Cook This: For the Love of Crunchy Tikoy, Try Tikoy Tots

February 2, 2017

Chinese New Year has ended, but the supply of tikoy endures despite our best efforts to bring its numbers down. We feel your problem. That’s why we’ve come up with a series of recipes that take your simple, ol’ tikoy and transform them into an entirely new treat—with that sweet, chewy goodness that we adore about the dessert.

Some like their tikoy fat and chewy, while others like it thin and crisp. If you enjoy both and want to try something in between, this recipe is for you. Deep frying the tikoy will ensure a crisp outer crust, which contrasts the soft, gooey tikoy beneath it.

Our tikoy tots are inspired by kuchay dumplings—sweet with a meaty filling served with a soy sauce dip and chili to offset the sweetness. While it takes patience to produce, as you have to cook it over medium heat since high heat will not allow the filling to cook through while low heat will cause the tots to get soggy. Other than taking a little more time and effort than our usual dishes, the tikoy tot process is a lot of fun and easy to understand even for those who claim that they can’t cook. Just a pro tip: rolling your tikoy tots thicker helps keep the filling inside, but also makes the tot sweeter. The challenge is in finding that balance. But once you do, you realize that tikoy can do a whole lot more than you ever though it could.

Tikoy Tots (Tikoy Kuchay Fries)

Yield: 22 pieces
Time: 1 hour


  • 500g tikoy
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 liter canola oil, for frying


  • 300g pork, ground
  • 3 pcs garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, finely minced
  • 3 tbsp garlic chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp vinegar, white
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • ½ tsp salt


  • 1 cup chicharron, powdered in a food processor
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs


  • 2 tbsp chiu chow chili oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil


  1. Cut 22 tikoy slices around 1 cm thick by 4 inches wide.
  2. Flour a work bench and knead tikoy slices individually until they form a smooth ball.
  3. Roll out each tikoy ball until thin, resembling a gyoza wrapper.


  1. Mix all filling ingredients together and knead till well combined.
  2. Make a small patty the size of a 10-peso coin. Fry and taste. Adjust seasoning accordingly.
  3. To assemble, take flattened piece of tikoy and place on a clean and dry chopping board.
  4. Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of the wrapper, fold in the sides and roll lengthwise like you would do to a lumpia.
  5. Repeat until all the filling and wrappers are used up.


  1. Mix processed chicharon and panko together in a bowl.
  2. In 2 separate bowls, place the flour and eggs.
  3. Beat the eggs until smooth.
  4. To crumb, dredge each little tikoy parcel in flour, dip in egg (make sure it is well coated with egg) then roll in breadcrumb chicharron mixture.
  5. Once the “tot” is coated, re-dip in egg and re-roll in the breadcrumb mixture.
  6. Set aside in the fridge.


  1. Heat up oil in a deep pot, making sure the oil doesn’t go over half the pot. You can test oil by sprinkling some loose breadcrumbs in oil. Once they bubble, oil is ready.
  2. Turn down heat and place a few tikoy tots in oil, making sure not to overload pot.
  3. When golden brown, remove from the fryer and test with a probe thermometer till middle is at least 60˚C. If you don’t have a probe, slice it open to check if middle is cooked.
  4. If it is still raw in the middle, you can finish in the oven at 200˚C.
  5. Sprinkle with salt while hot. Serve with dip.
Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

2 comments in this post SHOW

2 responses to “Cook This: For the Love of Crunchy Tikoy, Try Tikoy Tots”

    • Bea Osmeña says:

      So glad to hear you love it! We’d love to see a pic of your version if you try making it at home. You can use the hashtag #pepperph on Instagram so we’ll be sure to see it. 🙂

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