Kwek-Kwek: Find Out the Nutritional Benefits of This Filipino Snack

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Kwek kwek is a popular Filipino street food made of deep-fried quail eggs. They’re also called “orange” eggs as a result of the food coloring in the batter.

Basically, the eggs are covered in a batter colored with orange food coloring. The batter is made from annatto powder, flour, orange food coloring, and water. Each boiled egg is deep-fried until the batter becomes crispy and crunchy.

Kwek-kwek is a similar Pinoy street food to its sister dish called tokneneng, which is the same dish but made with chicken eggs or duck eggs.

What is kwek kwek

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There’s no real evidence of who was the first to invent this local delicacy. But there’s a local legend about the origins of this egg dish.

Apparently, kwek-kwek (full recipe here) was invented by accident. A balut vendor in Quezon City (Cubao), Philippines dropped her food products.

Balut (fertilized duck egg) was quite expensive and she didn’t want to waste the eggs. So the vendor peeled the shells off, put them through the flour, and then dried them.

I’m not sure when frying was added to the recipe, but I can’t imagine not having that crispy crust!

It’s supposedly the precursor dish to what we now know as kwek-kwek. But it soon became a favorite food in many households, especially during street festivals and celebrations.

Mastering the Art of Making Perfectly Crispy Kwek Kwek: A Quick Tip

The batter is the soul of kwek kwek, and it is what makes it crispy and delicious. Here’s a quick tip to make the perfect batter:

  • Use cold water when making the batter. This will help the batter stick to the eggs better.
  • Whisk the eggs well before adding the dry ingredients. This will ensure that the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
  • Add a pinch of salt and a dash of orange food coloring to the batter. The orange color is what gives kwek kwek its distinct look.
  • Use rice flour instead of all-purpose flour. Rice flour is lighter and crispier, which is perfect for deep-frying.

The Art of Deep Frying Kwek Kwek

Deep-frying is the key to making kwek kwek crispy and delicious. Here’s how to do it:

  • Heat the oil in a deep pan or wok over medium heat. The oil should be hot but not smoking.
  • Use a slotted spoon to dip the eggs in the batter and coat them evenly.
  • Carefully drop the eggs into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the kwek kwek from the oil and drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

Vendor-Tested Nutritional Ingredient

Kwek kwek is a popular street food in the Philippines, and it’s no wonder why. It’s delicious, easy to make, and affordable. Plus, it’s made with simple ingredients that are readily available in most kitchens. Here are some nutritional facts about kwek kwek:

  • One kwek kwek egg has about 70-80 calories, depending on the size.
  • Kwek kwek is high in protein, thanks to the eggs.
  • It’s also high in carbohydrates due to the rice flour batter.
  • While kwek kwek is not the healthiest food out there, it’s okay to indulge in it once in a while as part of a balanced diet.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to making kwek kwek. With these quick tips, you’ll be able to make perfectly crispy kwek kwek that will impress your family and friends.

Keeping Your Kwek Kwek Fresh: Storage Instructions

Once you’ve cooked your kwek kwek to perfection, you’ll want to make sure it stays fresh for as long as possible. Here’s how to store it:

  • Allow the kwek kwek to cool fully before storing it.
  • Place the kwek kwek in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap.
  • Store the kwek kwek in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheating Kwek Kwek

If you want to serve your kwek kwek warm, you can easily reheat it in the oven or microwave. Here’s how:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Place the kwek kwek on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Alternatively, place the kwek kwek on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until heated through.

Adding Spice to Your Kwek Kwek

If you like your kwek kwek spicy, you can add some additional flavor to the batter. Here’s how:

  • Combine 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 1-2 tbsp of red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
  • Dip each kwek kwek in the soy sauce mixture before coating it in the batter.
  • Cook the kwek kwek as you normally would.

Choosing the Right Storage Method

The specific storage method you choose will depend on the type of kwek kwek you’re working with. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Quail egg kwek kwek is a single-serving size and is commonly sold by street vendors in the Philippines. This version is best eaten fresh and should not be stored for more than a day.
  • Chicken egg kwek kwek can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Deep-fried kwek kwek should be stored in an airtight container to prevent excess oil absorption.
  • If you’re making a large batch of kwek kwek, it’s best to store the batter and cook it as needed to ensure maximum freshness.

Is Kwek Kwek a Healthy Food Choice?

Kwek kwek is a popular Filipino street food sold by vendors all over the country. It is typically composed of quail eggs dipped in bright orange batter and deep-fried until crispy. Kwek kwek is usually served with a sweet and sour vinegar dip, completing the treat. This food is often confused with toknenengs, which are made using chicken eggs instead of quail eggs.

Important Nutrients and Calories Found in Kwek Kwek

Kwek kwek contains essential nutrients like protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues in the body. However, it is also high in calories and cholesterol, which can be harmful to one’s health if consumed in excess. According to studies, the daily dietary cholesterol intake should not exceed 300 milligrams, and kwek kwek contains around 70 milligrams per egg. This means that consuming too many kwek kweks in a day can lead to an unhealthy total cholesterol intake.

Beliefs and Views on the Healthiness of Kwek Kwek

Filipinos have been eating kwek kwek for years, and there is a belief that it should be avoided by those with cardiovascular problems due to its high cholesterol content. However, some studies have shown that the net effect of dietary cholesterol on cardiovascular disease risk is relatively small, and it is more important to focus on overall dietary patterns and lifestyle factors. In August 2021, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement saying that kwek kwek and other street foods are generally safe for consumption as long as proper food handling and preparation are observed.

Kwek Kwek vs Tokneneng: What’s the Difference?

Kwek kwek and tokneneng are popular Filipino street food made from boiled eggs that are covered in a batter and then deep-fried. The main difference between the two lies in the type of egg used. Kwek kwek is traditionally made using quail eggs, while tokneneng is made using chicken or duck eggs.

Ingredients and Preparation

The ingredients for both kwek kwek and tokneneng are similar, with the main difference being the size of the eggs used. Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients and preparation for each:
Kwek Kwek:

  • 12-15 pcs quail eggs, boiled and shells removed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp annatto powder (for color)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Oil for frying


  • 6-8 pcs chicken or duck eggs, boiled and shells removed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp annatto powder (for color)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Oil for frying

To prepare both kwek kwek and tokneneng, follow these steps:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, annatto powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
  2. Add water gradually and mix until the batter is smooth and has a thin consistency.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  4. Dip the boiled eggs in the batter, making sure they are fully covered.
  5. Carefully drop the eggs into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.
  6. Remove the excess oil by placing the cooked eggs on a paper towel-covered plate.
  7. Serve with a sauce of your choice or plain.

Which is Better?

There is no clear winner when it comes to kwek kwek vs tokneneng. Both are great and enjoyable street food that can satisfy your cravings. However, some people prefer kwek kwek because the smaller quail eggs are easier to eat and the batter to egg ratio is better. On the other hand, tokneneng is a favorite of Forbes because the larger eggs provide more protein and are more filling.


So there you have it- everything you need to know about Filipino kwek kwek. Kwek kwek is a delicious street food made with eggs, rice flour, and salt, and it’s perfect for a snack or a meal. You can’t go wrong with kwek kwek, so give it a try soon.

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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.