What is Kwek-Kwek?
Kwek-kwek are fried battered quail eggs. The quail eggs are cooked twice, by boiling and then by frying.
The quail eggs are cooked first by boiling them. After boiling the eggs, the eggshells are peeled off, then the eggs are covered with an orange-colored batter.
The battered quail eggs are then fried until crispy. It tastes better when dipped in a soy-vinegar dip, vinegar dip, or fishball sauce.
Another variation is the Tokneneng or Tukneneng which is made of duck eggs that are cooked in the same process.
Kwek-kwek was my favourite snack when I was still studying in the Philippines. There was a kwek-kwek vendor right across the street so I ate it almost everyday!
I miss eating kwek-kwek so I made some at home. Here’s how I made Kwek-Kwek:
Prepare the Quail Eggs
Place the quail eggs out of the fridge and leave them at room temperature for about half an hour.
To bring the quail eggs to room temperature quickly, place them in a bowl or pot of warm water.
The quail eggs should be at room temperature to avoid cracking them when placed in the boiling water.
Boil the Quail eggs – Get a pot and fill it with water just enough to cover the eggs (about an inch in depth).
Do not put the eggs on the pot yet. We will put the eggs once the water is on a gentle rolling boil which is just before it hits its boiling point.
Once the water is on a simmering boil, place the quail eggs in the pot using a big ladle. Cover the pot and cook the eggs for 2-3 minutes.
After2-3 minutes, remove the eggs from the pot and transfer them into a bowl or container with ice-cold water to stop the cooking process.
Peel off the eggshells
After about 10-15 minutes, we can start to crack, roll and peel the quail eggs. Prepare a bowl of water to wash off the tiny cracked eggshells from the quail eggs.
Put the peeled eggs in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of flour. Coat the eggs with flour. Set aside.
Prepare the Batter
In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, ground black pepper, annatto powder (for orange color), water, and cornstarch until well blended. You may add Magic Sarap to add more flavour to the batter.
Fully coat the quail eggs with the batter. Set aside.
Prepare the Soy-Vinegar Dip
Prepare the dipping sauce before frying the battered quail eggs. Mix the Soysauce, vinegar, ground black pepper, sugar, and onions in a bowl. You may add red chili peppers or chili flakes if you want the dipping sauce to be spicy.
Fry the Battered Quail Eggs
Heat the cooking oil on the pan. Once the oil is hot, put the battered quail eggs and deep fry for 1-2 minutes. If using less oil, you will need to fry each side for 1-2 minutes.
Serve and enjoy the kwek-kwek while it’s hot. Dip in the soy-vinegar sauce, or plain vinegar or fishball sauce.
Kwek-Kwek with Soy-Vinegar Dip
- 24 pcs Quail eggs
- Water for boiling, about 1 inch in depth, just enough to fully cover the quail eggs
- Ice-cold water after boiling the eggs, transfer to a bowl with ice cold water
- 3 tablespoons All purpose flour To coat the peeled off quail eggs before putting on the batter
- 3/4 cup All purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Annato powder for the orange color to make the kwek-kwek looks more appetizing
- 2 tablespoons Corn starch to make the kwek-kwek crispy
- 1 cup Water
Soy Vinegar Dip
- 1/8 Cup Soysauce I used Marca Piña Soysauce ( not an ad)
- 3/4 cup Vinegar
- A pinch Ground black pepper or to taste
- 2 tablespoons White Sugar or to taste
- 1 tablespoon Onions chopped, you may use red, white or yellow onions, whichever you prefer
- 3 cups Cooking oil for frying
- Red Chili Peppers or chili flakes Can be added on the Soy-Vinegar dip according to taste
- Magic Sarap or Chicken Broth cube Can be added on the batter to add more flavor, add according to taste
Boil the Quail Eggs
- Fill the pot with water just enough to cover the quail eggs ( about 1 inch in depth). DO NOT put the eggs yet.
- Place the pot on the stove top over medium heat.
- Wait for the water to reach gentle rolling boil ( Simmering boil)
- Place the eggs on the pot
- Boil the eggs for 2-3 minutes
- Transfer the eggs on a bowl with ice cold water. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Crack, roll and peel the eggs. Wash off the cracked eggshells in a bowl of water
- Put the eggs in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
Prepare the Batter
- In a bowl, mix the all purpose flour, salt, ground black pepper, water annd cornstarch. Mix until well blended
- Place the flour-coated quail eggs on the batter
- Fully cover the eggs with batter. Set aside.
Prepare the Soy-Vinegar Dipping Sauce
- In a bowl, mix the Soysauce, Vinegar, ground black pepper, sugar and onions. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Fry the Battered Quail Eggs
- Heat the 3 cups of cooking oil on a pan. Add more cooking oil to deep fry.
- Deep-fry the eggs for 1-2 minutes. If not deep- fried, fry each side for 1-2 minutes
Serve and enjoy!
- Serve the kwek-kwek in bamboo sticks for the street food vibe
- Serve with the soy-vinegar dip, vinegdip or fishball sauce