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Pichi Pichi Recipe

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.

Easy Pichi Pichi Recipe
Pichi-Pichi rolled in grated coconut and topped with cheese.

What is Pichi-Pichi?

Pichi-pichi is a kind of Filipino kakanin or delicacy made from cassava (manioc, yuca). This treat hailed from the province of Quezon. It has a sticky, gelatinous yet firm texture that is made by steaming grated cassava. Once it is cooked, the opaque white color of the cassava becomes somewhat translucent.

What is Pichi-pichi made of?

Normally eaten as a snack or dessert, Pichi-pichi is really easy to make and needs only 4 main ingredients:

  • Grated cassava
  • sugar
  • water
  • lye water

It can be enjoyed as it is but normally it is coated with grated coconut or topped with grated cheese, or both. Other flavorings are also added like coconut water, pandan (screwpine) or ube.

How to make Pichi Pichi
Flavored Pichi Pichi

Tips in using frozen cassava

In the Philippines, it is easy to get fresh cassava and they are available almost all year round. That is not the case in other non-tropical areas. While I was in Germany, the only way I can get cassava is from the Asian food stores and they usually sell them frozen.

  • You can either buy the already grated cassava and just thaw it. I do not squeeze out the liquids and use it as it is.
  • If you have whole frozen cassava, thaw it a bit if it is too hard or covered in ice. Do not let it thaw completely or it will become more difficult to grate.
  • If you have a food processor with a grater attachment, I suggest using that. Or one of those nice manual rotary food graters. But an old cheese grater would also do, only takes some time and elbow grease.

If you are going to use fresh cassava instead, I included steps on preparing fresh cassava in my Cassava Cake post.

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. |

Alternative to Fresh Grated Coconut

Like cassava, coconut is not something that is easily available in other countries. I will let you in on a secret, I seldom use freshly grated coconut for my desserts. And I stir clear of the frozen ones as, based on personal experience, they tasted like old coconut where the milk was already wrung out.

Out of necessity, while in Germany, I discovered the best alternative to the freshly grated coconut. Since it is easier to find in the local groceries and supermarkets, I did some experiments and tried to rehydrate desiccated coconut. It works perfectly.

All I did was add some water and sure enough, the dried coconut flakes absorbed the liquids. It became soft and it was almost like having freshly grated coconut and so much better than the frozen one. Just add  70-80 ml of water to 1 cup of coconut flakes then just mix them well together for 1-2 minutes and you are ready to roll.

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. |

Substitute to Lye Water

You can find some recipes that include lye water in their ingredients.

But since I do not have any at the time I made this post, I made my first batch without lye water. They turned out OK, a bit too soft for my liking but still totally yummy. For my second batch, I used a substitute for lye water (baking soda solution) 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 and muffins.

Pichi-Pichi Easy Recipe
How to make Pichi Pichi

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Pichi-pichi recipe
4.65 from 17 votes

Pichi Pichi Recipe

Try this easy recipe for Pichi Pichi, a Filipino delicacy made from cassava, sugar, and water. Steamed and coated in grated coconut or topped with cheese.
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Asian,Filipino
Keyword: how to make pichi-pichi,pichi-pichi,pichi-pichi recipe
Servings: 24
Calories: 85kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 2 cups grated cassava - - no need to squeeze out liquids
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda solution - - (SEE NOTE 2) or 1 tsp lye water


  • 1 cup coconut - - grated
  • 1 cup grated cheese - - optional


  • In a deep bowl, combine all ingredients together and mix thoroughly.
  • Fill individual cup molds about three-quarter full or a bit more but leave some space because it can rise a bit while steaming.
  • Arrange the filled molds in a steamer and steam for about 20-30 minutes or until they become translucent.
  • 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.
  • Roll each Pichi Pichi in grated coconut or grated cheese.



NOTE 1: If using fresh (not frozen) cassava, place grated cassava in a cheesecloth and squeeze out the liquids. Use 2 cups of water instead of 1 3/4 in the recipe above.
NOTE 2: To make the baking soda solution: 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 cup of water then boil the mixture for 5 minutes. 
NOTE 3: 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.
Nutrition Facts
Pichi Pichi Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 85 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 114mg5%
Potassium 70mg2%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 0g0%
Vitamin A 5IU0%
Vitamin C 4.4mg5%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.

pichi pichi recipe

This Pichi-pichi recipe was originally published in May 2015. Updated on November 2019 to include new images and videos and additional tips. The recipe remains the same.

More Cassava Recipes


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!

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  1. Hi, I tried using your. Recipe but mine is a bit hard in the middle really soft sa bottom part and top part. Also a bit bitter. I used frozen grated cassava too. Do you think the cassava too fine? Thank you

  2. Hello bebs! Thank you for sharing this recipe.After a day I cooked this I already had orders for the next day.Thank God it turns well, more
    inquiries and new additional product for my resellers and my customers too.Thank you God bless.

  3. Hi Bebs, I'm so happy and thankful I found your recipe! May I ask if I can use cassava flour? If yes how much? Thank you! More power to you!

    1. Hi Wilma, I do not think you can use cassava flour for making pichi-pichi. It will have a different texture as grated cassava.

  4. I tried to use dried coconut flakes but didn't work po.
    I've been steaming it for 40 mins but it's still watery..

    1. Hi Mhigz, do you mean desiccated coconut? What does it have to do with steaming? It is only for coating once the Pichi-pichi is cooked.

  5. I followed everything in the recipe. I used frozen grated cassava but it turned out to have a very bitter after taste. Should i wash and drain the cassava first?

    1. The cassava itself should not give a bitter taste. May I know how much lye water or baking soda substitute did you use?

  6. Hi do I need to use all the water with baking soda boiled in note 2? If that so, then I just need 1cup water because the boiled one is more then 3/4 cup. Thanks.

  7. Hello,

    My question is for the Note #2. So we boil for 5 minutes the baking soda and water then do I need to let it cool down first before mixing it with all the ingredients? Thank you.

    1. Hi Jel, I actually tried that and it did not turn out so well, it was not as firm as when you make it with lye water.

  8. Do I need to wrap it in plastic when steaming? The water rise up so there's so much moist and turned out watery on top😔

  9. Hi! How long should we wait for it to cool before putting them in the fridge and how long should we put them in the fridge? What is also the shelf life of this. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Lia, you do not need to put them in the fridge if not in a hurry. You can cool them down on the counter. Although it will not spoil for some days, they do not do well when refrigerated for a long time. They will harden and dry out. Best to consume the same day or at most, the next.

  10. Hi there - if lye is available, how much should be used?
    Thank you for all the Filipino recipes. They always come out great. I jsut couldn't take the pictures because by the time I am ready, everything is gone.

    1. Hi Claire, you can use 1 teaspoon lye water. Remember that newly steamed pichi-pichi will be softer and stickier. Let it cool down and it will firm up.

  11. 4 stars
    Hi Bebs,
    The end product was runny and seems like it either needs less water or more cassava. Or does it have to be chilled before rolling to coconut?

    1. If you are using fresh cassava, squeeze out some of the liquids and use 2 cups of water. For frozen grated cassava then no need to remove liquids but reduce water to 1 3/4 cups. 2 cups of grated cassava is about 450grams, have you used the correct amount? Note that after steaming them they will still be a little soft and tacky but it should not be runny at all. Make sure water from your steamer does not fall to the cups. Once they cool down they will become firmer.

  12. 5 stars
    thank you for sharing the recipe, esp the lye water substitute! turned out firm! since i dont have puto molds or silicone cupcake molds, i used a round baking pan instead, then scooped out the pichi pichi using ice scream scooper then dumped into grated coconut!

  13. Hello there Bebs,
    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'm a bit confused on how to use the baking soda. From your ingredients says that 2 teaspoonful, did you mean make solution first and then get 2teaspoonful from there? I just want to clarify about this since I'm very particular with the ingredients I'm using. Thank you

  14. Hi Bebs,
    I am looking for a recipe that dont need lye water bcoz i read abt lye water and i am not happy about it..and i got urs...i will definitely try ur recipe as i am into baking and explore lots of our sweets now a days...

    1. Hi Mylene, I usually use frozen cassava and grate it while still a bit frozen using a food processor. I never squeezed out the liquids as there not much usually but you may do so. Just squeeze it with your hands or use a cheesecloth. No need to squeeze it dry, just remove excess liquids.

  15. Hi bebs,
    Do you have recipe/ingredients for baking soda solution?
    Cant find it in Filipino store here in sweden :-).
    Best regards,

    1. Hi Amelia, I wrote it in the post above, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 cup of water then boiling the mixture for 5 minutes. Happy cooking!

  16. Hi! When you said combine all the ingredients, does it meant including the grated coconut or just the first 4 ingredients and use the grated coconut to dredge the cooked pichi-pichi? Please clarify, thank you.

    1. Hi Ela, thanks for bringing this up as others might also get confused. The grated coconut is for coating/rolling the Pichi Pichi. I updated the recipe to make that clear now. 🙂

  17. 5 stars
    Hi bebs i saw your recipe its says the fresh cassava when you grated you dont need to squeeze the liquids i just confuse only because i watch recently the video about the how you use the fresh cassava it say you have to squeeze the liquid because it is a posion it that true ???? thats why ive never bought a fresh grated cassava i am scared to use looking forward to your reply. Thank you and God bless

  18. Hi Bebs,
    I tried your pichi pichi recipe and it's really yummy! I used 2 tsps. lye water and the texture was perfect. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

  19. Hi Bebs, If I'm going to use lye water instead of baking soda solution, how much lye water do I need for the pichi-pichi recipe? thanks.

  20. I've never heard of Pichi pichi before, but it looks so good I'm making it tomorrow.
    This is like Palitaw only it's made with cassava instead of rice flour. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  21. Hi Bebs, i just confuse sa baking soda, the recipe said 2tsp but to mix with water is 1/4 tsp only so which one? Thank You for ur recipe btw, its one of my favourite.

    1. Hi Melody, First you make the baking soda solution by boiling 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 cup water for 5 mins. Then when you are making the Pichi Pichi, you will use 2 teaspoons of this baking soda solution you made. Hope that made it clear for you! I love Pichi Pichi...I think I should make them again soon. 🙂

  22. This looks so good! I want to make it, but I don't have a stove top steamer 🙁 I do however have an Instant Pot, it's an electric pressure cooker with a steam option. I'm just not sure how to shorten the cooking time.

    1. Hi Jillanne, I read that your instant pot should speed up cooking from 2-6 times. I would say try steaming it for 15 minutes, then check if the Pichi pichi are already translucent, sticky but firmer to the touch. If not yet done, then go on steaming for another 10-15 minutes until they are. I do not think there would be a problem of over steaming so feel free to experiment.

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

    1. 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.

  24. 5 stars
    I love your recipes and tried it and it is pinoy na pinoy.Hope for a Spanish bread recipe in your version.
    Thank you

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

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