Kwek-Kwek A popular street food, the Philippines

Kwek-Kwek A popular street food, the Philippines

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The name sounds so funny and rhymes as quack-quack for a duck, queck-queck for a deck. But no, Kwek-Kwek is not an animal sound, it is a favorite food among the children and teenagers here in the Philippines. It is actually one of the popular street foods along with the level of fishball, kikiam and barbecue.

If Japan has the Tempura, the Philippines has this “Kwek-Kwek”. It is a boiled quail egg, with shell removed, dipped in an orange batter ( batter is a mixture of cornstarch, baking powder, water, annatto powder (which makes it orange in color), salt and ground pepper), when the eggs are already coated, the final step is to deep fry it . It is best served with vinegar as the dipping sauce.

Kwek-Kwek actually has a bigger counterpart. It is called “Tokneneng”, another funny name isn’t it? Tokneneng is bigger because it uses chicken or duck eggs instead of the small quail eggs but the rest of the ingredients and procedure are the same. Having these funny names of Filipino foods reflects how happy and cheerful the Filipinos are despite experiencing hardships and poverty. One more interesting thing I’ve heard about, is how these foods were conceived. It came and was born because of the natural resourcefulness of the Filipino people. They are thrifty and do not want any food on the table even the left over ones to be thrown away into waste. If they will not eat it all, then it has to be recycled, preserved or reheated the next day. The story of kwek-kwek started when a mother who owns a “carinderia” ( a food stall here in the Philippines that offers different viands with rice ), had many boiled eggs which were left unsold and already near to its expiration. What she did was , she prepared the batter where she dipped the boiled eggs and deep fried it. Voila! A new dish was born. Well, don’t be turn-off, not all kwek-kwek has to be made from an egg nearing its cessation. Anyone can prepare it from clean and fresh eggs.

Through Filipino innovativeness, comes this special treat from an ordinary quail egg called Kwek-Kwek.

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/// Written by Rosemarie Ramos, The Philippines