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Must-try innovative Tikoy recipes redefining Lunar New Year treats

Tikoy (Nian gao 年糕) a traditional Chinese New Year cake, has been a staple in the culinary landscape of the Philippines, particularly during the celebration of the Chinese New Year. This sweet and sticky delicacy, Nian Gao, symbolizes prosperity and good luck. However, the versatility of Tikoy goes beyond the traditional recipe, as it has been reimagined in various forms, each bringing a unique twist to this particular dish.

The Classic Tikoy

The classic Tikoy recipe involves steaming glutinous rice flour mixed with lard and sugar until it forms a sticky cake. It is typically enjoyed by slicing it into pieces, coating them in beaten egg, and frying until golden brown. This method enhances the chewy texture of the Tikoy, complemented by the savory taste of the egg coating.


Tikoy Rolls

Tikoy Rolls

A popular variation of the traditional Tikoy is the Tikoy roll. This recipe involves wrapping a slice of Tikoy with a lumpia (spring roll) wrapper and then frying it. The result is a delightful contrast between the crispy exterior of the lumpia wrapper and the soft, chewy interior of the Tikoy.


Mix glutinous rice flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add water and vanilla extract, then mix until smooth.
Grease a baking pan and steam the mixture for 30-35 minutes on medium-low heat, covered with a cloth on the steamer lid.
Grease a flat surface, place the steamed tikoy, and flatten while hot. Add dulce de leche, roll into a log, and cut. Coat with crushed peanuts or grahams. Repeat for the remaining ingredients.

Tikoy Teok-bokki

Tikoy Teokbokki

Tikoy Teok-bokki, a Chinese New Year twist on the K-BBQ favorite, blends the magic of tikoy with the traditional Korean teokbokki. This stew captures the K-Town flavor with the smooth and chewy texture of tikoy complementing the spicy broth of teok-bokki.


Simmer water, crab paste, Gochujang, and sugar for 5 minutes.
Add tikoy, onion leeks, squid balls, fish tofu, and crab sticks. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
Season with salt and Korean Red Pepper Powder for an extra kick.

French Tikoy Toast

Upgrade your morning French toast with a twist for Chinese New Year using tikoy. Sandwich tikoy between slices of bread, dip in an egg and milk mixture, then pan-fry until golden brown. Dust with sugar and enjoy a delightful breakfast with your favorite cup of coffee!


Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl.
Melt butter in a pan.
Sandwich tikoy between bread slices.
Brush the egg mixture on the sandwich.
Pan fry until golden brown on each side.
Dust with sugar, slice, and serve!

Tikoy Ala Mode

Transform traditional tikoy into a modern delight! Cut tikoy into 1 cm thick slices, dip in beaten eggs, and fry until golden. Serve with your favorite ice cream, crushed nuts or sprinkles, and a chocolate or caramel syrup drizzle. A perfect fusion for your Chinese New Year dessert cravings!


Cut tikoy into 1 cm thick slices.
Beat eggs into a consistent mixture and set aside.
Heat a pan with oil over medium heat.
Dip tikoy strips into the egg wash and fry both sides until brown.
Top with a scoop of ice cream.
Sprinkle crushed nuts or candy sprinkles.
Drizzle chocolate or caramel syrup on top for an extra kick.

As 2024 approaches, it heralds a time of new hope, fresh beginnings, and strategic planning, particularly resonant during the auspicious celebration of Chinese New Year.


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