Palitao are rice patties cooked in boiling water, drained, then served topped with grated coconut, toasted sesame seeds, and white sugar.
In the Tagalog language, palitaw means “to surface” and this refers to the flat oval-shaped pieces of rice dough floating to the top of boiling water once they are cooked.
These flat patties have also been called dila-dila (“tongue-tongue”) because they are shaped like tongues.
A recent twist has been to turn palitaw into small balls stuffed with a filling such as yema. This is very similar to the Japanese mochi and may have been inspired by it.