Thursday, February 7, 2013

Trying Out Eng Bee Tin's Special Niángāo (Tikoy) To Perk Up The Lunar New Year

I've always believed that there is indeed a strong correlation between food and rituals; holidays; good behavior; love romance; pleasure or comfort. And according to the psychologist I've interviewed for my article entitled Working with Your Cravings published on Health Today Magazine years ago, that belief has actually been proven correct in certain studies. 

Maybe that's the reason why I crave for Tikoy otherwise known as Niángāo (in Chinese) every Lunar New Year. Supermarkets overflow with such delicacy at the start of February; that's, why I've started to associate the love month not only with chocolates but also with tikoy. :-) 

In Chinese culture, this delicacy is believed to bring good fortune to anyone who eats it. This belief came about simply because Niángāo is a homonym for higher year! Following this line of thinking, anyone who partakes of such confection will be raised "higher" in the coming new year. 

For someone like me who doesn't believe in luck, I still find tikoy deeply intriguing and of course, fabulously delish. :-) In fact, three Sundays ago, I bought two types of tikoy, white and brown, made by the popular Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli. 

Chinese food experts say that White Niángāo is patterned after the way this particular delicacy is made in Shanghai, the largest city proper in Mainland China. In an interesting twist, Brown Niángāo is however favored by the Chinese living in the Guangdong province. :-) 

Eng BeeTin's Special Nian gao (Tikoy) in Brown & White

With that said, Eng Bee Tin's Special White Tikoy is made of glutinous rice, sugar, water, oil and vanilla extract. As expected, I enjoyed this traditional variant immensely, most especially when dipped into beaten eggs before pan-frying in butter. The resulting delicacy was soft and chewy, was bursting with sweet n' salty flavors made even more refreshing with that slight vanilla-ish scent and taste in the upper register. Worth coming back to, over and over again.

Eng BeeTin's Special White Nian gao (Tikoy)

Eng BeeTin's Special White Nian gao (Tikoy) Dipped in Egg...

Eng BeeTin's Special White Nian gao (Tikoy) Pan-Fried in Butter

Pan-Fried White Tikoy By Eng BeeTin

Eng Bee Tin's Brown Tikoy, on the other hand, is made of glutinous rice, water, oil and of course brown sugar, which explains for its brown hue. With a strong, somewhat charcoal-ish taste perhaps because of the brown sugar, this particular variant elicited deeper flavors than the white tikoy, which can be taken either as a positive or a negative thing by the eater. I, for one, liked the white tikoy better due to its rather uncomplicated taste when compared with the brown tikoy. But of course, that's just my opinion. Opt for the brown tikoy if you're looking for a variant that is not too far-out from the traditional tikoy, but is still unique in a certain way. 

Eng BeeTin's Bestselling Brown Nian gao (Tikoy)

Sliced Tikoy By Eng BeeTin

Eng BeeTin's Bestselling Brown Nian gao (Tikoy) Pan-Fried In Butter

Pan-Fried Brown Nian gao (Tikoy) by Eng Bee Tin

Maybe next time, I'll try out more of their novelty variants such as Corn Tikoy, Pandan Tikoy, Strawberry Tikoy and Ube Tikoy, even after the Lunar New Year Celebration is over.  

Eng Bee Tin's Special White & Brown Tikoy are available at leading supermarkets nationwide for Php 140 each.

Eng Bee Tin

Eng Bee Tin 
Address:    650 Ongpin St. cor. Nueva Street, Binondo, Manila, Philippines
Phone:       +63 (2) 242-9754

Eng Bee Tin
Address:   Masagana Citimall, GL-8, 2410-2432 Taft Avenue Near Corner Libertad Street Pasay City
Phone:      +63 (2) 833-8195

Eng Bee Tin
Address:   Masagana Superstore, TM. Kalaw Street Metro Manila

Eng Bee Tin
Address:   518 Quintin Paredes Street near Binondo Church Metro Manila
Phone:      +63 (2) 242-2289

Eng Bee Tin
Address:   B-1 & B-3 Agora Mall, San Juan Manila
Phone:      +63 (2) 705-1796

Happy Chinese New Year!


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  1. Got a free Tikoy from Puregold for buying Ladys Choice mayonnaise hehe :)

    our family


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