Everyone loves a sweet treat! The Filipino Carioca Recipe is a good choice if you want to make a quick but tasty treat for the entire family.
Carioca is made of coconut and sweet rice dough (locally known in the market as “galapong”). It is quite easy to prepare and so it should be perfect for an afternoon snack.
Some foodies have said that it can be closely compared to beignets, its foreign fried dough counterpart. The Carioca is rolled like a ball in the rice dough and then tossed and deep fried in a pan. It is then dipped in sweet coconut syrup to give it a distinct satisfying sweetness everyone has grown to love. After that, it is skewered to a bamboo stick.
Carioca can be a perfect idea for your family’s merienda or dessert. They are particularly popular among children, but many love the Carioca as well since it takes them on a trip down memory lane. Also, these fried rice balls can be great to serve for big gatherings.
Just be prepared to cook a lot of them and be sure to ask for a little help. Putting these foods on sticks can be a bit time-consuming.
2 cups glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour (+ extra ⅓ cup for dusting later on)
2¾ cups sweetened desiccated coconut
400ml (1 can) coconut milk
For deep frying:
2 cups (500ml) palm oil or vegetable oil
For the coconut sauce:
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup dark or light brown sugar
3 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds, to sprinkle (optional)
You also need:
15 pcs. bamboo skewers
In a large mixing bowl, combine glutinous rice flour and sweetened desiccated coconut and mix well. Make a well in the center, add the coconut milk and mix with a wooden spoon until becomes soft sticky dough. Refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes to make your dough firm. To make the balls, scoop about a tablespoon of dough and roll on your hands to make a ball. Arrange on a clean plate and repeat the process until you are done with all your carioca dough.
Dip each ball in a reserved ⅓ cup of glutinous rice flour and shake off extra flour (dust lightly as possible as you can). This process will help your carioca stay in shape after frying and will give you a crunchy texture on the exterior and protects the interior from drying. Repeat dusting until you’re done with all your carioca dough.
In a small frying pan, heat the oil over medium until tiny bubbles are visible. Drop carioca balls by batches at least 15 pieces at a time and don’t overcrowd your pan. Fry the carioca for about 5 minutes or until the color turns light brown . Using a tong and a bamboo skewer place 3 balls on each stick and place it on the plate lined with paper towel. Keep skewering until you’re done with your first 5 sticks. Reload your 2nd batch of carioca (another 15 balls) on a frying pan and repeat process until you’re done with the last batch then, set aside.
Let’s start making our coconut sauce, in a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk into a boil over medium heat. Add in light or dark brown sugar and mix well. When it starts to boil, adjust your heat to low and simmer the mixture until becomes syrup. Fire off, and let it cool slightly before using and at this point you can add some vanilla if you want.
Meanwhile, while our coconut sauce is cooling down, lightly toast your sesame seeds in a pan over low heat for about 2 minutes. To serve our Carioca, you can either drizzle or dipped in coconut syrup, then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds on top and serve.
Carioca is a perfect merienda or dessert for your family.