Kwek-kwek made of quail eggs covered with a dough of orange and fried to golden perfection. This popular Filipino street food is fun and delicious, served with spicy vinegar or special sauce.
Hi everyone! I apologize for being MIA in recent weeks. I am in the Philippines right now, and among the people to see and the places to go, I have not been able to do a blog job.
Also, the Internet connection here in my mother’s house has been a total headache. I would be about to publish a recipe, and I was going to die, so to save me from more frustration, I thought I would enjoy my vacation and manage when I returned to the United States.
Today, however, I am breaking my R&R to bring you this updated kwek-kwek recipe. I published my version of these battered quail eggs in 2013, but I learned a new (and better) way to make them during this trip.
A few days ago, I went out on a street party with a couple of friends and we filled up with fish balls, Inihaw pig ears, adidas and, of course, Tokneneng and Kwek-Kwek. I’m not sure if it was because of the excitement of eating food on the street, but everything we ate was excellent!
Fortunately, the seller was easy to bribe with kind words. I said that the kwek-kwek was the best I’ve ever had in my life, and she enthusiastically separated herself from her trade secrets, of which, of course, I happily took notes. 🙂
Since quail eggs are the star of the show here, check out the tips below on how to cook hard boiled eggs and how to peel them easily. If you want to save a few minutes of preparation time, do not hesitate to use the canned quail eggs available in most Asian supermarkets.
How to cook hard quail eggs
- In a pot, place the eggs and enough water to cover. Cook over high heat until the water starts to boil.
- Once the water starts to simmer, gently roll the eggs with a fork or chopsticks. Rolling the eggs will help the yolks move towards the center.
- Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pot for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the pot and rinse with cold water to cool completely.
- When it is cold, place the eggs in a bowl of soup and place another bowl of soup on top. Gently shake the eggs in the bowls a few times to break the shells.
- Once cracks have formed, place the eggs in a bowl of water. Water will seep between the egg and thin skins, which will facilitate peeling.
- Peel the shells and any thin film will stick to the eggs. Use in the recipe.
Tips on how to do Kwek-Kwek
- My previous recipe was a little more elaborated with baking powder and beaten eggs added to the dough along with color-based attire powder and chicken base, salt and pepper for flavor. This version below that I learned from the seller only has flour, water, salt, pepper, orange food coloring and a key ingredient: MAGAP SARAP!
Orange food coloring is traditionally used to give the kwek-kwek its characteristic tone. Feel free to replace powder powder if you prefer a natural color enhancer.
The wet mixture should thicken but flow like a pancake dough. I think 1 cup of water for 1 cup of flour is the perfect ratio. Add the water to the flour mixture slowly, beating vigorously while pouring.
One of the tips the seller told me is to let the dough rest for approximately 4 to 5 hours before using it. I tried this step using half of the dough immediately and letting the remaining half rest for 5 hours.
- Although the 5 hours had a better texture when they were fried, the difference is not so noticeable as to justify a long wait.
Breaded eggs are better when fried; make sure that the amount of oil is deep enough to cover the eggs completely during the frying.
- Check the temperature of your oil and keep it in the optimum range of 350 to 375 F. Too hot and the dough will burn before cooking sufficiently; too low and the eggs will absorb much more fat.
- Do not overload the pan to prevent the temperature from plummeting. Fry in batches as necessary and make sure the temperature returns to 350 F before adding the next round.
- Do not drain fried eggs on paper towels, as the steam that escapes will cause the empanada to soak. To get the best texture, drain on a wire rack on a baking sheet to catch the oil drops.
The kwek-kwek are very fun to eat and have an extra delicious flavor dipped in a spicy vinegar or a sweet and spicy fish ball sauce. Choose your favorite below!
How to make spicy vinegar sauce
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of chopped chili peppers.
- Over medium heat, simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
How to make sweet and spicy kwek-kwek sauce
- In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of fresh minced garlic, 1/4 cup of finely chopped shallots, 1 tablespoon of chopped chili, 1 tablespoon of flour, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Stir well until well mixed and lump free.
- On medium heat, boil, stirring regularly, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until it thickens. The sauce will thicken more as it cools.
- Transfer to an airtight container and use it as a dipping sauce.