Kikiam (Que – kiam)

Que-kiam is another popular Chinese dish adopted into Filipino cuisine. Locally known as kikiam, it is made with ground pork and vegetables wrapped in bean curd sheets then deep-fried until golden. I’ve wanted to cook this dish for some time now but finding the bean curd wrapper, or tawpe, had been quite a problem. Until last Sunday.

My husband and I were in Quezon City canvassing prices for the hardware of my new computer. I’m bequeathing my two-year-old laptop to my kids so I’m getting a replacement. Since I don’t work in an office anymore, I really don’t need another laptop. I want a fully loaded desktop with a 17″ or 19″ flat screen monitor. There is a three-story building along Gilmore Avenue that houses at least a dozen computer stores. The problem was parking. We had to look for available parking space within the vicinity but not too far from the computer stores. We found ourselves in front of an Oriental store. There was a sign that said “Parking for customers only”. Ok, fine. I suggested we get something to drink so that we would be bona fide customers entitled to the parking slot. We could just then proceed to the computer stores. Drinks were all we intended to buy. But when we entered the store, we stayed a little longer. And bought a lot. The bean curd sheets for the kikiam, Japanese green tea, oriental noodles, soy paste, rice vinegar… Most of the ingredients one reads in cookbooks or hear about in Chinese TV shows were there. Plus, they had all sorts of frozen dumplings and even fresh sea cucumber. The store’s name was… I can’t remember. Sorry.

Anyway, that was how I got my ingredients for the kikiam I cooked tonight.

casaveneracion.com Kikiam (Que-kiam)

Ingredients :

1/2 k. of ground lean pork
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. of finely chopped garlic
1 medium-sized carrot, finely chopped
3 tbsps. of soy paste
1 tbsp. of brown sugar
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
4 pcs. of tawpe (bean curd sheets)
1 tsp. of cornstarch cooked in 1/4 c. of water to form a paste
1-1/2 c. of cooking oil

Cooking procedure :

Soak the tawpe in cold water for five minutes to soften. Drain and carefully dry with paper towels.

Mix together the pork, garlic, onion, carrot, soy paste, salt, pepper, sugar and beaten egg. Divide into four portions.

Lay a piece of tawpe and place 1 portion of the meat mixture at the center. Shape the meat mixture into a log. Brush all the sides of the tawpe with the cornstarch paste. Roll tightly, folding the sides inward as you roll. Repeat for the rest of the meat mixture and tawpe.

Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet or wok until it starts to smoke. Carefully lower the tawpe-covered meat into the hot oil. Allow an interval of 60 seconds before adding the next, and so on. Fry over high heat until golden, about 8-10 minutes, letting the kikiam roll in the hot oil for even cooking and color. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with sweet-and-sour sauce.

For the sweet-sour sauce :

3 tbsp. of vinegar (you may need more if using mild-strength vinegar)
6 tbsp. of sugar
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of chili sauce (Tabasco is ok)
1 tbsp. of tomato paste
1 tbsp. of cornstarch
1 c. of water
sesame seed oil

In a small saucepan, mix together all ingredients for the sweet-sour sauce. Set over medium-high heat until thick and the cloudiness has disappeared. In another saucepan, heat 1 tsp. of oil. Add carrots. Stir for a minute. Add bell pepper, onion, tomato, ginger and garlic. Stir for 15 seconds. Pour in the sweet-sour and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add a few drops of sesame seed oil. Pour over fried fish. Serve at once.

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Comments

  1. says

    hi connie, i’ve been browsing and trying recipes on your site. Everytime, it’s a success. May I ask where can I buy taupe wrapper? I would like to try this recipe.

    thanks!

  2. Alex says

    My mom knows how to cook que-kiam and I remember her asking my aunt to buy some for her in ongpin everytime my aunt goes to manila, since she cant find one here in the province. Your site is very informative and my wife and I learned a lot. Thanks, Connie.

  3. shane says

    Connie,

    Hi!

    I’ve been trying to look for bean curd sheets but none of the oriental stores here in Oxford, UK doesn’t seem to have it. What they always have are the dry bean curd sheets. I asked them if that’s the same sheets used for wrapping, and they said no… what does it look like Connie? Can you help me?

    Thanks.

  4. pep says

    does anyone know where can i get bean curd sheets in california? i’m dying to try the kikiam recipe.. i’ve been buying the prepacked kikiam here and they taste like crap seriously!

  5. JOEY TOSINO says

    bean curd sheets, lagi kong nakikita to sa mga chinese supermarkets.
    katabi ng mga tofu at soy milk products nila.
    akala ko dati mahirap hanapin to, andami pala binebenta.

  6. ogz says

    hi connie, the store where you got those chinese ingredients is called “Little Big Store”. I usually have them deliver for me like jellied pig ears- cold cuts(yum yum),my fave crab rice when I don’t feel like cooking, fresh tofu, gluten bread loaf, black chicken, native chicken, sea cucumber and beef/pork tendon to name a few, when i’m in the mood to cook chinese food.

  7. says

    HI Ms Connie,

    Is soy paste the same as soy sauce paste? I want to make kikiam so i started buying all the ingredients you mentioned and i found soy sauce paste in Robinsons Pioneer supermarket, thinking it might be the same, i bought it na. It looks like oyster sauce nga. The tawpe, my hubby will buy in Ongpin na lang since he frequents that area naman.

  8. says

    yey! buti na lang! I saw the Kimlan Soy paste too but the container of the one I bought (WAn Ja shan) looks “prettier” and its cheaper (i guess because it was smaller ata) so thats what i bought na :)

  9. celeste sy says

    Hi Ms Connie!
    My hubby bought tawpe and I was expecting its shape to be similar to that of a lumpia wrapper. However the tawpe he brought home is rectangular in shape with size around 18inches by 9 inches (like a long pad paper). Is it similar to the one you use in wrapping the kikiam you made? Im not sure how to use it kasi or how to wrap the mixture. If i divide the kikiam mixture into four portions, shall i use the whole sheet in wrapping one portion or do I need to cut the sheet into two?

    • says

      Whether or not to cut the tawpe depends on how large you want your kikiam. Use the tawpe like you would lumpia wrapper. But larger because you’re forming fat logs.

  10. celeste sy says

    HI! I tried this recipe over the weekend. From all your recipes that I’ve tried (im a real fan!), this i can say was the most laborious! Sus, so hard to wrap the mixture in tawpe, kasi very delicate yung tawpe nasisira nga if you dont handle it carefully. For the other half of the mixture, i added spring onions and it came out good as well. I used to buy kikiam before kasi and i know there was something colored green in the mixture so i thought lang baka it spring onions yun. :) I’ll try this recipe again soon because when i made this last weekend, natatanggal yung wrapper while cooking. I guess i didnt seal it properly. Thanks for all the great recipes ;)

  11. Leen says

    Hi connie, i cannot find soypaste here in Denmark..ano ba pwede ko ma subsitute..I am so eager to make quekiam..isa kasi to sa paborito ko..pls tnx advance meery x´mas

  12. ming chai says

    With reference to the store were the taupe was brought, it was at Little Store, Gilmore Ave., cor First Street, it is besides Shakeys., It is an Oriental store catering to various Chinese delicacies.

    Also, you can have taupe wrapper brought in Binondo at Bee Tin’s Grocery located in Ongpin Street.

  13. Paula says

    There are actually other forms of kikiam that are made with shrimp, fish, or a mixture of seafood and pork (or pork fat) as well.

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