Hotel gives 'healthy' twist to tikoy

Posted at 01/31/11 12:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A hotel here is offering the well-known Chinese New Year's cake with ingredients said to be good for the health.

Manila Hotel, the oldest luxury hotel in the country, is currently selling tikoy (glutinous rice cake) with almonds, Hawthorn berries and osmanthus flowers.

Almonds are said to contain 90% unsaturated fats and are high in protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin E. Osmanthus flowers contain antioxidants while hawthorn berries are said to help strengthen the heart.

The 3 tikoy variants, prepared by Chinese executive chef Sun Bing, are presented in different shapes to bring more luck to those welcoming the Year of the Rabbit this week.

The cakes are sold at the Manila Hotel lobby until February 5, with prices starting at P480.

"For the Chinese New Year, we have re-created the tikoy using natural ingredients such as almonds, hawthorn berries and osmanthus flowers that have health benefits and perfectly blend with the sweet and delicate taste of the tikoy," said Nian Liwanag-Rigor, assistant vice president for corporate communications of Manila Hotel.

While it is eaten all year round, the tikoy is most popular during Chinese New Year festivities. It is considered good luck to eat the sticky rice cake, known in China as nian gao,at this time of year.

Tikoy may be eaten as is, but some prefer to have it pan-fried, steamed or as a savory dish with meat and vegetables.