When you go to countries in Asia - you will find a variety of rice cakes. They come in all shapes, colors, textures and sizes. I remember as a child I wondered what the english translation is for the puto, bibingka, bico, palitaw etc --- and all of them had the same translation - rice cake.
One of my favorite rice cake is the palitaw. In tagalog - palitaw actually means to appear. This is somewhat a description of how the palitaw is cooked. They are made of ground gelatinous rice dough. They are shaped into small patties and then dropped in boiling water. Immediately after they are dropped into the boiling water, they stay at the bottom of the pot. As it cooks - it expands - becoming less dense and they float onto the surface. When they float - it's as if they magically appear ( litaw ).
Once cooked - this rice cake served on a dish and you place grated coconut, sugar and toasted sesame seeds on it. For me - the more coconut and sugar - the better tasting the palitaw is.