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Pichi pichi is a Filipino dessert made basically from just 3 ingredients : cassava, water and sugar.  It is steamed and becomes glutinous. Once it is cooked and cooled it is rolled in grated coconut or grated  cheese.  The Pichi  Pichi I remembered that I enjoyed so much when I was still working in Manila were ordered and  delivered from  a small restaurant  not so far from our office whenever one of my office mates has his or her birthday.  They were glutinous yet firm and clear even when they are flavored or sometimes colored and were really good!

Pichi pichi is a Filipino dessert made basically from cassava, water and sugar. It is steamed and becomes glutinous and then coated with grated coconut. | www.foxyfolksy.comI was missing those Pichi Pichi, so once I got hold of these frozen cassava (manioc/tapioca) I knew exactly what to do with them. The only question was…how? Before making them myself,  I would never believe that making Pichi Pichi is super easy. I think the hardest part was grating the cassava. I tried it manually with a grater at first for my first batch, but the cassava got a bit too soft when I thawed them so I have to use my food processor (to avoid scraping my fingers). The second batch I did, I put the still-a-bit-frozen cassava directly to the food processor  to grate and they were perfect. So my advise is, if you are doing it manually, grate the cassava while it is still a bit frozen and hard.  

Pichi pichi is a Filipino dessert made basically from cassava, water and sugar. It is steamed and becomes glutinous and then coated with grated coconut. | www.foxyfolksy.comIf you are living in Germany or any part of the world where coconut is scarce, then I will let you in on a secret, the grated coconut you see below is not freshly grated coconut (that can be easily bought in the Philippines). It is not even the frozen one that are sold in Asian food stores (which I would not recommend, because from a personal experience, they tasted like old coconut where the milk was already wrung out) . Since it is easier to find the desiccated coconut flakes (usually in the baking section) in our local grocery, and I think in most groceries, I had some experiment and tried adding water to see what happens. Sure enough the dried coconut flakes absorbed the water and became soft and it was almost like having freshly grated coconut and so much better that the frozen one. Just add  70-80 ml of water to 1 cup of coconut flakes then just mix them well together for a 1-2 minutes and you will see the difference.

coconut flakes for Pichi pichi is a Filipino dessert made basically from cassava, water and sugar. It is steamed and becomes glutinous and then coated with grated coconut. | www.foxyfolksy.comYou can find some recipes that include lye water in their ingredients. But since I do not have any, I made my first batch without lye water and they turned out OK, a bit too soft maybe but still totally yummy. For my second batch I used a substitute for lye water and they were firmer. The substitute for lye water I used, was 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 cup of water then boiling the mixture for 5 minutes, that’s it! Lastly, you will need molds to steam them in. Filipinos would know about ‘puto’ molds, but I do not have those as well, instead, I used my silicon cup molds that I sometimes use for baking cupcakes.   

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Pichi Pichi Recipe
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 16-24
 
Get this easy recipe for Pichi Pichi. A Filipino dessert made from cassava, sugar and water. Steamed and coated in grated coconut.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups grated cassava, no need to squeeze out liquids
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1¾ cups water
  • 2 teaspoon of baking soda solution
  • 1 cup grated coconut
Instructions
  1. In a deep bowl, combine all ingredients together and mix thoroughly.
  2. Fill individual cup molds about three-quarter full or a bit more but leave some space because it can rise a bit while steaming.
  3. Arrange the filled molds in a steamer and steam for about 40-60 minutes or until they become translucent.
  4. Let them cool down completely so it is easier to remove from the molds, or place them in the fridge to shorten the cooling time.
  5. Roll each Pichi Pichi in grated coconut or grated cheese.
Notes
You may also add some flavoring by adding drops of buko-pandan or ube extract. If you opt to have it all natural, boil some pandan leaves in water and substitute that with the water in the recipe,

 Pichi pichi is a Filipino dessert made basically from cassava, water and sugar. It is steamed and becomes glutinous and then coated with grated coconut. | www.foxyfolksy.com

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Written by Bebs

Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time. If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

This article has 15 comments

    • Reply

      Of course. I am guessing it should be almost like using the frozen whole cassava so the same recipe should work.

  1. Teresita Cruz
    Reply

    I can only find frozen grated cassava. Can I use that and do i need to squeeze it to remove the liquid. Thanks.

    • Reply

      Hi Teresita, no need to squeeze all the liquids out. Just put the grated cassava in a strainer and place it on top of a bowl to let the excess liquids drip out for a few minutes.

  2. Belle Garin
    Reply

    I love your recipes and tried it and it is pinoy na pinoy.Hope for a Spanish bread recipe in your version.
    Thank you

    • Reply

      Thanks for the comment Belle! You’re not the only one asking for Spanish bread recipe so I shall make and post it soon! 🙂

  3. marianne
    Reply

    hello.. what’s a baking soda solution? is it different from just the powder?

    • Reply

      Hi Marianne, it is an alternative for lye water (lihiya). You can read how to make it on the post above.

  4. Pingback: Sweet Tooth Special: Top 20 Filipino Desserts and how to make them - TCF Daily

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