RECIPE: Filipino Carioca Balls

Carioca are balls of dough deep fried in oil. They’re similar to beignets, the fried dough goodies from Louisiana. This carioca recipe yields 40 pieces.


2-1/2 cups glutinous-rice flour (mochiko can be used)
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup macapuno (sweet preserved strips of coconut variant)
oil for deep-frying


1.  Combine the skim milk, evaporated milk and water to make a milk mixture.

2. In a bowl, combine the rice flour, salt, baking powder, coconut flakes, macapuno and the milk mixture. Blend well.

3. Shape one-tablespoon portions of the dough into balls. You can roll the balls between your palms.

4. Heat enough oil in a wok for deep-frying.

4. Gently Drop the balls into the wok.

5.  Deep-fry until golden brown.

6.  Scoop the balls out and drain on a paper towel before serving.

Carioca is sold skewered on sticks in the streets of the Philippines. For special occasions, a glaze of brown sugar is drizzled over carioca balls.

*mochiko – Japanese flour made from glutinous or sticky rice