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Chiko Rolls

Chiko Rolls are an Australian version of spring rolls or egg rolls. They are deep fried fast-food item, with a thick, almost chewy dough wrapper on them.

The dough is made of egg and flour. Ingredients in the filling inside are mutton, barley, cabbage, carrot, celery and rice, and seasonings.

Fish and chip shops in Australia buy them frozen in quantity, already cooked. The chip shops fry them up for you in order to reheat them, put sauce on them if desired and serve them to you in small, narrow bags with the Chiko brand logo on it. You eat the rolls out of hand.

The Chiko factories make as one long roll which is cooked, then sliced, then pastry ends are added, then the rolls are fried a second time.

Also available under the Chiko name, as of 2009, are: Corn Fritters, Corn Jacks, Fish Cakes, MexCHIKO Rolls, Seafood Rolls and Wing Lee Dim Sims.


Exact ingredients of a Chiko roll: Wheat flour, cabbage, water, cooked barley, carrot, beef, animal fat, wheat cereal, celery, onion, green beans, textured soy protein, salt, sugar, acidity regulator (450, sodium bicarbonate), hydrolysed vegetable protein, spices, emulsifier (471), colours (102, 110), flavour enhancer (635), antioxidant (320). No artificial flavours or preservatives.

History Notes

Chiko Rolls were invented by Frank (aka Francis Gerard) McEncroe (11 October 1908 - 14 March 1979) from Bendigo.

He was born in Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia. He went to the Marist Brothers' College in Bendigo, then finished his learning for boiler-making with an apprenticeship. During the depression, he switched to working with his father (Pierce Francis McEncroe) and his two brothers in a milk business they had set up.

On 20 August 1932 he married Anne Doreen Nolan in Bendigo. In the late 1930s, he started a catering service for various outdoor events, towing a food caravan around. During the Second World War, he put the catering business on hold, and put his mechanical skills back into service working at the Bendigo Ordnance Factory.

After the war, he restarted the catering business, making his food items at the former dairy he and his brothers had owned. In 1950, he bought a Chinese chicken spring roll to eat outside Punt Road Oval in Richmond at a VFL football match. He felt it would be ideal for such events, because you could hold your food in one hand and a drink in the other. He wanted, though, a less crispy wrapping that would stand up better to being made ahead of time, and being delivered.

The idea stuck with him, and he bought a hand-fed sausage machine to experiment with. He made the dough of egg and flour, filled it with a mutton filling, manually applied the pastry ends, and fried it. He called it a "Chicken Roll", even though it didn't have any chicken in it. Later, he would just call it "Chiko."

He trialed his product at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Show in New South Wales in 1951, and sales were good. He moved to Moreland Road in Coburg, Melbourne and established a small factory to make the rolls behind a fish and chip shop with money his wife Annie had saved up. Nearby was the Floyds Ice & Cold Storage, who in 1954 wanted to partner with him on frozen versions that fish and chip shops could fry up and sell to their customers. The demand for the rolls increased, and Frank moved his factory to North Essendon in response. He developed automated production equipment that let him produce 120 Chiko rolls a minute. By 1956, he had national distribution of the frozen version. In 1960, the two companies would finally merge to form the Frozen Food Industries company to manage this, with their head office on Ascot Vale Road.

At some point later, he had to expand again, opening a newer larger factory at Tullamarine.

In 1973, he sold the business to Provincial Traders Holdings. By this time, the company had 300 people working for it.

Frank died of heart problems in March 1979 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and was buried in Keilor cemetery. By the time of his death, 40 million of the rolls were sold each year.

The brand was purchased in 1995 by the American-owned company, Simplot Australia.

Since 1965, the advertising has featured a girl on a Harley motorcycle. From 2001 to 2008, the girl's name was "Sarah Jane." In 2008, the picture was switched to Annette Melton, on a regular bicycle, to get away from the motorcycles and leather image.

In 2008, sales were down to 15 million. [1]

Production is now (2009) in Bathurst, NSW.

Language Notes

Chiko stands for "Chicken Roll", even though there has never been any chicken in it.


[1] Gregory, Denis. Putting cheek and chic into an old favourite. Sydney Morning Herald. 27 July 2008.

Chiko sticks with tradition. Ferret: Australia's Manufacturing and Industrial Directory . 1 February 2001.

Cullen, Rebecca. A national icon celebrated in Moonee Valley. Moonee Valley City Council. 13 February 2004

David Dunstan, 'McEncroe, Francis Gerard (Frank) (1908 - 1979)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, Melbourne University Press, 2000, pp 203-204.

Peter McEncroe and Patricia Clarke et al. Go on, GRAB A CHIKO! Simplot Australia. Undated. Retrieved July 2009 from http://www.simplot.com.au/news.asp?pgID=80.

Spring Rolls

Chiko Rolls; Eggrolls; Fresh Spring Rolls; Fried Spring Rolls; Lumpia; Spring Roll Wrappers; Spring Rolls; Steamed Spring Rolls; Yuba Maki

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Oulton, Randal. "Chiko Rolls." CooksInfo.com. Published 17 September 2006; revised 12 March 2010. Web. Accessed 06/22/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/chiko-rolls>.

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