Cuchinta (Kutsinta)

Cuchinta is a type of kakanin (Philippines’ native delicacies these are snacks usually made with or containing any or combination of these: coconut,coconut milk, rice flour, glutinous rice, cassava).

Cuchinta is delicious and super easy to make and is almost fat free and low in calories..

I was actually surprise to find out  how simple it is too.. I used to think otherwise cause I have never seen my mother made this, we used to buy it regularly from a peddler on a bike when I was a kid. I remember waiting very early in the morning quite regularly (we usually have these in addition to our breakfast either before or after) on our doorstep and when I hear that familiar sound of the peddler’s horn, I will run to the street and wave him down. He sells puto (rice cakes) along with kutsinta, I don’t care much about the puto, though but my mother and one of my sisters like it very much so I had to buy some too, but I always buy more cuchinta than puto hehe 🙂

Anyways, I’ve memorized the recipe because like I said it’s super-simple. All you need to remember is this:  1,1,2,1, that’s flour, brown sugar, water and lihia or lye (sodium silicate, sodium carbonate)

Food grade lye is commonly used in food preparations like in suman sa lihiya and cuchinta in the Philippines. I’m sure it’s not poisonous or hazardous to one’s health or I won’t be blogging here anymore as I have eaten so many cuchinta and suman sa lihiya in my life LOL..Lihiya or lye makes the cuchinta makunat or  maligat, loosely translated in English:  to have a bite to it.

combine dry and wet ingredients in a bowl


mix well, strain and pour into mini muffin pans and steam for 10-20 minutes..that’s it!

Oh, wait, you have to cool it first or else you won’t be able to take it off of the muffin pan easily…just be patient and like magic, you can peel it off without anything sticking at the sides or bottom of the pan which means..easy clean-up! 🙂

adapted from Maya Kitchen Sarap Pinoy

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups water
1 teaspoon lihiya
teeny-weeny bit of yellow food coloring (optional)

fresh grated coconut

Here’s how easy it is:

Prepare the steamer, I don’t have one so what I do is boil a little water in a big pot, I put a metal trivet inside to hold my muffin pan.

Meanwhile, combine everything in a bowl, mix well, strain into a pouring cup, or small pitcher for easy pouring into mini muffin pans. Steam for 10 -20 minutes or until set. Cool completely before taking out of the have to be patient here if you try to take it off while its hot or warm, you will find it stuck in the pan and you’ll regret that later when you’re washing the pan. So like I said, just wait till it cools completely and like magic, you can easily peel it off the muffin pan.

Serve with fresh grated coconut. Yummy!

Thanks for reading and Have a Nice day! 🙂

21 Responses to "Cuchinta (Kutsinta)"

  1. vanessa   November 5, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    thanks for the recipe. have you got a photo of the final product tho? just wanted to see how it looks. tia

    • Olive   November 7, 2017 at 3:11 am

      Hi Vanessa. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I remember uploading a photo of the cuchinta when I posted this years ago…I’ll try to look for it or maybe it’s time for me to make cuchinta again. 🙂

  2. JON   August 6, 2011 at 6:13 am

    I made it..the 1st mix…its perfect and the second batch..its a disaster..I dont know if the lihia is too much..:((

  3. Joy Garcia   October 14, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    i really want to try and make this recipe myself because it is a childhood favorite until now. however, where can i buy food grade lye? is there a specific brand for this product?

    • Olive   October 16, 2010 at 6:41 am

      Hi Joy, I got the lye from palengke (public market).. the brand name is Mr. Brown, it says in the label, lihia (lye water).. it has water and sodium hydroxide as ingredients. I hope that helps. 🙂

  4. aiceldiego   September 8, 2010 at 1:20 am


  5. Natalie   December 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    I bet this tastes light and amazing !

    …i wish i could source these ingredients here…sounds very exotic and ethnic…

  6. Shelly   November 30, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Wow, they look so easy to make. love your ratio rule 🙂 Just wondering now where to find that lye…

  7. MaryMoh   November 30, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I miss these desserts. Used to eat a lot of these when I was back home. I have to make them soon. They are very delicious.

  8. Jessie   November 30, 2009 at 7:05 am

    very tasty and unique recipe! I’ve never seen or had any of these either

  9. anncoo   November 30, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Mmmm…very delicious! This looks very similar to the Malay snack here.

  10. Divina   November 29, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Olive, kutsinta is my dad’s favorite. He would usually eat this at buffets. And whenever we eat at buffets, we eat these in his memory. 😀 How come I don’t see you at Powerplant? What’s the name of your stall?

  11. theUngourmet   November 29, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    These looks great. I love to try making them!

  12. Robert-Gille Martineau   November 29, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Greetings fom Shizuoka, Japan!
    Little beauties, aren’t they?
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Janice   November 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    my favorite! I’ve been meaning make this from scratch but I can never find lihiya around here, hopefully I’ll see it at the asian store. Thanks for posting this recipe, this will definitely impress my family if I make it from scratch

    • chelle   December 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

      hi were u from? if in san francisco u can buy it at pacific super..

  14. Joanne   November 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    So interesting. I’m amazed that there is a food grade lye. I always thought of it as that poisonous stuff in soap.
    I came across a recipe that uses Cocoa butter. There’s another one I never thought you could eat. It sure smells good enough to eat but I was amazed that it actually IS used in cakes and the 100% pure cocoa butter cream is actually food grade. Pretty interesting discovery.

  15. Alta   November 29, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Wow, these look yummy!

  16. Amanda   November 29, 2009 at 10:17 am

    So neat! I have never seen these before!

  17. Sophie   November 29, 2009 at 8:35 am

    MMMMMMMMMM,…Olive!! These little treats look delecetable!!!

    Now, I would like to savour at least 3!!

    Beautiful as food gifts for christmas too!

    • Olive   November 29, 2009 at 11:02 am

      Sophie, I think you’ll eat more than that once you tasted it :), I never thought of gifting this, that’s a good idea, just don’t add the fresh grated coconut, it spoils quickly at room temperature


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