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Monday, March 15, 2010

Pichi Pichi

How do you describe what pichi pichi is?  I just know it was a snack filipinos make.  It is made of grounded cassava and grated coconut but what exactly is it?  If you google pichi pichi, it brings up a recipe of an anime character, which I find quite funny.  I guess you could consider it a cassava steam cake, maybe?  There is many ways of making this dish.  The basic ingredients are cassava, water, sugar, lye, and grated coconut.  Some puts pandon extract but it is up to you how you like it.  The proportions are depending on the person.  Some people may like to have the cassava taste more prominent or maybe a sweeter pichi pichi.  Everything is up to the person.  Some people would rather use grated cassava verse the frozen type.  Some may would rather use cassava flour.  As soon as the four main ingredients are there in some manner, you could be as creative as you would like.  Lye is one of those ingredients, I have always been nervous to use.  The Husband used to refuse to buy it since it is a poison but when we tried the pichi pichi without it, it really needed it.  You just use a small amount of the liquid like a teaspoon to enhance the flavor.  There are also multiple ways to cook this, either by steaming, baking, or microwaving.  Yes, I said microwave.  I have read a few foodies that use this method and they like it.  I generally bake the ingredients instead of steaming but it is up to preference.  One important factor is to mix the ingredients to prevent burning. 
* See the edges, it burns easily
Don't mix the grated coconut with the rest of the ingredients.  It is to be used as  coating.  Beware the age of the coconut.  Unfortunately, I don't have fresh coconuts readily available so I have to use the frozen kind and it tends to spoil quickly.  I would generally make it the day I'm serving it.  I just take pieces of the mixture, roll it to make a ball and coat it in coconut.  
This is one of The Daughter's favorite dessert.  Personally, I think she likes to smash them before she eats them.   She could be destructive :D  I love cassava and this is probably my favorite to make.  Especially when I have leftovers to eat. 
What would you call them?   A stream cake or mushy cassava thingies?