Pichi – pichi

Another traditional Filipino dessert, pichi-pichi is made with grated cassava or cassava flour, water and sugar. The mixture is steamed, cooled then cut into pieces that are rolled in niyog (grated coconut). This has been the easiest Filipino dessert I have cooked so far.

casaveneracion.com pichi pichi

The traditional way of making pichi-pichi is to boil and grate the cassava. But it was my first time to make pichi-pichi and I didn’t want to do it the hard way. So, I used cassava flour instead.

Ingredients :

2 c. of grated cassava (or cassava flour)
2 c. of pandan water (or 2 c. of water and 1/2 tsp. of pandan extract)
2 c. of white sugar
1/2 tsp. of lye water
1 c. of niyog (grated coconut)

Cooking procedure :

Mix all the ingredients together, except the grated coconut. Stir until well blended and no lumps remain. Pour into a heat proof shallow bowl. Steam for 45 minutes. The steamed pichi-pichi should be firm, golden in color and clear. Cool. Cut into serving size pieces, 2″ x 2″ should be fine. Roll each piece in grated coconut. Serve.

If you plan to store your pichi-pichi, place them in an airtight container and freeze. Steam to soften before serving.


  1. MARISSA R. says



  2. Laila says

    Hi guys,:razz:

    i love cooking. im in uk right now and i always seek times to cook filipino desserts especially on my days off. ohh what a delicious pichi pichi …hope to hear n have loads of recipes to my email next time i open my email.. thankx

  3. anna s. says

    lye water can usually be bought at any asian store..i just bought a bottle at a vietnamese store ..so the asian stores that you have there in sacramento should have ’em..they should be in the filipino aisles, though

    • carmen says

      Cris, you’ve probably found out by now, but here goes:
      1. Port Authority in Manhattan has a
      string of Filipino stores (and
      fresh fish stalls right across
      the street);
      2. Jersey City, NJ – you’re
      practically in mini-Manila;
      3. Chinatown in Manhattan-find
      parking first close to Mott and
      Pell Sts., then walk every-
      where. Found ONE good size super-
      market-clean and with everything
      you need: dry goods, seafood,
      cooking utensils. Puto
      vendors can direct you…

  4. Wheng says

    hi, is there any substitute for lye water if ever i didn´t find any here in Germany?
    By the way, i just wanna say thank u for sharing ur foodblog. you have such a great recipes and all of them are very interesting to cook esp veggie. They are the best i ever cooked… Living away from home, I miss Filipino food so much and you just saved me and now i´m learning to cook! had already tried some and my husband really liked it and even my 2 years old daughter. Hoping to have a copy of your Recipe book when you release it…

    • Inday L says

      Lye Solution Substitute: Mix milk and baking soda. Ex. If recipe calls for 1 tsp lye, mix 1 tsp milk with 1/4 tsp baking soda. Tastes just like the real thing.

      • Connie says

        Will that make the pichi-pichi chewy… That’s the purpose of lye, not really to contribute flavor.

        • chris says

          Lye is harmful, ang lihiya or lye, ay sosa din sa english. so ang lye water ay liquid sosa or sodium hydroxide n my ph lvl of 13 to 14. I suggest na gamitin yun substitute mentioned by Inday L. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has a Ph level of 9 to 10 while milk is also alkali. so mixing the two will be a great and safe substitute for lye water :) still it will not have the same result to make it chewy, but I can say na almost same ito.

  5. says

    wheng, i don’t know of any substitutes, sorry. at any rate, the pichi pichi can be cooked without the lye water except that they won’t be makunat.

  6. yoly says

    there’s a store in malabon that uses cheese instead of grated coconut. perhaps the shelf life is longer..yummy….

  7. wowie says

    Sorry for the late comment. You may use pinipig instead of the cassava flour or you may just add it to the cassava..

  8. mel says

    hi, i hope you’d still get this comment. i tried your recipe last night and my pichi-pichi was a failure :( pardon my ignorance, but is cassava flour the same as cassava powder? i used cassave powder i bought from sm. i used 3 cups of that, 3 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar. i steamed it for 45 minutes–when it’s done, i got myself a tikoy! white, too firm, too sweet and sticky tikoy-like dessert that looks and tastes nothing like pichi-pichi! could it be that i used the wrong cassave product. what brand did you use for yours? thanks.

  9. mel says

    hi, connie. i’m making pichi-pichi tonight. :) i got myself fresh cassava from quezon BUT i made a mistake–i grated it before boiling! you think i could still use it? thanks.

  10. mel says

    then i must have done something wrong because it didn’t stick together. i steamed it for more than 45 minutes because the mixture doesn’t seem to stick together. after two hours i gave up because the grated cassava was still tough. :(

  11. Matutina says

    Hi, Connie. Thanks for sharing these recipes. I’m so thankful I could find filipino recipes like piche piche online. Anyhow, I have all the ingredients for this recipe. I was wondering… does it matter how much water I add to the bottom of my steamer? My mother lent me her steamer which is a metal one with 4 pots that stack on top of each other. I will also be using her individual mini-muffin cups because my muffin pan will not fit in the steamer. How much water do I put and should the water be simmering or boiling? I’ve never steamed anything in my life- let alone piche piche. LOL Salamat, po!

  12. issay says

    we love pichi-pichi and i am so glad i found ur recipe! the one from malabon uses cheese instead of niyog. masarap din…

  13. Maria says

    Hi Connie,

    I need 1 teaspoon of lye water to my recipe. I don’t fell like using lye water, what I can substitute? what would be the consistent measurement.


  14. marc says

    Hi! Would it make a difference it I use cassava powder? It’s the only thing they have in the supermarket I checked out. Thanks!

  15. chick says

    ill ask mom to try the recipe.

    i love pichi-pichi.. my fave would be amber’s! :D the one with cheese is okay but i still prefer the one w/ niyog.

  16. beth says

    hi connie!!!i always make pichi-pichi for loved ones n friends.some suggestions–want it to be of smooth texture??try putting d mixture in a blender and liquefy it.no lumps.sarap to d bite!!i also add lemon extract to d mixture.just a teaspoon of it.it won’t alter d taste.

  17. beth says

    btw,i forgot to add that my suggestions are for your readers who use FRESHLY GRATED cassava.

    happy cooking,everybody!!!!!

    connie,nice to know that sam’s ok na.it’s really hard for us moms kapag our kids get sick.my hubby,a physician,advised my 2nd daughter to take lots of that wonderfully potent calamansi juice when we suspected her of having dengue coz her symptoms presented that of dengue.thank God d blood tests yielded negative results.

  18. Rodolfo Kintanar says

    Great recipe especially when refrigerated and cold when eaten. My daughter, Perlas Kintanar Lorenzo, M.D., DPBO used to buy them. Then I learned how to make it and presto! We saved by just making them in our kitchen….

  19. says

    I love your website. Your cooking steps and recipes are just wonderful and soooo good! I have added a link of your website on mine. I always for new recipes that you publish. I’m a fan!

  20. Kendra says

    I have to make kutsinta for a school project and I need to use Lye water. Does anyone know of any stores here in Indianapolis Indiana that would have it? I actually live in the one horse town of Lebanon but we would have that here. Let me know

  21. Joanna Lanza says

    Hi connie! I tried making pichi pichi and for some reason it was too watery. I followed the same measurements that you put in the same amount if water to the same amount of cassava. My mother in law insited I add some flour and I did. It turned out to be a Pichinta (Half pichi and half kutsinta) could it be that because I used Frozen Grated Cassava that made it watery? If so what would the measurements be is using Frozen Grated Cassava and how much lye water should be used per pack of Frozen Cassava? Would really appreciate it if you could get back to me… Many Thanks!!!

  22. says

    Joanna, I’ve never used frozen cassava so I don’t know how it’s handled. I never heard of anyone adding flour to pichi-pichi.

  23. melody says

    hi, connie! thanks a lot finally i got the recipe of pichi pichi this is my fav since i was in philippines. i already prepared the ingredients now but i couldn’t find pandan extract here in london filipino shop intead i found a frozen padan leaves. i boiled it for 5cups of water coz i have 5 cups of freshly grated cassava. but i couldn’t smell the pandan factor in the boiled water. can i used a plain water instead or do u have any suggestions?

  24. carla says

    hi connie what is the local term for lye water. any tagalog translation for it? i want to cook pichi pichi thoug i never thought that i will be needing an ingridient difficult to find in dubai. thanks

  25. says

    do you think i can bake this instead of steaming? i’m craving for a makunat recipe but w/ the texture of a baked cassava on top.

  26. Mama Besa says

    lye water or lihia is mostly out of stock now here in australia…i wanted to make cutchinta but then i can;t find any lye water..what do you recommend coz i do really need to make cutchinta..thanks

    • felix says

      mama besa i am felix owner of ftb chem lye chemical industies line of our buseness manufacturer of lihia but our factory is base in the philippines if you are intrested send me a mail ftbchem@yahoo.com thank you very much.

      • jin says

        hi felix…just wanna ask if you also supply lye water here in iloilo..find it hard to look for it though. tnx!

        • Josie says

          Hello, I am in Ohio and I want to try cooking pichi-pichi and kutsinta, too but I have hard time looking for lye water. I asked in the Asian store, but they don’t know it. I tried to look for the picture of the bottle in the internet and it showed me “Potassium Carbonate and Sodium Bi0Carbonate Solution” Is this the same as LYE water? please let me know. Thank you so much.

        • martkhier says

          jin, i am so sorry for the very late reply, we actually cover region IV-A but we are will to extend our scope to other regions of the Philippine archipelago and even to export outside Philippines depending on our clients’ orders and requests. thank you. our factory is located at candelaria, quezon. if you are near this location kindly email us at ftbchem@yahoo.com and we can talk about our products (lye water and other derivatives/variations)

  27. Carla says

    hi connie, got the lihia after a long time, available na cya sa mga Filipino supermarket dito sa dubai, I tried the recipe but unsuccesful, i was thinking na mali ang ginawa ko, then inulit ko sa follwing weekend pero the same result, parang tikoy, its not the same sa mga pichi pichi na nabibili sa Pilipinas…I dont know what went wrong. dapat cguro i use fresh kamoteng kahoy? please help gusto ko talaga maluto ang pichi pichi…

  28. lucy says

    Hi again :)

    Ask ko lang po kasi am planning to make this pichi-pichi for months talaga and now I have some time na. Yon po bang tapioca flour is ok to use? or uumm cassava or gari flour? I know u r using cassava flour kaso am not sure what sort eh.


  29. says

    Hi Connie, super ang mga recipe mo at gustong gusto ko,try ko itong pichi-pichi kasi masarap to eh.Thanks talaga sayo kasi mahirap yong nasa ibang bansa di gaya dyan sa atin makabili ka agad,dito wala meron din pero hinde masarap.
    Kaya maraming salamat talaga malaking tulong to sa ating mga kababayan na nasa ibang bamsa.
    More power to you and God bless you Connie.
    Warm Regards

  30. jonah says

    Hello po..
    Thank you po sa mga shared recipe nyo. Kahit nasa malayop ako, parang nasa Pilipinas na din.. More power to you and to your site.

  31. Nordie says

    Dito ako nakatira sa Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Kung saan saan na ako naghanap ng LYE WATER, pumunta na ako sa ROBINSON supermarket and SM supermarket and other big supermarket here around pero wala akong mahanap na LYE WATER. Saan po ba kayo bumibili?

  32. Anna says

    Hi Ms. Connie!.. I did this recipe for pichi-pichi last Saturday… and it was a failure…huhuhu..don’t know what mistake have I done..Sinunod ko naman po lahat ng measurements and step by step instructions…however, after 45 minutes, the product didn’t look transparent yet… so I coninued steaming it for another 10 minutes..could it be the reason?…The pichi-pichi came out rubbery…like gummy bear candies…pls advise me.. I really wanted to cook pichi-pichi. Thanks. and more power!…am your super duper avid fan!

    • Connie says

      Pichi-pichi is chewy because it is made with cassava. If it’s too chewy you may need to add more water.

  33. m0z0 says

    fan of your website since in Saudi days,, now im here in Pnas for good, we’re venturing into small time eatery.. thinking of adding pichi pichi, may i know what you meant by “heat proof shallow bowl”,, based sa comments iba iba ang results, maybe (not very sure) it has to do with the bowl we’re supposed to use.. ano po ba exactly ang pwedeng gamitin during steaming.. and ilang servings po ang nagawa based on this recipe? thanks


  34. Macel says

    Hi Connie! would just ask if you know the shelf life of lye water? I have kasi that i bought from the market and stored in a glass bottle for 3 months already, can i still use it? many thanks!

  35. Macel says

    No, coz I bought it from the palengke so nasa plastic lng. How about yours, do you use a bottle for a long time?

  36. natzsm says

    Hello Ms. Connie,

    I FINALLY came around to making this recipe the moment the adapter for the grater attachment of my food processor arrived which I lost six years ago during our transfer from Quezon City to Makati. No matter how much I have been wanting to try this recipe, I just couldn’t think of hand grating cassava with a box grater and I also didn’t want to spend for a new food processor.

    First off, I had no idea how much fresh cassava I had to buy for 4 cups grated cassava (I wanted to double your recipe) so I ended up buying 4 kilos. WOW, I now have around 2.5 kilos left-over grated cassava after taking out the required four cups for the recipe. I plan to test your cassava cake with this PLUS many more recipes with that amount on hand. Anyway, grating all that cassava was really easy using the food processor.

    Haba ng introduction ng kwento ko. :)

    Now for my question:

    Except for using freshly grated cassava, I followed your recipe and procedure. I do not know the color of cassava powder but my mixture was pure white before steaming but just like your pichi-pichi, turned golden after steaming. In fact, exactly like your pichi-pichi. I figured that the color of the final product had nothing to with using cassava flour or freshly grated cassava.

    Would you know why the pichi-pichi turned golden?
    I would love to make a practically transparent pichi-pichi.

    Regardless of color though, they were indeed delicious.

  37. Cel says

    Conie u mention earlier that milk and baking powder can use as subtitute for
    Lye water. Now my question what typeof milk is that? Powder or liquid?

  38. arnel says

    hi Connie, made pichi pichi using a ‘heat proof shallow bowl’ but i have a hard time cutting it coz it is so malagkit and can’t be cut. Do you think having a moulder is better but will a plastic moulder will stand the steam heat? In addition, the color of my pichi pichi is not that yellow, how can i make it more yellow? More power and hoping for your immediate reply.

    • says

      Of course it is sticky. If it weren’t, there would be something wrong. Oil your knife.

      Re: color. Use a mixture of white and brown sugar if you want a deeper color.

      • arnel says

        Thanks for your immediate reply. I will oil the knife and use 1 cup each white and brown sugar the next time and feedback you. Query again, can i use used plastic ice tray cubes for uniform pichi sizes? May i know your suggestion for a standard size?
        BTW, your macaron info posting last 11-28-11 was without recipe and you will post your recipe (12-14-11 note) soonest…may i know where is the link/continuation? Thanks in advance.

  39. arnel says

    hi Connie,
    Sensya na sa kakulitan…can’t find the recipe of the macaron that you said you will post (12-14-11 posting)…paki naman po…salamat…

  40. arnel says

    hi Connie, thanks for your reply. Almond flour is available at quiapo. i was referring also to your posting last 11-28-11 on Sam’s French macaron posting. Kindly post the said recipe. Thanks in advance…

    • says

      Aha! And we were just in Quiapo two days ago. Must go back. :)

      Re “Sam’s French macaron” — that’s the one we have to make again. Didn’t document anything that time (we were just winging it) so there’s no recipe. Soon, soon… :)

    • dana says

      hi:) so relieved to hear that almond flour can bought in quiapo! Do you where exactly in quiapo can you find it??