alt="Chinese New Year: Special Nian Gao

Chinese New Year 2021: Special Nian Gao Recipe

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Before I start sharing the food recipe that I learn from youtube vlogs, Today is Happy Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year. The Philippines is also known for celebrating the Chinese year every year like in other Asian countries and around the world. Today, let me share Lunar New Year 2021: Special Nian Gao Recipe.

Nian Gao or Tikoy (in the Filipino Language) is the specific new year cake that originated in Southern China. It has two words with different meanings. Nian means “sweet” while Gao means “cake.” That’s why it is called “sweet cake” This kind of rice cake is always served during Chinese New Year in the Philippines.

The traditional and classic cooking method of “Tikoy” in the Philippines is by soaking the Nian Gao in scrambled eggs and then fry it in the pan. I’ve always eaten it in that way. Most people in my generation know it too. 

Since we can’t still travel as much as we can, Eating food is the second treat we should consider. I tried cooking one of the easy recipes of “Nian Gao.” it was easy to prep. Furthermore, you also need to taste it!


Nian Gao or Tikoy has different flavors that you can choose it. (It’s my first time knowing about this. haha) The three flavors are Cheese Tikoy, Original flavored Tikoy, and last but not the least is “Ube or purple yam.” All are perfect combinations for other bread-like ingredients if you want to make your own Nian Gao recipe.

alt=" close up of chinese new year: Nian Gao

The original Tikoy is cooked by steaming the whole new year cake in a hot pot. It was the proper method in making the Nian Gao(Tikoy) in traditional ways in Southern China. However, here in the Philippines, a hot pan by frying.


alt="Chinese New Year: Nian Gao's Ingredients

How to prepare: make a three-layer sandwich-like with two sweet cakes and meatloaf in the middle after soaking it in scrambled eggs, flour with salt and pepper, and lastly, in Japanese bread crumbs, then put it in the hot pan and wait until it looks golden brown.

 Foodie Tip: There’s no need to know the temperature through the frying method. I recommend doing deep-fry so that you don’t have to worry about the finished product being crushed nian gao.


If you are looking for another easy recipe to keep your tastebud feel satisfied in trying new cuisines, this is great for you! Making your DIY recipe, from time to time, will improve your crafts in baking or cooking other food cuisines outside your forte. 

alt="finished product of Chinese New Year: Nian Gao Recipe

The taste is like-honey flavored snacks that you usually eat in Asian delicacies. The sweet taste of Nian Gao blends well with the meatloaf since it was a bit salted. It could be pass as dessert after meals. Aside from that, it considers snacks between meals. The right snack during work from home, watching NetFlix, or even writing in your journal.

 Foodie tip: You can consume it with matcha healing tea, fresh juices like oranges, mangoes, milk teas, or coffee blends.


It is still hard to travel so far from your hometown but did you know?

alt="Lifestyle photo with Nian Gao Chinese New Year's cake"

All year round, Filipinos visit Ongpin Street or Binondo Street in Manila. Binondo Street refers to City’s Chinatown. Chinese Dragon Festival dance. Overseas visitors, people coming from provinces come to Chinatown for a whole day to participate in the Chinese New Year Festival held every year. The main attractions are the dancing lions and dragons said to attract prosperity, health, and wisdom.

You can also find local Chinese traditional cuisines around the area. Like Wai Ying FastfoodLido Cocina Tsina, and many more.

Location: Binondo, Manila

 For cafes, you can check out Bechwen’s Cafe for munching different kinds of cuisine around Asia. In Addition, you can choose Cafe Mazzaine for Chinese noodles with a few coffee blend beverages.

Location: Tondo, Manila

As part of Filipino-Chinese traditions, you need to give a lucky money envelope(ampao) to other people. It could be friends, niece, nephew, or along with your family relatives to bring good luck at the beginning of the New Lunar Calendar Year. Furthermore, Red color is always the primary color of the festival since back then.

5 thoughts on “Chinese New Year 2021: Special Nian Gao Recipe”

  1. As a Chinese who left home since I was 16, there are so many foods that bring back memories, Nian Gao is one of them. This is different from what I remembered but looks interesting and yummy, will definitely give it a try! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Cooking savory recipes for tastes from around the world is something we all can still enjoy. This one sounds interesting. Is Tikoy something that can be made rather than bought?

      1. Tikoy can usually both here in the Philippines. However, you can also make one by steaming in Chinese Cuisine recipes.

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