"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

A More Special,Easy and Quick Pichi-Pichi Espesyal Using Microwave

I posted before a recipe for
From pichi-pichi
pichi-pichi espesyal using the traditional method of steaming. My long-time blogger friend JMom made a post using microwave (isn't that kewl?). So, with my hosting of Filipino Christmas party yesterday, I prepared pichi-pichi using the microwave. Basing on some comments at JMom's post, I tried adding pandan essence (actually, it was McCormick Buco Pandan Essence; thanks to Deb for sending me several bottles). What makes it more special? I used buko water instead of plain water.

From buko

I bought several young coconuts from hannaford to use for cassava cake. Out of the 4 I bought, 3 had the right chewy consistency of young coconut perfect for salads or buko pie or cassava cake. One was too young it had the mala-uhog consistency. The boys are in love with buko water and they asked if they could have some; of course I allowed them to. But as I was reading JMom's post and the idea of using buko water crossed by mind, I immediately stopped them and measured out 2 cups (my earlier steamed pichi recipe called for 2 cups water to 1 cup cassava and 1 cup sugar; JMom's recipe called for 1:1:1 ratio). So I used 2 cups buko water, 1 cup grated cassava, and 1 cup sugar. I knew the result would be very wobbly and quite soft, but that's how I really want it so it will still be soft even after chilling.
From pichi-pichi

1 cup grated cassava
2 cups coconut water
1 cup sugar
several drops of buco pandan essence (McCormick)

Blend everything well in an 8x8 or 9x9 microwavable dish. Microwave for 1 minute on high, stir with a wire whisk, microwave and stir repeatedly every 30 seconds until it becomes like soft paste (remember, this will continue to thicken as it cools down). I probably did this repeatedly 4-5 times, adding more buco pandan
essence until I reached my desired color. I left it for a while to cool down before I took the hot dish out and let it cool completely. Meanwhile, I asked my older son to open the coconut (the mature one,as opposed to young coconut), then my younger son to grate it. (See my primitive coconut grater here.)

Using a
From pichi-pichi
cookie scoop, I then rolled in grated coconut to coat each piece. I did buy sesame seeds upon seeing some suggestions from JMom's post, but opted to just serve it the traditional way. Only 3 pieces were left at the end of the day. My kids were leery of the greenish color, but I explained to them that the same color reminds us Filipinos of special buko-pandan salad (I tasted this in PI prepared by one of the midwives where she used the buco water boiled with pandan leaves to make runny green-colored gelatin and mixed with strips of soft buco, blocks of unflavored
green gelatin and condensed milk. It was so good!)

Now you wonder what I did with the buko flesh/young meat? I cut them in pieces and froze, then used for special cassava cake once I was ready to make it. (I had to restrain myself and the kids from eating them all!)


  1. oh wow! im definitely coming back to make this as i love pichi pichi!

  2. Manang, what a great idea to use coconut water! I'll have to try that next time. Ang sipag mo talaga, even when using the microwave shortcut you still managed to make the coconut elements from scratch :)

    I would have bought everything prepackaged from the store. lol! but I bet it wouldn't have been as good.

    I love those mcCormick flavorings! My girls tried a few drops of the ube flavor on vanilla ice cream, and it was actually ok! Of course, wala yung texture, but the scent and color was there. I am definitely trying out the pandan flavor on my next batch of pichi pichi :)

  3. JMom, It was more of katamaran to go to the Asian store (which would take me two hours one way). It was actually more convenient for me to get the raw ingredients from hannaford (both yucca and coconuts - buko or niyog) then use my tools to prep the ingredients. It's also very handy to have "son power" as my in-laws call it. They do most of the work, not me. I just cook. :)

  4. i'll try this !!!! Happy new year by the way...

  5. i love kakanin and i consider pichi-pichi to be a sentimental favorite! as a little girl, i would have it for breakfast almost every sunday! sunday is market day and my mom always brings home a pack of pichi-pichi for me from the market (palengke!). :D i have to try this recipe some time. thank you, manang! :D

  6. Hi Manang! Thank you very much for this recipe. It was so easy and so yummy!!! Made it today but i only used frozen cassava and water. I can't find any pandan essence here in upstate ny. I used half with plain coconut and half with toasted coconut which i like better. I am so surprise my husband liked it(he's a picky eater). Thanks again and more power! I LOVE YOUR SITE so much!!

  7. MM,
    Yes, you should try this recipe! It's so easy and really masarap!

    Hi Danna,"lovin'" my site. :)
    First off, thanks for
    Hmmm...maybe I should also try the toasted coconut!
    Buti ka pa,your hubby liked it. Mine won't even try... :(

  8. I tried this using water, except that I used cheese instead of coconut to roll, because I was afraid it will spoil. I brought some to work they love it! Thanks for the tips. I will try looking for the pandan flavoring.

  9. Ebie,
    What kind of cheese did you use? Coz next time I make this, if I plan to bring to work (with American co-workers, syempre), I might use cheese or sesame seeds para mas Am-friendly.

  10. Hello Manang,

    Long-time lurker ako from rural New Mexico. I have tried some of your recipes here and I must say, laging hit eto sa family ko. Pichi-pichi is an instant hit the first time I tried it using the above recipe. Very easy and really yummy. Instead of using freshly grated coconut I rolled them on toasted coconut flakes (wala akong kudkuran, eh). I also grate my own cassava/yucca kasi the next Filipino store is 3 hours away from us.

  11. Hi Mitzi,
    Thanks for the encouraging words!
    I wonder if you have tried any of the tinapays here? If you have not, start off with the supersoft ensaymada (which I consider my best tinapay). I got overwhelming positive responses from those who have tried.

  12. loves pichi-pichi with more cheese

  13. Hi manang,

    Can I use Pandan Paste for this recipe? Thanks

  14. Hi Anonymous,
    You sure can!

  15. manang can i use tapioca flour instead of grated cassava? if its possible,wats the measurement? weng

  16. Weng,
    Sorry I cannot answer your question, as I have not tried using tapioca flour. But I think that is an excellent idea that maybe you can experiment on. If you go ahead and experiment, will you let me know what measurement you found was right?

  17. I am in CT and I want to know what kind of cheese to use. Thank you! Also, where can I buy the buco-pandan essence?

  18. Hi Anonymous,
    I never used cheese on my pichi-pichi, but I would suggest you get the finely grated cheddar cheese, or maybe even the powdered cheese flavoring used for popcorn.
    My buco pandan essence were a gift to me by one of my readers from California, and some from my blogger-friend in Boston. The Asian store in my area does not sell them.

    1. The best cheese to use for pichi-pichi is eden cheese or ques-o. :)

  19. can i use cassava flour for pichi pichi?

    1. Hi Anonymous, I haven't tried. I think you probably can, but I would not know how and I don't have any cassava flour to experiment with.

  20. tumitigAS siya sa katagalan unlike steaming stays malambot yung pichi pichi, pero good method kung mabilisan lang kakainin.

  21. oh I like that cake
    i love eating that's why im too fat now :)
    but most of the time what i eat are any kind of chocolates
    like milk chocolate ,French macarons, and macarons london and so on.
    well anyway that cake above is interesting i wanna try that at home.


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