Homemade Kikiam

Homemade Kikiam are steamed and fried to crispy perfection for the ultimate street-food! These delicious bean curd pork rolls are delicious on their own or added to other dishes such as noodle stir-fries and soups.

Since we are in the subject of street food, I thought I’ll follow up our recently updated kwek-kwek recipe with this delicious homemade kikiam. Guys, if you’re looking for a great make-ahead meal, you need to stock up on que-kiam!

Every weekend or so, I like to roll up a few pieces to store in the freezer for future use. Not only do these Chinese five-spice pork rolls keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months, but they’re also very versatile. They ‘re delicious on their own as an appetizer with choice of dipping sauce or served as a meal with steamed rice as well as a great addition to soups or pancit stir-fries.

With a couple of these meat rolls neatly stored in resealable bags in the freezer, a tasty and satisfying dinner is just a matter of minutes. Truly heaven-sent, especially when you’re too tired to cook or have unexpected guests.

What is Kikiam

Kikiam or Que-kiam are a popular street food in the Philippines, commonly peddled in make-shift wooden carts along with fish or seafood balls and a variety of dipping sauces.

A local adaptation of the Chinese Ngo hiang, these meat rolls are made of five spice-seasoned ground pork and minced shrimp. The meat mixture is wrapped in bean curd sheets (tawpe), steamed until cooked, and then deep-fried until golden and crispy.

Tips on How to Make Kikiam

  • Trim any hard edges of the bean curd sheets to make rolling easier and cut at the same length as the steamer so the pork rolls will fit nicely.
  • Moisten the sheets under running warm water and then squeeze the excess liquid to make them more pliable. They’ll cling to filling better and seal at the edges easier when slightly wet. You can also secure the assembled pork rolls with toothpicks if you like.
  • I use a mixture of ground pork, minced shrimp, chopped water chestnuts, carrots, and green onions, but feel free to add shitake mushrooms, onions, garlic or Chinese celery (kinchay). In place of pork, you can also use groudn chicken, beef or minced raw fish flesh.
  • To ensure the que-kiam are adequately seasoned according to personal preference, do a taste test! Fry a small amount of the mixture and adjust seasonings as needed before wrapping.
  • For best texture, thoroughly cool the steamed rolls before frying. To store for future use, individually wrap in plastic film and place in a resealable bag.

How to Make Kikiam Sauce

When I am in a pinch, I serve the fried kikiam with banana catsup or sweet chili sauce, but when I am feeling extra industrious, I like to go all out with my special dipping sauce which is also my go-to for other street food favorites such as fish balls and kwek-kwek. Perfectly sweet and spicy and oh so tasty, you’d want to spoon it on everything!

  • In a saucepan, combine 2 cups water, ½ cup soy sauce, 1 cup brown sugar, ¼ cup fresh minced garlic, ¼ cup finely chopped shallots, one tablespoon chopped chili pepper, one tablespoon flour, one tablespoon cornstarch, one teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir well until well blended and free of lumps.
  • Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring regularly, for about 3 to 5 minute or until thickened.
  • Allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container until ready to use. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools and will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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