TOKNENENG & KWEK KWEK WITH PIPINO DIPPING SAUCE
The names sounds funny I admit but I love these gorgeous Filipino Orange Tinged Battered Chicken & Quail Eggs. Who ever thought about how to concoct this Filipino snack is heaven sent from above. You see, it starts with a boiled egg and then it gets coated with an orangey batter then deep fried….teamed up with a fantastic vinegary or sweet based sauce and you got a winner! Out in the streets in the Philippines, Kwek Kwek and Tokneneng are served as a quick street snack.
Now, there’s a bit of confusion on which is Kwek Kwek and which is Tokneneng. In this post I will say…Kwek Kwek are the Chicken Eggs and Tokneneng are the Quail Eggs. Why? Let me explain…think of Quack Quack (sounds from an adult duck), don’t you think it sounds like Kwek Kwek, lol! You see originally they use boiled Incubated Duck Eggs (Penoy & Balut) to make the bigger Orange Tinged Battered Eggs. The Quail Eggs version came after that and don’t you think Tokneneng sounds more like “little things”? I think later on also the vendors started using Chicken Eggs instead of Penoy (Boiled Incubated Duck Eggs that didn’t form a baby chick inside) because they are cheaper to buy and readily available anywhere.
Do you know where this Orange Tinged Battered Eggs started from? I remember my Mom telling me when I was in Elementary that the people who sells the Balut and Penoy at night time, sells the leftover eggs to the Karinderyas (Street Eateries) for a fraction of the original price the next day as they are not fresh anymore and in turn the Karinderyas turn them into deep fried orange tinged battered snacks accompanied with a spicy vinegar sauce. Every time my Mom does her shopping in the Palengke (Wet Market), she always brings 1-2 Kwek Kwek (the Balut version) at home and eats them. I use to beg her for me to eat one but she only gives me some of the deep fried batter coating as she believes I might have indigestion (hindi matunawan) from the eggs itself. I don’t know if this story is right but it makes sense to me….it’s like the Pork Tocino (Sweet Cured Pork) story, the lady have some leftover meat that was not sold for that day and she sweet cured the meat to avoid wastage.
If you have an interesting story about how Kwek Kwek and Tokneneng came about please share, and also if you think my theory on which is Kwek Kwek and Tokneneng are wrong please explain why and how you came about to the conclusion that it’s the other way around…
Okay….I better stop the chitchat now and focus on typing how I’ve cooked this delicious Filipino snack. I’ve done a couple of trials making Kwek Kwek & Tokneneng for the past few years and I think this recipe is close enough replicating what I remember eating when I was in the Philippines many years ago.
KWEK KWEK & TOKNENENG (Filipino Orange Tinged Battered Chicken & Quail Eggs)
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1 cup water
4 tspn annatto powder
1/2 tspn coarse table salt
1/4 tspn ground black pepper
3 Chicken eggs
3 dozen Quail eggs
extra corn starch for dusting the peeled eggs
cooking oil for deep frying
*used U.S Measuring Cups & Spoons
~ Combine all the dry ingredients together in one medium bowl.
~ Add in your water to your dry ingredients and whisk the mixture till the texture becomes really smooth and free from any lumps. Cover the bowl with a lid and refrigerate. Only take out the batter mixture from the fridge when you are ready to dunk your eggs.
~ Boil your Chicken and Quail Eggs: Chicken Eggs simmer for 6 minutes & for Quail Eggs simmer for 5 minutes. Let the eggs cool before peeling the shells.
~ Heat your cooking oil in a medium saucepan on high. Once the oil is hot enough for deep frying, lower the heat to medium high.
~ Once you have peeled all your eggs, roll each one of them in corn starch, then dunk 3-5 at a time into the batter mixture.
~ Using two soup spoons, gently cover each egg well with the batter. Please scrape the underside of the spoon holding the coated egg with your other spoon before dropping each egg to the hot oil to avoid messy batter drips. Deep fry 3-4 eggs at a time, drop each one in different corners of the saucepan so that they won’t stick together.
~ Once the battered eggs floats on top of the hot oil, let them cook for a further 5-10 seconds before removing them. Place in a big metal sieve or metal colander to let the excess oil drip.
~ Highly recommend that Kwek kwek & Tokneneng be served immediately after cooking.
- The purpose of two spoons handling the eggs into the batter is that you scrape the underside of the spoon holding the coated egg with the other one to avoid too much batter drips going to your hot oil before dropping the egg.
- It is up to you how much annatto powder you want to use, as it doesn’t affect the overall taste of the batter whether you use less or more.
- The cooked coating (batter) goes from crispy to soft with some crispy bits once the battered eggs cools down. The purpose of the coating is to absorb what sauce you add on.