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Bento Recipe: Palitaw


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MuppaphonesMost mochi wagashi recipes I've found involve a ton of sugar, deep-frying, or both. Yet there are exceptions if you're willing to look for them! This dessert from the Philippines is one.


    2 cups of mochiko
    1 tbsp of sugar
    3/4 cups of water
    Another tbsp or so of sugar
    2.5 cups of sweetened, shredded coconut (and you may end up needing more!)
    Food coloring, if desired

Set a small pot of water on the stove to boil. Mix the mochiko, one tablespoon of sugar, and the water. It will form a stiff dough when it's ready. (You may need to hand-knead it a little to get it thoroughly mixed.) roll it into balls about the size of a quarter, then drop them, a few at a time, into the boiling water. Lift them out again when they float to the top and drain them very lightly on paper towels. Then sprinkle it with sugar and immediately roll it in the coconut. Voila!

If you want to color the coconut, just dribble a few drops of food coloring into it and mix it with a fork. At first it will look like it's not going to mix well, but after a minute or two the color will get around. It'll be rather varied and confetti-like - click on the image above for a closeup - but I like it that way. Keeps it from looking mass-produced, y'know?.

Some variations include flattening out the balls into thick cookie shapes before boiling, and serving them with a mixture of sugar and sesame seeds on the side.