 3-1/2 c. of water until a soft dough forms. Take a teaspoonful of the dough and flatten it with your hands. Drop in the briskly boiling water. Cook a few pieces at a time. As soon as the dough rises to the surface, lift it out with a slotted spoon and roll in niyog (grated coconut). Repeat until all the dough has been cooked. Serve with the sugar and linga mixture.
To prolong the life of the cooked palitaw, freeze the palitaw (rolled in niyog but without sugar) in an air-tight container. Steam to refresh.