Tikoy Recipe

Tikoy or Nián gāo is a type of rice cake made from glutinous rice flour and considered as a centerpiece during Chinese New Year. This is also popularly known as Chinese New Year pudding.

The Philippines is once considered as the melting pot of Asia. People of different origins call it home – including the Chinese. Chinese customs, traditions, and good food were embraced by the Filipino’s and even make it a part of their own.

The legend behind the Tikoy tells about a Kitchen God that observes the behavior of each family for a year. It was said the Kitchen God goes back to heaven before the Chinese New Year to report the findings; a depressing report would mean a year of bad luck for the family. According to the legend, feeding sticky rice cake to the Kitchen God will make it difficult for him to say anything against the family – it will be difficult to speak when his mouth is full and the sticky rice cake will keep his mouth shut.

How do you want your Tikoy cooked? I like mine dipped in beaten egg then fried.

Happy Chinese New Year! Kung Hei Fat Choi!


Tikoy Recipe


  • 3 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped

Cooking Procedure

  1. Combine water and brown sugar then mix well
  2. Combine glutinous rice flour with the water and brown sugar mixture then mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the pitted chopped dates then mix until every ingredient is well distributed.
  4. Grease a round cake pan and transfer the glutinous rice flour mixture then sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
  5. Steam for 45 minutes. Make sure to cover the top part with cheesecloth to avoid water drippings.
  6. Remove the tikoy from the cake pan and transfer to a wax paper or cling wrap then refrigerate for at least 5 hours.
  7. Take the tikoy out of the refrigerator. *Cook using your desired method.
  8. Tikoy can be re-steamed, microwaved, or fried after dipping in beaten egg mixture.

Number of servings (yield): 6

Watch the cooking video:


  1. Gladen, dates adds flavor, but you can still make this without it.

  2. Hello there! Thank you for your tikoy recipe. I tried it and it worked. I just used my rice cooker as a steamer and it went well too.

    I follow most of your recipes because they are easy and I linked your website and videos in my blog as a reference for the recipes I’ve made.

    Thank you and keep sharing your recipes! =)

  3. Angelica says:

    can i use aluminum foil instead of cheesecloth?
    thanks and more power to you! God speed.

  4. We always have tikoy every chinese new year it signifies good luck. I always coat it with egg then deep fried and its also very yummy. I like most of your receipy bec its always nice and simple. Easy to follow especially with the video. I am an avid fan of yours.
    God Bless you and your family.

  5. justine says:

    can i use white sugar… not brown..

  6. it is ok to use bamboo

  7. hmmm this is one of my favorite’s…love it!!!

  8. aurora bernal says:

    Thanks for sharing!
    …now i can do tikoy without just experimenting. Simple recipe with great taste!
    Keep it up & more power!

  9. tikoy is always my favorite, but i have to wait every chinese new year to have a taste of it, thanks that now, i can do my own tikoy. thank you very much for all the recipes i am receiving in my mail. God bless

  10. Hi dulz, hindi fresh ang dates na ginamit ko dito.

  11. edlozada says:

    Hi, I made this tikoy following your recipe and it looks good. I think it will taste good as well. I left out the dates because it is not available here at the moment.
    How do you take the tikoy from the pan? It sticks to the pan and it is very hard to take out. Maybe this tikoy will be ruined if i take it out.
    A friend of mine told me that tikoy is tastier if their are molds in it. Is it true? How do we get the molds to grow in it.

  12. oi sakto may mga ingre ako d2 para sa tikoy…thanks kaayo dong ha!:)

  13. Hmmm! This is interesting :-)
    It looks good though, yumm!

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