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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.  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!

Get this Pichi Pichi recipe. A Filipino delicacy made from cassava. | wordpress-152313-459899.cloudwaysapps.comI was missing those Pichi Pichi, so once I got hold of these frozen cassavas (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 advice 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. | wordpress-152313-459899.cloudwaysapps.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 is 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 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. | wordpress-152313-459899.cloudwaysapps.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.

Get this Pichi Pichi recipe. A Filipino delicacy made from cassava. |

4.8 from 6 reviews
Pichi Pichi Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
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.
  • 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
  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.
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,


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 Post Has 33 Comments
  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

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