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: