The Perfect Blend: Crafting Your Own Chinese Kikiam Sauce Recipe – Seaco Online
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The Perfect Blend: Crafting Your Own Chinese Kikiam Sauce Recipe

Kikiam is made by wrapping a mixture of minced pork and vegetables in bean curd skin, and then frying it until golden brown. While kikiam is delicious on its own, it's even better when paired with the right sauce.

A bowl of dark, savory sauce with slices of Chinese kikiam submerged in it, surrounded by small dishes of chili and calamansi

Creating the perfect sauce to go with your kikiam can be a challenge, especially if you're not familiar with Chinese cooking. However, with the right ingredients and a little bit of practice, you can make a sauce that perfectly complements the flavours of your kikiam. Whether you prefer a sweet and savoury sauce or something with a little bit of heat, there's a kikiam sauce recipe out there that's perfect for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Kikiam is a popular Chinese-inspired street food in the Philippines.
  • The right sauce can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying kikiam.
  • With a little bit of practice, you can make a delicious kikiam sauce that perfectly complements the flavours of your dish.

History and Origin of Kikiam

A bustling Chinese market with vendors selling various ingredients. A chef expertly prepares kikiam while a crowd watches. A sign advertises the history and origin of the dish

Kikiam is a popular Filipino street food that has a Chinese origin. It is also known as ngoh hiang in Hokkien, which is a dialect spoken in Fujian, China. The dish is made of a mixture of minced pork, prawn, and vegetables, seasoned with Chinese five-spice powder, and rolled in a beancurd skin. It is then steamed and deep-fried before serving.

Chinese Influence on Filipino Street Food

The Chinese have a significant influence on Filipino cuisine, and this is evident in the popularity of kikiam in the Philippines. The dish is believed to have been introduced to the country by Hokkien migrants who settled in the Philippines centuries ago. Over time, the dish has evolved to suit the Filipino palate, with variations that include the use of different ingredients and cooking methods.

Variations Across Southeast Asia

Kikiam is not only popular in the Philippines but also across Southeast Asia, with variations in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. In Singapore, the dish is known as ngoh hiang and is made with a mixture of pork, prawn, and water chestnuts. In Indonesia, it is called lumpia basah and is made with a mixture of vegetables and meat, wrapped in a spring roll wrapper and served with a sweet and spicy sauce.

If you want to add a twist to your kikiam recipe, you can try using seafood such as shrimp or fish in place of pork. Shrimp kikiam is a popular variation in the Philippines and is made with a mixture of minced shrimp, vegetables, and spices, rolled in a beancurd skin, and fried until golden brown. You can also try using fish such as tilapia or bangus, which are commonly used in Filipino cuisine, to make fish kikiam.

Preparing the Kikiam

Ingredients mixed in a bowl, kikiam being fried in a pan, sauce being poured over the kikiam

Ingredients and Substitutes

To prepare the Kikiam sauce, you will need ground pork, shrimp, bean curd sheets, onion, carrot, garlic, water chestnuts, and five-spice powder. If you don't have access to shrimp, you can substitute it with fish or fishballs. You can also use a food processor to finely chop the ingredients for convenience.

Wrapping in Bean Curd Sheets

After mixing the ingredients, you will need to wrap them in bean curd sheets. To do this, place a spoonful of the mixture in the center of each sheet and fold the sides to form a roll. Secure the ends with water and set aside. If you want to prepare the Kikiam in advance, you can store them in the freezer for later use.

Steaming Before Frying

Before frying, it is essential to steam the Kikiam rolls for about 10-15 minutes to ensure they are cooked through. You can use a steamer for this process. Once steamed, heat some cooking oil in a pan and fry the Kikiam rolls until golden brown.

Preparing the Kikiam sauce is a simple process that requires a few key ingredients and some preparation time. By following these steps, you can create a delicious and authentic Kikiam sauce that is perfect for any Asian-themed dish.

Creating the Perfect Sauce

A hand pours soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and garlic into a bowl. Another hand stirs the ingredients together, creating the perfect Chinese kikiam sauce

If you're looking to create the perfect kikiam sauce, there are a few essentials you should keep in mind. These include the sauce's sweetness, sourness, and saltiness.

Sweet and Sour Sauce Essentials

To achieve the perfect sweet and sour flavour, you'll need to balance out the sweetness and sourness of the sauce. You can do this by using a combination of sugar and vinegar. Brown sugar is an excellent choice for adding sweetness to your sauce. It has a distinct flavour that pairs well with the other ingredients in the sauce. You can also use sweet sauce or sweet chili sauce to add sweetness to your kikiam sauce.

For the sourness, you can use vinegar or lime juice. Rice vinegar is a popular choice for kikiam sauce. It has a mild flavour that won't overpower the other ingredients. You can also use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.

Customising Your Kikiam Sauce

To customise your kikiam sauce, you can add other ingredients to give it a unique flavour. For example, you can add soy sauce to give your sauce a savoury flavour. Oyster sauce is another great option for adding depth to your sauce. Sesame oil can also be used to add a nutty flavour to your sauce.

If you want to thicken your sauce, you can use a cornstarch slurry. Mix cornstarch with water to create a thick paste, then add it to your sauce. This will help to thicken it up and give it a smooth consistency.

If you're a seafood lover, you can add seafood to your kikiam sauce. Shrimp or prawns are excellent choices for adding flavour to your sauce. You can also use fish sauce or sriracha to give your sauce a spicy kick.

Creating the perfect kikiam sauce requires a balance of sweetness, sourness, and saltiness. You can customise your sauce by adding other ingredients such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, or seafood. Remember to experiment with different flavours until you find the perfect combination for your taste buds.

Cooking Techniques and Tips

A wok sizzles as kikiam sauce ingredients are stir-fried. Ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sugar combine in a bubbling, aromatic mixture

Achieving Golden Brown and Crispy Texture

Achieving the perfect golden brown and crispy texture for your kikiam is essential to make it a delicious appetizer or street food snack. To achieve this, you need to make sure that the oil is hot enough before frying the kikiam. You can check the oil temperature by placing a small piece of bread or kikiam wrapper in the oil. If it sizzles and turns golden brown in a few seconds, then the oil is ready.

Another important tip is to fry the kikiam in small batches. Overcrowding the pan will lower the oil temperature, resulting in soggy and unevenly cooked kikiam. Fry the kikiam until it turns golden brown and crispy on all sides. Use a slotted spoon to remove the kikiam from the pan and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.

Serving Suggestions and Pairings

Kikiam is best served hot and crispy with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. You can also serve it with a spicy vinegar dip or a garlic mayonnaise dip. Kikiam can be served as a side dish or an appetizer and pairs well with other Filipino dishes such as pancit canton and lomi.

If you want to make your kikiam more exciting, you can add seafood to the recipe. Shrimp and crab meat are great additions that will give your kikiam a unique flavour and texture. You can also use fish paste or ground fish meat to make a seafood version of kikiam. Just make sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Freezing your homemade kikiam is also a great option for future use. You can freeze the kikiam after steaming and frying, then reheat them in the oven or air fryer for a quick and easy snack.

Nutritional Information and Health Considerations

A table with ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. A nutrition label and a doctor's recommendation for a healthy diet

Balancing Flavours and Health Benefits

When it comes to Chinese Kikiam, the sauce is just as important as the filling. While the filling may be packed with protein and vegetables, the sauce can either enhance or detract from the overall nutritional value of the dish.

One way to balance the flavours and health benefits of your Kikiam sauce is to use a combination of soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Soy sauce is a good source of protein and minerals, while vinegar can help regulate blood sugar levels and aid in digestion. Sugar, on the other hand, can add a touch of sweetness to the dish but should be used sparingly to avoid excess calories.

If you're looking to add even more nutritional value to your Kikiam sauce, consider adding some vegetables such as carrots, onions, and garlic. These vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals and can help to balance out the flavours of the dish.

To take your Kikiam to the next level, consider adding seafood to the filling or sauce. Shrimp or crab meat can add a delicious flavour to the dish while also providing additional protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Here's a table showcasing the nutritional information of a typical Kikiam recipe:

Nutrient Amount Per Serving
Calories 376 kcal
Carbohydrates 16 g
Protein 24 g
Fat 24 g
Sodium 1123 mg
Potassium 364 mg
Fibre 2 g
Sugar 3 g
Vitamin A 1780 IU
Vitamin C 7.2 mg
Calcium 105 mg
Iron 3 mg


As with any dish, it's important to enjoy Chinese Kikiam in moderation. While it can be a healthy and nutritious meal, it's easy to overindulge in the delicious flavours and end up consuming too many calories. By using the right balance of ingredients and flavours, you can create a dish that is both delicious and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

A bowl of homemade kikiam sauce sits next to a plate of freshly fried Chinese kikiam, with a stack of recipe cards labeled "Frequently Asked Questions" in the background

What's the simplest way to make a sauce for Chinese kikiam?

The simplest way to make a sauce for Chinese kikiam is to mix soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Adjust the ratios to your liking and add some chopped garlic and chili flakes for extra flavour.

Could you recommend the top sauce recipes for Chinese kikiam?

There are many sauce recipes for Chinese kikiam, but some of the most popular include sweet chili sauce, hoisin sauce, and peanut sauce. For a spicy kick, try mixing sriracha sauce with honey and soy sauce.

How do you prepare a Chinese kikiam sauce using chicken?

To prepare a Chinese kikiam sauce using chicken, you can use chicken broth as the base. Mix in soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. Add some chopped ginger and garlic for extra flavour.

What are the essential ingredients in a traditional kikiam?

The essential ingredients in a traditional kikiam include minced pork, prawn, and various vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and onions. The mixture is seasoned with five-spice powder and wrapped in beancurd skin before being steamed and fried.

Where might one purchase authentic Chinese kikiam?

Authentic Chinese kikiam can be purchased at Asian grocery stores or online. Look for brands that specialize in Chinese cuisine for the best quality.

Is there a particular sauce that pairs well with Chinese kikiam?

Many sauces pair well with Chinese kikiam, but hoisin sauce is a popular choice. It has a sweet and savory flavour that complements the dish well. If you're feeling adventurous, try pairing kikiam with a seafood-based sauce like oyster sauce or shrimp paste sauce.