Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky)

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One item that most people can't do without during Chinese New Year is the awesomely tasty Bak Kwa. Moist, marinated meat barbecued to perfection. There are many out there who wouldn't think twice about queueing 1 or 2 hours under the hot sun to get a box of these salty, sweet delights from some of famous brands around Singapore and Malaysia, even with the price hike during this festive period. I've found out that making it at home isn't as difficult as I thought it would be so when I came across it on Just as Delish, I decided to give it a go since I haven't gotten myself a box this Chinese New Year. It came out really well and my only complaint was that it wasn't sweet enough. However, this was totally my fault as I used brown sugar instead of caster sugar. Brown Sugar is not as sweet as castor so I should have increased the proportion. Lesson Learnt!!!

May the Year of the Dragon be a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Year for everyone! 
Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!
Ingredients (Adapted from Just as Delish and Singlish Swenglish)
1kg fatty(about 20) Meat Mince – either Chicken, Beef or Pork 
120g Caster Sugar
2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
3 tablespoon Fish Sauce
4 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
3 tablespoon Honey
15ml Light Olive Oil
1/2 tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce
A few drops of Sesame Oil

  1. Thoroughly combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl or container. Cover and marinate overnight in the fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 100°C. Place mince onto the tray then spread and press down to form a thin sheet over the surface of the tray to a thickness of about 3mm. You can either use wet fingers/spoon to manually press it or you could lay a sheet of plastic wrap over it and roll it thin with a rolling pin. 
  3. Place the trays in the oven for about 45 minutes with the door ajar or until the meat has dried out – the surface is dry to the touch, most of the liquid has evaporated and is holding together without breaking (It’s fine to be a little moist underneath the sheet). Do the same with the rest of the pork.
  4. Cut the dried meat sheet into squares with a kitchen scissors.
  5. Heat up your charcoal bbq, oven grill(Preheated to 230°C) or broiler and grill each square until darkened and caramelised. It’s totally alright to have the tiniest hint of charring but keep your eyes on them because they burn quickly and easily.
  6. These Bak Kwa does not have preservatives, so it’s better to keep them in an airtight container in the fridge with sheets of greaseproof baking paper between each slice of Bak Kwa. When needed, reheat Bak Kwa in grill or microwave.
  7. You can also store and freeze the bak kwa after you have dried it out in the oven. Once cooled, place sheets of greaseproof baking paper between each slice of pork. Wrap very well with plastic wrap and place in a container to freeze. When ready to use, defrost in refrigerator and grill as normal.


  1. This sounds simple and awesome. I will make it for sure. I have great memories of walking around and sampling these during CNY.
    Yours inadvertently turned out healthier, brown sugar is marginally healthier:)

    1. haha I rather have an unhealthy version in cases like this! haha Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

  2. Oh goodness, Sylvia! They look scrumptious!!! And not really that difficult to prepare at home. I had no idea brown Sugar isn't as sweet as castor. Good to know!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Happy New year!!!

  3. Wow I'm impressed that you made bak kwa on your own. It looks really yummers.

    1. Thanks! It wasn't too difficult, thankfully! :)

  4. Congrats and well done! Your bak kwa looks delicious! Bet these are sufficient to satisfy your craving for the year :)

  5. Sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing.

  6. gosh that is my favourite... right now i am having sore throat- due to eating too much...

    1. That's one big problem during Chinese New Year! haha Hope that you'll feel better soon. :)

  7. this looks really good....
    I can bet once we start eating this goodness, it will be really hard to stop.
    Great job!!!

  8. Drool.... I love Chinese jerky. Absolutely irresistible.



  9. I totally agree with you! :)

  10. Wow, you took the trouble to make this! Awesome! I love bak kwa just like most people do!:D

  11. Hmm? I remember reading this post and thought I left a comment, but you don't see my comment? Maybe I forgot the code at the end and close the browser?

    I'm not a big fan of jerky but my husband will absolutely love this and will eat it till it's all gone. Seriously. I am not familiar with Chinese version, but I think I've seen him eating some times before. I might change my opinion about this one if I eat it. I just don't like American jerky... You took such a great shot of these. It looks so hard to take pictures!

    1. It's probably a problem with blogger. I think the Chinese version is not as hard as the American version. It's sweeter too so you might like then.

      It was really difficult to take photos of these and am not totally happy with the ones i put up. Gotta think of a better way of taking them. :)


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