Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky)

At January last year, I remember seeing Biren from Roti n Rice baking homemade Bak Kwa to celebrate her Chinese New Year for the year of Dragon. This year, I am not missing out baking these delicacies for my family too...

Bak Kwa in Hokkien dialect, is also known as Rou Gan (肉干) in Chinese. It is a salty-sweet dried meat product that is quite similar to the texture of a jerky. They are made in the form of flat thin sheets and usually sold in red boxes or packets during festive seasons. In Malaysia and Singapore, Bak Kwa is a must for most families to celebrate Chinese New Year.  As always, there are long queues at popular Bak Kwa shops like Kim Hock Guan and Bee Cheng Hiang at Chinatown during the Chinese New Year season buying boxes of these delicacies as gifts and for their own celebration.

I have not been back to Singapore for Chinese New Year for the past 9 years. Although we can buy Chinese New Year snacks and goodies at most Asian grocery stores, I can never find a place in Melbourne that sells good bak kwa like what we had in Singapore.

This homemade Bak Kwa recipe that Biren used originated from Sonia, Nasi Lemak Lover. This simple and easy recipe is brilliantly written and executed. Eating these really makes me feel like at Singapore celebrating Chinese New Year... Being highly requested and with no doubt, I have baked these more than once... *smile*

bak kwa chinese BBQ pork jerky
My homemade Bak Kwa

These are all that I need...
Surprise surprise... making Bak Kwa can be so easy!
They are nicely grilled and ready to eat...
bak kwa chinese BBQ pork jerky
Stacks of Chinese New Year delicacy - surprisingly made by home!

Here's the recipe from Sonia, Nasi Lemak Lover
(with my modification and notes in blue)

450g minced pork (at least with 10% fat)
100g sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp Chinese rice wine
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark caramel sauce
1/8 tsp Chinese five spices powder
a dash of Pepper
1/2 tsp-3/4 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp honey

Method

Put all ingredients in a big bowl and start mixing them with a pair of chopsticks. Blend and stir the mixture in one direction until the meat becomes gluey - very important to stir till gluey otherwise meat will break out. Store in the fridge for several hours.

Spread the marinated minced pork thinly onto the 13 inch x 13 inch baking tray (using fingers to spread).

Bake at pre-heated oven at 160°C for 15 -20 mins. (Mine is baked at 130°C fan forced for 20 mins) for 15-20minsRemove from oven. Increase the oven temperature to 240°C (or 220°C fan forced).

Wait to slightly cool, cut into your desired size and shape using scissor, knife or pizza cutter, place them in the same baking tray.

Grill (with top heat only) one side at 240°C (or 220°C fan forced) for 10 mins, remove from oven, flip over another side, wait oven back to 240°C (or 220°C fan forced) and grill for 7 mins or until golden brown with slight burnt. Sonia is right that knowing your oven is essential. I've learned that using my fan forced oven does not require the use of top grill heat function as the heat from fan forced is strong enough to bake these bak kwa to its ideal colour. Using 220°C fan forced, each side of the bak kwa is only baked for 5 mins.

Note: I have a smaller baking tray which is 25 cm x 35 cm and used 2/3 of the recipe to make 9 of my smaller sized Bak Kwa. 


Happy Baking
Wishing all a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 
hosted by Sonia, Nasi Lemak Lover. 

If you are linking up with me with your pineapple post, please go to this. Cheers!

42 comments:

  1. I've invited myself today to try your pork jerky. Oh, you have no idea how much I'm missing it after seeing Lena & now you posted them, hahaha! Very well-baked pork jerky, Zoe! I've seen it selling in the Sydney chinatown and night market(also in chinatown) here and I bought twice, a small size for like over $5. Homemade is safe & cheaper!

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  2. Looks delicious! And the recipe sounds really interesting!

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  3. This Asian style of pork jerky looks really good. I can see why this is so flavorful. Delicious.

    Happy Chinese New Year!

    Velva

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  4. 嗨Zoe,
    再次到访,mm........我嗅到香喷喷的bak kwa 哦!
    和你交换一片,我也刚从Sonia 家偷师回来,
    好吃!好吃!你几时来我家吃呢?
    哈。。。。。。多有新年气氛啊!
    祝你:合家平安,新年块乐!

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  5. Hi Zoe,
    Delicious looking bak kwa! I too have made this twice already! Haha! I'll be making more these few days! Bak kwa is getting very expensive each year! Making at home is definitely more economical and delicious too!
    Yum, yum!
    Wish you and your family Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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  6. It looks really good... now that I know its so easy to do, why would I even join the queues to get them at such a steep price.

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  7. Zoe, after seeing Lena's and now yours, I am even more motivated! Bak kwa is so expensive that I decided not to buy any this year (yeah very kiamsiap, one). But I am going to experiment hopefully I can rush before CNY :)

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  8. I am droolig over ur home-made bak kwa. It looks exactly like commercial one.

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  9. I love to learn about other cultures' eating habits especially during local festivities! It looks so perfectly made I wish I had a piece in front of me!

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  10. I would say homemade bak kwa is healhtier than outside bought one. Thumbs up, Zoe.

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  11. hi zoe, isnt that great that we can now make our own bak kwas at home? you can start selling them in mel!

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  12. How wonderful that you could bring a bit of Singapore to Melbourne to help celebrate the Chinese New Year! Your pork jerky sounds so yummy!

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  13. Thanks for your shout out, so easy to make right? Hehehe..but this year I did not this, can I have some ?
    And so sorry I have forgotten to link up my pineapple tarts post with your event, what shall I need to do?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sonia,

      Thanks for your brilliant bak kwa recipe. You are so clever creating this recipe. Please link up your pineapple tarts post with us!

      All you need to do is to 1) mention Little Thumbs Up in your post and link back to Bake for Happy Kids or/and my little favourite DIY 2) submit your details on my Acar post and your link will be on my post :D

      Cheers!

      Zoe

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  14. A dish very appetizing! While tradition!
    J'adore!

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  15. What an incredibly delicious looking jerky, I had no idea we could make them at home :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  16. Wow, this looks delicious, certainly something new that I would love to try out one day. x

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  17. This looks delicious! Never had it before but the pictures are mouthwatering :)

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  18. This looks so terrific! I've eaten this, much less made it, but now I have to try it. Great post - thanks.

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  19. Zoe, 这个我今年没时间做了,留明年才开工了,
    你的bak kwa 看起来香喷喷的。。。好料!

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  20. WOW! This is so impressive. I would never think to make my own jerky - I can't believe you did! It looks awesome!

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  21. Hi Zoe!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog earlier. :D Your bak kwa looks awesome! I remember seeing it on both Sonia and Biren's blogs and thought about making it this year but I still haven't gotten around to it. Now, I'm just drooling over yours. LOL Checked out your acar as well - it looks equally delicious...will try it one of these days. We love acar! Will definitely stop by often. :D

    Chris

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  22. This looks delicious - sweet and savory!

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  23. This looks scrumptious, though we do not eat pork.

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  24. Oh! I cannot even remember when was the last time I had pork jerky and I could never see myself making it...thank for the inspiration Zoe.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week!

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  25. Hi Zoe, your bakkwa looks really professionally done! I find that mine shrank a lot for some reason, so jealous to see yours and lena's hardly shrink at all! Gotta try again lol!

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  26. Zoe , bak kwa here is so expensive :P My friend bought some last time but I can't remember the price . Your homemade version looks exactly like the ones they're selling here :D And I'm sure way tastier !

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  27. wow Zoe...this looks so good but sounds so easy to make! Never had this kind of jerky! Thanks for sharing! I'm definitely trying it!

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  28. wow ..that was v inviting n super tempting click!!...frst time here ..hapi to follow u..glad if u do d same

    http://subhieskitchen.blogspot.co.uk

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  29. i am impress. This looks yummy!

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  30. Your bak kwa looks good, Zoe. I've never thought of making my own since it's so easy to get good ones here, but now that I've seen this I'm very tempted. Today, I went to the bak kwa shop and the queue was about 20 ppl long! It's crazy.

    Anyway Happy CNY to you and yr family! x

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  31. I bet you've made these more than once - they look yummy! Have a good New Year.

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  32. Hi Zoe, Here wishing you Good health, good luck and much happiness throughout the lunar year. 恭祝健康、幸运,新年快乐!

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  33. Very interesting! I have never tried something like this before but it looks quite appetizing.

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  34. this is one thing i really love to make this Chinese New Year but I am yet to find the dark caramel sauce
    still searching :)
    Happy Chinese New Year to u and family, Zoe :)

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  35. It is always interesting to read about different cultures and their traditions. All the best for the new year.

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  36. just mouthwatering....looks delicious!

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  37. Mouth watering bak kwa! YUM! My sister made this last week to & said it's really easy to make! Now after looking at yours & Lena makes wanna give a try too! hehehehehe Gong Xi Faa Cai to you & your family, Zoe! ;)

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  38. Zoe, now you can find bak kwa in Melbourne - in your kitchen! You can start this business. This is perfect! The caramelization of the meat is perfectly done. Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and family, Zoe!

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  39. Hi, This recipe looks good. May i know where can i get caramel sauce? I don't see it in fairprice. Thanks!

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    1. Hi, Caramel sauce is commonly available in most Asian grocery shops in Melbourne. It is a common sauce used for Malaysia - Chinese cooking. Is there any shops in Singapore that sell mostly Malaysia products? Maybe a bigger fairprice with more variety might sell this product? Sorry that these are all that I can suggest. Cheers!

      Zoe

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