It is sometimes lamented that tikoy is fast becoming the fruitcake of Chinese New Year—and rightly so because, much like the ubiquitous seasonal brick of fruit, one can only accumulate so many boxes of tikoy before wondering what to actually do with it.
It’s a tradition to hand out these sticky rice cakes to friends and family come Lunar New Year. Tikoy is also known as Nian Gao, meaning “higher year,” and so it is consumed in the belief that it brings prosperity in the coming year. (Or in simple Pinoy logic, the sticky delicacy ensures good luck will stick with you!) And with all the many shapes, sizes and even flavors—now there’s ube, pandan, even strawberry!—it’s certainly flattering to receive more boxes than your pantry can accommodate. But then you’re faced with the dilemma of what to do with it afterwards.
Here are some suggestions on how you can put a new twist on this traditional delicacy.
Tikoy and turon are both very traditional delicacies—now combined to tickle your taste buds:
- Slice the tikoy into strips and prepare slivers of langka.
- Wrap the tikoy and langka together in lumpia wrappers.
- Fry until golden brown.
- Drizzle with condensed milk for a sweet ending.
You can also try making your own version of tikoy buchi:
- Form the tikoy into balls.
- Roll the tikoy balls in sesame seeds.
- Deep fry.
- Pat the balls with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Note: This needs no filling since the tikoy should be sweet enough to provide the flavor. For the more adventurous, try using chopped peanuts, walnuts, or cashews instead of sesame seeds.
TIKOY TOWER (Great for kids!)
For the kids, try this tikoy tower:
- Slice tikoy into 2 inch x 2 inch squares.
- Spread strawberry jam—or whatever jam, jelly, or spread of your choice, as long as it’s not the runny kind—on a tikoy square.
- Stack another square on top of the first.
- Add more layers of tikoy and spread until you have a stack about an inch and a half high.
- Dip the tikoy tower in a batter of egg and milk (just like French toast!) and fry. Yum!
DEEP-FRIED TIKOY, PLUS, PLUS!
Finally, if you find yourself a fan of the safe yet predictable “dip in egg then fry” formula, add a twist to the equation by serving it a la mode:
- Top the fried tikoy with a scoop of ice cream and your choice of toppings—brown tikoy, vanilla ice cream and caramel syrup is sure to be a winner!
- Sprinkle with almond slivers for that gourmet effect.
With these easy-to-cook tikoy treats, you’ll find yourself going through a box in no time. Kung hei fat choi!