Boy, did I love Chiko Rolls. I’m an eighties child, so that’s somewhat expected, but I continued to eat them in secret years after friends turned their nose at them. By that stage, deep-fried and convenience store foods were well on their way out, but that mushy filling! The crisp yet chewy pastry! The signature greasy Chiko Roll bag!
The original Chiko was created in the 50s by an enterprising Aussie named Frank McEnroe who reimagined Chinese-style chop suey rolls into the robust pre-made hand-held snack we all knew and loved (well, some of us). In the 70s at the height of their popularity, about 40 million Chikos were sold each year.
With its slow-cooked beef barbacoa filling and corn or flour tortilla casing, my ode to the classic takes inspiration from the crisp, crunchy flautas and chimichangas (deep-fried burritos) of Mexico and the US, where I lived for a few years. I’ve dubbed it the Chiko Roll and like its namesake, it’s golden, deep-fried and seriously moreish.