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, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup fresh minced garlic, 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, one tablespoon chopped chili pepper, one tablespoon flour, one tablespoon cornstarch, one teaspoon salt, and 1/2 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.
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and minced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 bean curd sheets, hard edges trimmed and cut into a 10-inch square
- canola oil
- In a large bowl, combine ground pork, minced shrimp, water chestnuts, carrots, green onions, five-spice powder, salt, and pepper.
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Stir until smooth and blended.
- Add cornstarch slurry to pork mixture and stir to fully combine.
- Under warm running water, moisten bean curd sheets and squeeze to rid of excess liquid.
- On a flat working surface, place a bean curd sheet. Spoon 1/3 of the pork mixture and spread across the bottom length of the sheet. leaving about 1-inch space on the sides.
- Roll the sheet tightly around the filling to form a tight log about 2-inch thick. Moisten the end to seal and twist the edges to lock the pork. Repeat with remaining pork mixture.
- Arrange pork rolls on a steamer in a single layer and steam for about 15 to 20 minutes or until set and temperature in the center reads 145 F.
- Gently remove kikiam from the steamer and place on a platter to slightly cool. Refrigerate to cool completely.
- In a wide pan over medium heat, heat about 2-inch deep of oil to 350 F. Carefully place steamed rolls in a single layer and fry, turning on sides as needed, until heated through and golden and crispy on the outside.
- Remove from the pan and let stand for about 5 minutes before slicing into serving portions.