Chinese and Filipino traditions are so closely related, many of us embrace both customs, honoring the traditions of the other while still paying tribute to our own. This is where Chinese New Year comes into play since many of us celebrate the lunar new year even if we are not of Chinese descent.
One of the ways we celebrate this unique new year is through gifting and eating tikoy.
What Is Tikoy
Tikoy, or nian gao ("Nian gao" is a homonym for a "higher year" to come) is a rice cake made from glutinous rice that is pounded or ground into a paste, molded into a shape, and then steamed. Tikoy is commonly found in a round shape but it can be made in other shapes as well as desired.
The typical tikoy is usually simply sweetened with sugar but it can be flavored or stuffed with other ingredients to make it more special than your usual.
How to Serve Tikoy
Tikoy can be enjoyed any time of the year but it is especially popular during the Chinese New Year celebrations. This is served while still warm so the tikoy is soft and chewy. You can also wrap this in lumpia wrappers instead of coating with egg for a crunchy bite, paired with other sweet ingredients such as chocolate or jackfruit aka langka.
How to Cook Tikoy
The most popular (and easiest) way to cook tikoy is to simply slice the tikoy, dip these in beaten eggs, and pan-fry until golden brown on the outside. Feel free to take it up a notch by wrapping it in lumpia wrapper, adding fruit, and even cooking it with chocolate before serving.
Tips To Cook Delicious Tikoy
Some people may have ideas on how best to cook and prepare tikoy and here are some of those ideas:
1 Season the egg.
You have heard the cooking instruction "season at every step" and this applies to cooking something as simple as tikoy. Even the beaten eggs that you scramble should be seasoned with a little salt so it can be a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the tikoy. It not only complements the sweetness of the tikoy but also make the egg coating tastier.
2 Flambé it.
Flambé basically means to cook food in an alcoholic beverage that is set on fire. The fire is meant to burn off most of the alcoholic content of the liquor you use but it's also to intensify its flavors, too. With tikoy, you can use this same technique to warm it up and add flavor too especially if you make a sweetened glaze with the rum you use.
3 Add a sauce.
You should not be limited to the flavor of the tikoy you have so if you want to level it up, make a delicious sauce and pour this over your tikoy or serve it as dip.
How to Store Tikoy
Tikoy should be stored tightly wrapped in plastic and in a cool, dry place. You can also store this in the freezer, tightly wrapped in plastic and then in foil, before storing. When ready to eat, just thaw properly, whether in the refrigerator, in the microwave, or gently warmed on the stove.
How to make Tikoy
Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!
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