Round or long, this Filipino ‘donut is an all-time favorite



By Alexander Villafania

ILOILO CITY, ILOILO – This popular Ilonggo delicacy has long been a favorite even before Filipinos went crazy over Dunkin Donuts, Mister Donut and Krispy Kreme.

The Philippines has its own version in “bitso-bitso” (also written as “bicho-bicho”) – deep fried and sprinkled with a variety of powdered sweets like confectioners’ sugar, melted cheese or cinnamon powder.

Usually, they’re sold just like the more popular Western-style donuts that either have holes in the middle or  elongated, like eclairs.  Nobody knows exactly how the bitso-bitso came about but it is popular in Iloilo but can also be bought elsewhere in the Philippines.

Usually sold in the streets, bitso-bitso is a popular afternoon snack. There are vendors with makeshift kitchen loaded onto a pushcart so you end up buying it freshly made.

In her blog “Catwoman Kitchen”, Anna reminisces about buying bitso-bitso often when she was still living in the Philippines. Now living in the US, she talks about cooking bitso bitso using a recipe she picked up online.

Blogger Marketman also wrote about cooking bitso-bitso made with muscovado (local sugar) and coconut glaze. In an online forum called Mapua Ownage, a few members wrote about eating bitso-bitso, claiming it is a cheaper (if not a better) alternative to more expensive donuts.

Here in Metro Manila, you can find in malls a food stall called Bicho-Bicho Brothers that sells bitso-bitso. If you’re interested in making it yourself, there are a ton of recipes available online bitso-bitso, there are a ton of recipes about bitso-bitso, like this one from the blog Simple Recipes.

Here is another recipe from In The Philippines:

Bitso Bitso (Pinoy Donut)


  • 150 g of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of orange water
  • 50 g of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 10 cl of warm milk
  • 1 sachet of dry yeast
  • a pinch of salt
  • cooking oil for deep frying
  • and icing or granulated sugar for coating

Dissolve the dry yeast in warm milk. Separate the egg yolk from the white. In a bowl put the flour, half of the sugar, the salt, the orange water, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the egg yolk. Mix them well. Then add the yeast-milk mixture in the flour. Mix well and let it stand for three hours.

Whisk the egg white until it becomes firm, then add the rest of the sugar. Mix them well. Add this mixture on the dough and combine them until it becomes homogenous. Warm your oil in a deep frying pan. Scoop a spoonful of your dough and slide it directly to the warm oil. It should be cook on both sides until its golden brown, about five minutes.

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Baker king says:

what is ORANGE WATER?? where can i buy it?