Skip to content

Glutinous Rice Balls

Masi, also known as Glutinous Rice Balls, is a cherished delicacy that has found a special place in the hearts of many from the Visayan provinces, including Cebu and Leyte. These delightful treats are typically reserved for special occasions and family gatherings, symbolizing togetherness and festivity.

What Makes Masi So Special?

The dough for Masi is a simple yet perfect blend of glutinous rice flour, water or coconut milk, and a pinch of salt. In my kitchen, I prefer using mochiko flour, derived from short-grain glutinous rice, although long-grain varieties are just as effective. This choice ensures that each Masi has a pleasantly soft and sticky texture.

Crafting the Perfect Filling

For the filling, I toast and then finely grind peanuts to create a base that’s both sweet and crunchy. I mix this with dark brown sugar or muscovado sugar—the rich molasses content in these sugars not only enhances the flavor but also helps in keeping the filling compact and less likely to ooze out. Occasionally, I like to add a mix of nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts to introduce a burst of flavors and textures that make each bite more exciting.

The Art of Making Masi

Making Masi is an art that requires patience. The process involves dividing the dough, cooking it slightly, and then rolling it before it’s filled with the nut and sugar mixture. While the Masi might not seem sweet at first, the filling’s crunchiness and gradual sweetness captivate the senses as it slowly melts in your mouth.

Ready to Make Masi?

You can find all the necessary ingredients at your local Asian store, or even order glutinous rice flour online. Interested in learning this beautiful culinary craft? Join me as we dive into the process of making Masi together. Let’s start this delightful journey!

Instructional Video

Masi or Glutinous Rice Balls


Nuts Filling


  • 1 cup mochiko or glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tbsp rice flour (optional, adjust if you want to add more)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (8 oz) coconut milk (use filtered water if desired)
  • 1-2 quarts (8 cups) filtered water, room temp (add more as needed)
  • 1-2 (6”x10”) banana leaves (optional)
  • 12 (6”x10”) saran wrap (if using plastic as wrappers)

Items You’ll Need

  • Large mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups, bowls, spoons
  • Silicone spatula
  • Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Large pot
  • Wooden slotted spoon
  • Rolling pin
  • Saran wrap
  • Banana leaves
  • Serving container


Toast The Nuts

Adding nuts on parchment paper to the oven

In a parchment-lined baking sheet, put 2 ounces of raw and unsalted almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts. Scatter them nicely and toast for 10 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees oven. Remove the mixed toasted nuts from the oven and allow them to cool for 15 minutes.

After cooling, grind the nuts into a fine texture using a chopper, mortar pestle, or a storage bag and a heavy object found in your kitchen. Transfer the ground-up nuts into a medium-sized bowl. It’s okay to find larger pieces here and there. Then, add half a cup of dark brown sugar and mix well to combine. Cover and set aside for later use.

Prepare The Banana Leaf

Cleaning banana leaves in the sink with light soap and water

Rinse a piece of banana leaf with soap and water. Dry it out on both sides with a kitchen cloth. Do not air dry them. Instead, cover them right after to keep their luscious green color. Heat the banana leaf over low heat with a smooth side down. The wilted leaf will turn glossy and become pliable so it can be cut, shaped, or molded easily. Remember to cover them at all times to prevent them from turning brown.

Make The Dough

Mixing dough for Glutinous Rice Balls

To make the dough, combine a cup of glutinous rice flour (preferably machico flour), a tablespoon of rice flour, and half a teaspoon of salt. Then, pour one cup of coconut milk and give it a good mix to combine. This time, use your hand to form a dough. The mixture will be sticky at first, but continue to mix and knead for 10 to 12 minutes or until the dough ball forms.

Make The Rice Balls

Weighing the dough before forming the dough balls

Make smaller dough balls weighing an ounce and roll and flatten them with your hands into two to three inches in diameter. Place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Boil one to two quarts of filtered water over high heat. Carefully lower the tiny disk of dough into the boiling water, one at a time, and do not overcrowd. Boil them until they start floating to the top. As soon as they float, cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes before transferring them into a bowl with ice-cold water. Soak for 30 seconds to a minute, then transfer them onto a parchment paper-lined sheet.

Brush a tiny amount of olive oil on both sides of the cooked dough. This will make the dough less sticky and easier to work with. Place a syringe wrap on a flat surface and put a cooked dough onto it. Roll it with a wrapped rolling pin so it doesn’t stick. Flatten the dough into 1/8 or 1/16 inch thick, wide enough to put one to two teaspoons of the nuts filling.

Carefully lift with the plastic to seal on all sides and gently press and twist to seal completely. You may keep the glutinous rice balls in plastic or, if using a banana leaf, use the thinnest part of the leaf. Carefully wrap the mase with the smooth side up. Arrange them vertically next to each other to keep the leaf in place.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, my mossy recipe or glutinous rice balls. It’s best if consumed on the same day when freshly made. Enjoy the delicious combination of the soft and chewy glutinous rice dough with the sweet and nutty filling. These rice balls can be a delightful treat for any occasion, whether it’s a special celebration or simply a craving for something unique and tasty. Try making them yourself and impress your friends and family with this traditional dessert. Happy cooking!

Please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a review.

Sev N
Sev N
Sev N

I had these a dinner party and found your recipe. Very tasty!