Kwek Kwek Quail Egg Recipe
Kwek kwek is a popular street food enjoyed in the Philippines, but you can make your own version at home with the right ingredients and supplies. Hard boiled quail eggs are coated in an orange batter and fried until crispy, then served with a sweet-and-sour style dipping sauce.
First start by cooking the quail eggs as per soft boiled egg recipe, which can be found by CLICKING HERE
To Make the Batter
Dredge the eggs in flour.
Sprinkle 1 cup (250 ml) flour into a small dish with shallow sides. Roll the freshly peeled quail eggs in the flour until each one is well-coated all the way around.
Note that you could also use corn flour when dredging the eggs instead of wheat flour. Corn flour has a lower gluten content, but otherwise, it will act the same way as the wheat flour acts and will adhere just as effectively.
Mix the annatto powder and warm water.
Dilute the annatto powder by mixing it into 3/4 cup (185 ml) warm water. Stir with a whisk until dissolved.
Annatto powder is mostly used as a coloring agent, and when combined correctly, it should produce a deep orange color. It does give the batter a hint of flavor, though.
If you do not have annatto powder, you can use orange food color instead. Place a few drops of orange food coloring, or a few drops of red and yellow food colorings, into the warm water and mix until you get a deep orange color. The food coloring will not give the batter the same exact taste as the annatto powder gives it, but the color should be about the same.
Combine the batter ingredients.
Mix another 1 cup (250 ml) flour, baking powder, and diluted annatto together in a large bowl, using a whisk. Combine thoroughly until there are no lumps.
To improve the quality of the batter, set it off to the side for about 30 minutes before coating the eggs. Letting the batter sit allows the flour to become more thoroughly hydrated, creating a thicker, richer batter as a result. The resting time also gives the baking powder more time to activate. Be careful, though, since allowing the batter to rest for more than 30 minutes can cause some of the bubbles produced by the baking powder to escape, creating a denser, less airy batter as a result.
Also note that the baking soda is not an absolutely essential ingredient. Some recipes leave it out completely. You could leave it out, as well, and the result will simply be a slightly denser batter.
Coat the eggs with batter.
Toss the eggs into the batter mixture. Roll them around gently until all sides are covered in batter.
If you do not want to get your fingers sticky, use a metal skewer or a fork to move the eggs around as you coat them. It is crucial that all sides of each egg get coated.
Heat oil in a deep pan.
Pour 1 inch (2.5 cm) of vegetable oil into a wide pan with tall sides and a heavy bottom. Heat the oil on high over the stove until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
Check the temperature of the oil using an oil or candy thermometer.
If you do not have a thermometer, check the temperature of the oil by dropping a small dollop of batter into it. The batter should immediately begin to sizzle and fry when the oil is ready.
Fry the eggs.
Transfer the coated eggs into the oil, four to six at a time. Cook, stirring gently with a slotted spoon, until the batter turns golden-brown and crisp. This should only take a few minutes.
To avoid getting batter on your fingers, you might want to use a skewer to pierce the coated eggs when transferring them to the hot oil. Use a second skewer or fork to scrape the egg off the skewer and into the hot oil.
Work carefully to avoid splashing hot oil when you drop the eggs in.
Understand that the temperature of the oil will fluctuate once you drop the eggs in and once you remove them. Continue watching your oil thermometer as you fry the eggs. Readjust the heat controls on your stove as necessary to maintain a temperature of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
Drain and cool slightly.
Line a plate with several layers of clean paper towel. Remove the kwek kwek from the hot oil and place the eggs on the paper towels. Let the excess oil soak into the paper towels.
A plate lined with clean paper bags will work instead of the paper towels, if desired.
Alternatively, you could place the fried eggs in a metal strainer and drain the excess oil that way instead of using paper towels.
It is best to enjoy the kwek kwek while it is still somewhat hot. The batter will be crispier when eaten fresh, but it can start to become soggy once it cools.
Kwek kwek does not reheat well since the batter tends to get soggy during the refrigeration and reheating process.
To Make the Sauce
Combine the ingredients in a saucepan.
In a small saucepan, mix together the rice vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, and black pepper. Stir until evenly combined.
If you want a spicier sauce, chop up one hot chili and mix it into the other ingredients. If you still prefer a smoother sauce, though, you could accomplish the same level of heat by adding 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp (5 to 15 ml) chili sauce.
Make this sauce as the eggs drain and cool. By the time the sauce is done, enough of the oil should have been drained and the eggs should be cool enough to bite into. You do not want to let the eggs cool down completely, though, since the batter will get soggy once that happens.
Note that you could even make the sauce in advance. Store it in an airtight container and refrigerated it until ready to use. Microwave it for 30 to 60 seconds or heat it gently on the stove to warm it up slightly.
Simmer the mixture at medium heat on the stove until the sugar completely dissolves. Stir frequently as the sauce cooks.
When done, immediately remove the dipping sauce from the heat source. Allow it to cool down until it is cool enough to touch without getting burned.
Serve with the eggs.
Transfer the dipping sauce into a small bowl. Serve it alongside the freshly fried quail eggs, or kwek kwek.
Makes 4 servings
- 1 dozen quail eggs
- 1 cup (250 ml) flour
- Water, for boiling
- Cooking oil, for frying
- 1 cup (250 ml) flour
- 3/4 cup (185 ml) water
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) annatto powder
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
The Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) ketchup
- 2 tsp (10 ml) soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) black pepper
- If you do not want to get your fingers sticky, use a metal skewer or a fork to move the eggs around as you coat them. It is crucial that all sides of each egg get coated.