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*
|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...|
|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)
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
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.
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