Filipino kikiam street food recipe: A great snack to make!

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 23, 2022

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Growing up in the Philippines, you’d never forget about street foods. There are many kinds of street foods in the country, like banana cue, turon, different kinds of barbecue, fried siomai, fried chicken skin, and of course, the trio that’s kikiam, fish balls, and squid balls!

Most street food vendors who sell fish balls and squid balls also sell kikiam This is the common and more available version.

But there’s also another type of kikiam. This one is the homemade version and a more elaborate kind of dish.

Favorite Asian Recipes
Favorite Asian Recipes

If you’re not too keen on buying street food kikiam, then why not try this homemade kikiam recipe? By doing so, you can be sure it’s the clean version of this Filipino food!

Kikiam Recipe (Homemade)

Origin

Kikiam comes from the word “que-kiam”, which is a Chinese word for minced meat and vegetables. Another name for kikiam is “ngohiong”.

Some kikiam versions even use meat or fish meat, such as the homemade one. One version of kikiam found in Dumaguete is called “tempura” because it’s flattened and they say it resembles the Japanese dish of the same name.

Since the Philippines is home to many dishes that were influenced by the Chinese people, this dish became one of them. This dish is also loved by many, though it isn’t as popular as other dishes inspired by the Chinese.

History has it that Hokkien migrants were the ones who introduced the dish to the Philippine ancestors.

To add, the usual beancurd skin that’s used to wrap it in the original dish has now become lumpia wrappers. Lumpia wrappers are in abundance in the country, so making kikiam is easy.

The dish is also accompanied by a sweet chili sauce.

Chinese Kikiam

Homemade kikiam recipe preparation and cooking

You’ll discover that this dish is as tasty as other Chinese-influenced dishes. It’s not hard to prepare it!

You just need ground pork to start with, as well as some other ingredients like red onions, minced garlic and carrots, cornstarch, sugar, five-spice powder, and lumpia wrappers. But if you can find bean curd sheets, use those instead of lumpia wrappers.

The cooking procedure is much like cooking lumpiang since you have to wrap it. But while lumpia needs to be fried, kikiam needs to be steamed first, then after that, you can fry it.

Even with the similarities, the 2 taste different, especially since lumpia also has a different version.

Kikiam Recipe (Homemade)

Filipino kikiam sreet food recipe

Joost Nusselder
The homemade kikiam recipe is the one where meat and vegetable are used. One version of kikiam found in Dumaguete is called “tempura“ because it's flattened and they say it resembles the Japanese dish of the same name.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 8 pcs
Calories 409 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 1 lb shrimp peeled and chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot grated
  • 1 tbsp five spice powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar or more
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • Bean curd sheets for wrapping
  • Cooking oil for frying

Instructions
 

  • Mix together ground pork, shrimp, garlic, onion, carrots, five spice, sugar, salt, and ground pepper.
  • Lay down a piece of bean curd sheet and add 3 tbsp of the meat mixture. Wrap it like you're wrapping a lumpia. Set aside and repeat with the remaining mixture.
  • Arrange wrapped meat (kikiam) in a steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes. Once done, remove kikiam from the steamer. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Place enough cooking oil in a pot for deep frying. Heat oil, then fry kikiam on medium heat until skin is crispy.
  • Remove from heat and slice before serving with a sweet and sour creamy sauce for dipping. See sauce recipe below.

Notes

You can store your homemade version of kikiam into the freezer for future frying.

Nutrition

Calories: 409kcal
Keyword Pork, Street Food
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Kikiam sauce recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

Instructions:

  1. Dilute cornstarch in water.
  2. Saute garlic and onion in cooking oil until caramelized.
  3. Pour in diluted cornstarch, soy sauce, and vinegar. Stir well and simmer on low heat for a few minutes.
  4. Remove sauce from heat and set aside until ready for use.
Filipino Kikiam Street Food recipe

Check out this video by YouTuber Simpol to see how to make kikiam:

How to serve and eat

This is a great snack that you can try, but it can also be eaten as a viand.

And like other Filipino lunch or dinner settings, you can prepare something else to accompany it, like pancit, which is also influenced by the Chinese people.

Filipino Kikiam Street Food recipe in the pan

How to store

You can freeze kikiam after you steam it if you wish to eat it later. It can last for days in the freezer.

Also read: this is how you make delicious Takoyaki balls, Pinoy style!

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.