16 Jan2013


Dried soybean sheets that are used as the wrapper for a popular dish called Kikiam or Que Kiam. I had never cooked kikiam before so when I spotted these at a Chinese grocery on Ongpin street the other day, I decided to get three packs for about PHP100 total. The sheets are are almost translucent, and have an unusual texture. What were large circles were cut in half and there were ten halves in each pack. Roughly PHP3 per piece.


Back at home, I opened a pack of tau’pe and was pleased to see they weren’t stuck to each other and were still quite pliable. Some recipes suggest that you need to soak these, but we didn’t find that to be necessary. As I looked up various recipes for kikiam, I noticed that there were three rough groups of recipe styles… one without a wrapper at all, more like little meat and veggie patties fried directly in a skillet, one group of say circa 1950’s recipes that called for “leaf lard” which I think is technically wrong, perhaps they meant “caulfat” or “panyo” that webbed fat from pigs that will disintegrate as you cook it, leaving the log shaped sausage, and third, using the soybean wrappers. Next up, my version of kikiam. :)



  1. odessa says:

    Sorry MM, but am not fan of kikiam.. something about its smell when cooked really turns me off…!!! wonder what’s in it….

    Jan 16, 2013 | 8:07 am


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  3. Khew says:

    Some beancurd sheets tend to be extremely salty. I suspect these pliable types could be. If so, then the filling needs to be adjusted in compensation.

    In Malaysia, this dish is known as lor-bak( normally spelled lobak ) and in Singapore, ngor hiang.

    Jan 16, 2013 | 8:16 am

  4. Footloose says:

    How do you indicate a non-English pronunciation in a blog that is predominantly conducted in English? You write it as is, I guess, if there is no competing term in English. However, I’d break it into syllables if it has, tau’pe is the dried tofu skin, pretty close to dòupí in Mandarin. Taupe is the dark mousey brown color in English.

    Jan 16, 2013 | 9:26 am

  5. Marketman says:

    Footloose, :) I didn’t even think of that, you are indeed right that taupe is most likely to evoke the color, not the wrapper… tau’pe it is… will edit. Thanks for that. Khew, these weren’t particularly salty, or at least I didn’t find them so after steaming. odessa, not sure what offends you in the mixture of ingredients (they vary greatly from one cook to another) but perhaps it is the fragrance of the five spice powder or ngo hiong? It is also what’s used in Chinese style fried chicken, roasted porks, etc.

    Jan 16, 2013 | 9:40 am

  6. wil-b says:

    MM is this the same as the dried soy bean curd sheets usually seen in Chinese stores and it is prepared braised with sauce and mushrooms/vegetable in dishes. . . I’ts kind of thicker too. . . .

    Jan 16, 2013 | 10:03 am

  7. pixienixie says:

    So this is what kikiam wrapper looks like! My lola has a kikiam recipe in her notebook of recipes which she gave to me, but I’ve never attempted to make it. I like kikiam, so I’ll wait for that post and see if I can do it.

    Jan 16, 2013 | 10:10 am

  8. Mon says:

    You can actually cook the tau’pe on its on, serve it deep fried no need to fuss about the filling.
    You just soak it briefly in water, roll, cut to desired portion, then deep fry. or you could also make steamed bean curd roll dim sum! =)

    Jan 16, 2013 | 10:14 am

  9. Natie says:

    These are good for vegetarian dishes. Takes on any flavor you add. I have never cooked Kikiam before. Another new dish to try.

    Jan 16, 2013 | 10:42 am

  10. ros says:

    Kikiam!! My favorite!! Pork, shrimp, mushrooms, etc. and hoisin sauce; all in one glorious package. But I’ve never thought that the wrapper was soy based. Thanks for the info MM!! :D

    Looking forward for the recipe!!

    Jan 16, 2013 | 11:18 am

  11. manny says:


    If you walk around the corner along Salazar, you’ll see this small shop, Shin Ton Yon, where they sell Kikiam, Asado, Duck, and a whole assortment of good stuff. A few doors away from Presidents coffee shop.

    For those who don’t have the time and talent to cook.

    Jan 16, 2013 | 1:25 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    manny, yes, I know that shop, was just in Binondo a few days ago, and ate dimsum at the President’s tea house…

    Jan 16, 2013 | 2:16 pm

  13. Richard says:

    Hi MM, if you are in Binondo, you should try “sister company?” of President’s Tea House, Wai Ying and Ying Ying.. cheaper version of President’s.. some say for the best Siomai, the pork should be hand chopped instead of machine grind, whats your opinion on this? Thanks

    Jan 16, 2013 | 2:27 pm

  14. TheHematologist says:

    Where in Ongpin, MM? I suspect that Bee Tin grocery along Ongpin?

    Never seen “tau’pe” (I always thought they were called tahure… might be something different) before… From the looks of it, they’re dry crepes… I hope they’re pliable.

    One of my favorite Binondo restaurants, Royal Garden (sadly, they’re closed for renovations now), makes this “steamed lumpia” for which they use this soybean crepe.

    OK now I’m hungry :-)

    Jan 16, 2013 | 3:50 pm

  15. Marketman says:

    Richard, haven’t tried Wai Ying and Ying Ying… AND YES, hand chopped minced pork has a noticeably different texture from ground pork, so I can see that being a defferentiating factor in well made siomai. I used to love watching butchers in Singapore many many years ago, hand mincing pork, it seemed so therapeutic in a way… :)

    Jan 16, 2013 | 3:52 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    The Hematologist, yes Bee Tin on Ongpin, or also at the other large grocery some 50 meters closer to the Binondo church. They were surprisingly pliable, compared to say dried rice wrappers that shatter…

    Jan 16, 2013 | 3:54 pm

  17. rosedmd says:

    beside wai ying roast is la mien chinese noodles GALORE!!! affordable price but super dami, they even have knife noodles.. i love their steamed dumplings… I LOVE BINONDO!!!!!

    Jan 16, 2013 | 10:21 pm

  18. Meg says:

    This is the same tau’pe that i use here in California. I can buy this from Lyon’s or Super King asian stores. I use them too for making my own quikiam. The secret to authentic quekiam is using a lot of fresh five spice.

    Jan 17, 2013 | 12:55 am

  19. Risa says:

    My father in law used to love using tahure (? fermented soybean paste – dark red and pungent) in his pork dishes. I do not know how to cook with this and would like to know more. (I don’t even know where to buy it, or if its related to the Korean fermented soybean paste….)

    Maybe can you line this up in future experiments? :D

    Jan 17, 2013 | 2:06 pm

  20. robin castagna says:

    Risa, I think tahure is tokwa fermented in soy sauce and black beans or tausi. We use this for Totsong Bangus. :)

    Jan 17, 2013 | 2:23 pm

  21. argee says:

    Wai ying! I never miss having dimsum and congee for breakfast evrytime I go to chinatown.

    Jan 18, 2013 | 6:47 am

  22. Rene says:

    Well, if one doesn’t like quikiam.. then any filling can be used and it will be called ‘beancurd roll’, which I always order in dim sum places… My best filling would be spinach, mushroom, salmon.. but any fish would do.

    Jan 18, 2013 | 7:47 pm

  23. jeferlan says:

    my uncle sale his soybeans 200 sock of soy beans!!! need some buyer!!!

    Aug 4, 2013 | 6:48 pm

  24. yolanda galanto says:

    whats the name of the store where u bought the bean curd sheets? where in ongpin? iv been looking for this thing in alabang, makati and davao but cant find where to buy it. pls email me the name of the store..ty

    Feb 3, 2014 | 4:40 pm

  25. Marketman says:

    yolanda, there are two “groceries” on Ongpin street, either will probably carry the bean curd sheets. One is in front of President restaurant. The other is about 20 meters from the bridge towards the Binondo church. Sorry, I don’t have the addresses, but if you go, they are hard to miss walking on Ongpin st.

    Feb 3, 2014 | 5:02 pm


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