Tikoy. It is that constant staple when Chinese New Year comes around. No Chinese New Year is complete without tikoy. Every year, my family and I get tikoy, and prepare it the same way. Slice the tikoy thinly, coat in beaten egg, then fry. It’s simple. It’s quick. It’s delicious. But are there other ways of enjoying tikoy?
Ways with tikoy
What is Tikoy made of? Tikoy is made from glutinous rice that is pounded into a paste, then molded. While tikoy is usually bought, you can make your own too! Popular Filipino food blog Panlasang Pinoy has a recipe for homemade tikoy.
There are also a lot of Tikoy out there in various flavors: strawberry, green tea, pandan, ube. For the recipe ideas below, you can choose to use the flavored tikoys or the traditional one. I’d encourage you to experiment, but do recommend sticking to the traditional one for your first round! Let the familiar taste be the base for all the sweet and savory flavor adventures you’re about to take with tikoy.
Does tikoy always have to be in rectangles? Not at all! Why not cut tikoy into cubes? That’s the quickest way to jazz up the usual way of presenting and enjoying your tikoy. Cube the tikoy, dip in beaten egg, then fry. If you want to keep the flavor as simple as possible, steam the tikoy cubes for 12-15 minutes. You can then eat it on its own or serve with a sprinkling of sugar. Tikoy cubes would look so cute too!
Tikoy may be Chinese New Year food, but we sure can put in a Pinoy twist to how we can enjoy it. Why not turon your tikoy? Turon is usually made of thinly sliced bananas, a slice of langka (jackfruit), sprinkled with brown sugar, rolled in a spring roll wrapper and deep-fried. Before rolling up your favorite turon, slide in a slice of tikoy. The sticky texture of tikoy will add another layer of enjoyment as you nibble, crunch and chew the tikoy turon to your heart’s delight.
You can also keep it much simpler by doing away with the bananas and langka. You’ve got yourself Tikoy Sticks! Slice the tikoy into strips (as you would slice cheese sticks), wrap in a spring roll wrapper and fry. Serve it with sprinkled sugar, or a variety of dips! A melted chocolate dip will satisfy any sweet tooth. We Pinoys love our cheese, so why not dip these Tikoy Sticks in a jar of Cheez Whiz? Level up the indulgence and dip a Tikoy Stick into a blend of soft butter and sugar, the way you would enjoy your usual kamote sticks. Popular Filipino food blog “Kitchen Cow” shares a recipe for DIY Tikoy Turon: Done Two Ways. Be prepared to drool over the pictures.
Is Tikoy only to be enjoyed as a snack or dessert? Not at all! Tikoy can be an ingredient for a savory dish. A friend of mine stirs tikoy cubes into her Stir-Fried vegetable dish. It’s a hodge podge of vegetables with protein thrown in, and the tikoy adds an interesting texture. In a heated wok, put in two tablespoons of oil. Slide in chopped garlic, soy sauce, carrots, snow peas, sugar, a cup of tikoy cubes, and your choice of protein (she likes shrimp). Simply stir-fry everything together, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Interesting, right? Try it with shredded chicken, ground beef or ground pork too!
Tikoy is believed to bring prosperity and good luck to the home. You can get your tikoy fix in popular restaurants around the metro, but why not prepare your own tikoy dish at home? Experiment beyond the usual beaten egg plus tikoy. You might just be surprised with what you come up with! Happy Chinese New Year!