While I’m compiling the round-up for this round of Lasang Pinoy, I thought I would post this recipe, another Filipino dessert made of coconut and cassava or kamoteng kahoy. I was prompted to give this recipe a try by Manang Kusinera on her post on Palitaw which is similar to this but is made of rice flour instead of cassava.

Now for my version, I didn’t quite go the authentic way like Manang did, I relied on frozen cassava and grated coconut rather than grating it myself. More power to Manang and her friend for grating their own coconut! LOL 🙂


This is a recipe I learned from an aunt who was always asked to bring this delicacy as her contribution to many a family get togethers. It tastes really great and I was shocked to find out that she cooked this in the microwave oven!

To start, the proportions are quite easy to remember. It is simply 1 cup of grated cassava, 1 cup of flour SUGAR, 1 cup of water.

For this version, I doubled the recipe just so I would use up the whole bag of cassava. Put the mixture in a microwave safe dish and cook on high for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. I stirred up the mixture every 5 minutes. It looks quite watery to start, and I was a bit worried if the consistency was right, but I didn’t have anything to worry about as it thickened up quite nicely by the time the 20 minutes cooking time was up. Remove from the microwave oven and let cool for a minute before handling as it will be very hot and steamy.

I used two spoons to make small balls and rolled them in the grated coconut. They were quite good eaten warm, but even better when they cooled off. No wonder my aunt always brought these to parties. They get better the longer they sit (Don’t let them sit out too long though as the fresh coconut will tend to spoil). You can refrigerate whatever you don’t eat right away and warm them up in the microwave for a few seconds when you’re ready for a second round 🙂

I may have mentioned before how my girls are just not into the grated coconut, so I made a few topped with toasted sesame seeds and poppy seeds. The verdict from my resident critics is that the sesame seeds were great, much better than the coconut but they declared the poppy seeds were better on muffins and breads.

ManangK, thank you for catching my mistake. Please note my correction above, it should be 1 cup of SUGAR not flour.

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39 comments on “Pichi-Pichi
  1. katrina says:

    have you tried cooking it without lye? i’m debating if i will use lye or not knowing that it is poisonous. also, did you have to soak or wash the grated cassava before mixing it with the other ingredients?

  2. Waswi28 says:

    Hi, JMom! Thanks for replying. Does traditional way mean i can cook it on a stovetop til it’s done? No need to steam for few minutes? 🙂 wow, awesome! Actually, i tried cooking it in a pan til a spoon is coated then i steamed it, and still a bit long.. 20 mins.. Anyway, next tym ill try it without steaming anymore. 🙂 thanks again

  3. Waswi28 says:

    Hi JMOm. Just wanna ask, if i dont have a microowave oven, how will i cook this in the stove? Tried steaming the mixture before, but it took me almost an hour to cook a batch. Can i cook the mixture in a pot/ pan first then steam for few minutes in molds? Thanks for ur attention , hope u could advise.:)

    • Waswi28, you can cook it stovetop, the traditional way. I haven’t tried steaming yet though, since the microwave has just been so convenient and fast! if you’re going to steam it, it will probably take about 45 minutes to an hour to cook. I wouldn’t suggest cooking it in a pot first. I think you will sacrifice that gooey texture if you do that. I would just steam in in one big pan, then before it cools off completely, just form them into balls before rolling in the grated coconut.

  4. Lei says:

    Hi JMom!

    Thanks for sharing this simple recipe. This is one of my fave deserts back home (Pinas). Your recipe and method of cooking is easy to follow. My family and friends love it! 🙂

    Happy 2012!


  6. one of my favorites!!

  7. jin says:

    hello po =) good pm jmom! just would like to ask if i can use the cassava starch instead kasi its so hard to look for grated cassava here in iloilo..i’ve been to different stores already walang avail na grated cassava..would it make the difference?

  8. Oween says:

    Magtatanong lang po JMom. May kaibahan po ba ang cassava flour at cassava starch? Ano po ang tapioca starch? At ano naman po ang pwedeng gamitin sa pitsi-pitsi?

    Salamat sa sagot!

  9. JMom says:

    Hi Kim, I’m sorry I don’t really know what to tell you about powdered cassava as I haven’t used it before. I suggest experimenting with it and let me know how it goes. I’ll try it next time I see some powdered cassava so I can report back here.

  10. kim magpayo says:

    instead of buying frozen cassava, i bought cassava powder instead.. pwede ba gamitin yun? paano po yung measurements?

    thnx in advance! =)

    kim tupas magpayo

  11. salve dayao says:

    Hi..My husband and I own a restaurant in Vancouver calle Java Jazz Cafe & Bistro..and just want to llet you know I’ve been making this pichi pichi the microwave way..but i now will try the Laotian way and add cheese to it ..God bess1…Cheers..do you have a good Spin sapin recipe done the easy way and still maligat?

  12. EP says:

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I just bought a pack of frozen cassava and planning to steam it and put lye water(some recipes have lye water) ..Now i will just microwave it.

  13. Manang says:

    I just had to come back to this page to refresh my memory…I am hosting a Christmas party this weekend and am now panicky how I will prepare everything I want to prepare! So, making this microwave version is definitely the way to go to save time and effort. I probably will have sesame seeds and grated cheese ready for coating. I will let the guests scoop out their own servings and roll in whatever coating they would like.

  14. cindy says:

    it’s so good and easy to prepare!!! thanks for sharing

  15. Marissa says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this easy to do version of pichi-pichi. My American husband tasted it once when we attended a Fil-Am party in South Carolina. He has been requesting me to make this for the longest time but I had no idea how to make it and always thought it was difficult to do. Finally, I was able to find you on the internet and with microwave cooking, it was so easy and delicious! I’ll definitely enjoy making this and bring it to our next Fil-Am parties. I’m sure it’s going to be a hit.

  16. ces says:

    got it! thanks!

  17. pichiaddict says:

    pichi-pichi with cheese is the best!

  18. JMom says:

    hi Sandra, thanks for sharing the recipe. I will certainly try the Laotian version. Do you bake it or microwave it as this one?
    Sorry for the late reply, btw, my comment notifier was not going through my email, for some reason it was going to spam.

    Hi Kat, I’ll be sure to try it with cheese. My girls will eat anything with cheese. lol! Thanks for the tip.

  19. kat says:

    i’ve been searching for the recipe for weeks already and it’s so nice to have this microwave version
    try putting cheese aside from the original coconut and your sesame seed
    it taste soooo good too

  20. Sandra says:

    Hi everyone! I like this recipe easy and looks yummy. However, if anyone is looking to try a different recipe my ingredients include:(Using the same exact concept as this recipe. Enjoy and btw this is the Laotion version which is where I am from.

    1 cup of milk
    1 cup of sugar
    1 stick of butter
    1 package of frozen cassava
    1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

  21. mc_lorenzo says:

    Hi! I found cassava powder in a supermarket yesterday. Can I use the same measurements you gave with this?

  22. JMom says:

    hi Carmen, I’m glad to hear it turned out well for you! I’ll have to go look for the pandan flavoring and give this another go 🙂

  23. Carmen says:

    Delicious! I tried the pichi pichi with the pandan water and essence and it was a success! It turned a faint green color but I am glad I didnt add more pandan extract- it would have been overpowering IMO. JMom, I would try looking for pandan essence and extract in other specialty Asian stores or supermarkets if there are some in your area. I got the frozen niyog, frozen grated cassava, and pandan water from the Filipino store but I had to get the pandan extract in a Thai store- across town. I have since asked the Filipina owner to stock up on pandan extract.

  24. JMom says:

    @ kat, sorry I’m not sure where in the Philippines this recipe originated.

    @ emer, hi doc! I’m glad to hear you tried the recipe. That cheese sounds interesting. I’ll have to try it out next time 🙂

  25. JMom says:

    Hi Carmen, great idea about adding the pandan flavor. I’ve thought about doing the same, but I haven’t been able to find pandan flavor here. I’ll have to try that out as soon as I find some 🙂

    Hi mc_lorenzo, I find the grated cassava at our only Filipino market in the area (Raleigh, NC). Sorry I can’t help you in Alabang 🙂 I think though, that if you are able to find whole, fresh cassava root, you can just grate it raw and use in the same manner. Let me know if you get to try out the recipe.

  26. mc_lorenzo says:

    where did you get the grated cassava? I checked with Shopwise Alabang but they don’t even know such thing. many many thanks!

  27. Carmen says:

    JMom, thank you for the recipe. I will be making it tommorrow. I will substitute pandan water(sold in a can) and 1/2 tsp. pandan extract (in small bottle) for the 1 cup water. Also, I will try cutting down on the sugar as you suggested. I will let you know how it turned out!

  28. Emer says:

    hi there,

    thanks for the recipe, i tried it yesterday. it was so easy and very yummy. some i rolled in grated fresh coconut and some, for variaton, i rolled in grated cheddar cheese. i was really good. thanks again. more power.

  29. kat says:

    where in the philippines pichi-pichi originated

  30. melissa_cookingdiva says:

    They look delicious…and very easy to prepare. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  31. JMom says:

    HELLO everyone! Please note the change I made regarding sugar instead of flour, thanks to manangK for noticing 🙂 Ganyan talaga ang magaling na cook, you notice the discrepancy from just reading the recipe 😉

    Hi Stel! happy 4th to you and family too.

    Hi Jules! you are just the cutest 🙂 I too did not know what this was called, but was always the first at the table whenever someone brings this dish.

    Manang, you are welcome 🙂 and thanks for catching my oversight. Don’t put any flour in this, it just might mess it up. Just sugar and water in equal proportions. I was actually thinking of cutting some of the sugar down as it is a little sweet for me.

  32. Manang says:

    Talaga bang alang sugar? Or did you just forget to include it?

  33. Manang says:

    Thank you so much, JMom! If I only knew early on how easy it was to make this, I would have made them to bring to any get-togethers!

  34. jules says:

    OH MY GAWD!!! you rock my world. First of all, PICHI PICHI, I can finally put a name to this delectable treat. I come across this dessert often at parties and such but never think to ask what it is called. Who knew it was so easy to make?!? I thought it would have been labour intensive. These types of deserts always remind me of my grandmother. She’d always have sweet treats for all of us quirky grandkids.

  35. stel says:

    wowee! that’s instantpichi pichi! i have to try this easy way…thanks to your auntie and you, J!
    happy fourth to you and your family…

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