Filipino Carioca Recipe (Fried Sweet Rice Balls Dipped in Sweet Coconut Syrup)

Want a crunchy but chewy dessert? Maybe you should try carioca, that ball-shaped, fried rice dough.

Carioca is a sweet Filipino treat that can be enjoyed as a dessert or snack. This delicacy that is covered with sweet coconut is sweet crunchy on the outside, but chewy inside; the balls are made from sweet rice dough or galapong, rolled like a ball, deep-fried, and then dipped in a sweet coconut syrup (though this sweet coating can be optional). Individual servings are usually served in bamboo skewers similar to banana cue and kamote cue.

When I first saw this kind of snack, I thought of it as buchi, but without the filling and sesame seed coating. Carioca is simply rolling, deep-frying, and dipping into the sauce. However, be careful when you are frying. The oil might squirt out towards you. That would hurt. To avoid such incident, try keeping the heat in low setting. You can also poke some holes through the dough before frying

Carioca can be frequently seen among street vendors, thus can already be considered as a street food. This sweet is also usually seen among cafeterias as dessert, along with other kakanin and merienda


Want to have your own version? Follow the steps below. Happy snack time!


  • Sweet Rice or Glutinous Rice Flour
  • Coconut Milk
  • Brown Sugar
  • Bamboo Skewers


  • Cooking Oil for deep frying


  • Sweet Rice or Glutinous Rice Flour
  • Coconut Milk
  • Brown Sugar
  • Bamboo Skewers


  • Cooking Oil for deep frying


  • 2 cups Sweet Rice or Glutinous Rice Flour
  • 1 cup water


  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • Cooking Oil for frying

Cooking Instructions:

  1.  Mix the sweet rice flour and water to form a dough. Add a little more flour if it’s too sticky or a little water if it’s too dry.
  2.  Portion in one teaspoon pieces, then roll each one in a ball.
  3.  With a bamboo skewer, poke a hole through the rolled dough.
  4. Using medium low to low heat, heat up the cooking oil to deep fry the dough ball.
  5. Put in the dough balls one at a time, making sure they don’t stick together. Let them cook covered for 8-10 minutes. If the oil is splattering, turn your heat down a little bit.
  6.  Once cooked, drain on a paper towel.
  7.  Prepare the sugar dip by combining the coconut milk and brown sugar in a pan and cook until both are fully incorporated.
  8.  Roll the carioca in the sugar mixture and skewer about 4 or 5 pieces.
  9. Your carioca is ready to serve.

Cooking Tips:

  • Poking holes through the raw dough balls helps the inside cook faster without causing much oil splatter.
  • You get a nice crusty outside and chewy inside if you fry until the outside is slightly yellowish. This may take between 12 – 15 minutes per batch.
  • If you’d rather have it soft and chewy, this will take you about 6-8 minutes or just until the inside is cooked.

Recipe Source:

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