Saturday, January 21, 2012

Homemade Bak Kwa

A couple of days ago, I made bak kwa and some of you wanted to know how it's done. This is for you!

Bak Kwa (meat jerky) is usually eaten during the Chinese New Year season. Our family stays clear of the commercial bak kwa because it's really high on sugar and salt content even though we really enjoy eating it. Not only that, it's extremely expensive and can go up to over S$40 per kg! Not to mention the hours one has to queue in order to buy this delicious treat.

I decided to make my own this year and upon researching on the internet, discovered how easy it is!

Here's my tweaked recipe, with less sugar and salt but nevertheless still as delicious. Give it a try and you may want to tweak it too to suit your taste.

480 gm minced pork (you have to have some fat in it)
1/2 cup castor sugar (I used slightly less than this but 1/2 cup is still not too sweet)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp mixed spices
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
a few drops of red food colouring (I used gel)

N.B. You can also add pepper if you wish, or maybe 2 tblsp of tomyum paste, chilli powder etc. Just experiment!

Mix all the ingredients together (EXCEPT THE PORK) in a large bowl. I tasted the mixture first to make sure it was all right. It will taste a little salty and sweet but remember you are going to add a lot of meat to it.

When you are satisfied with the taste, add the minced pork, mix thoroughly and marinate for at least 4 hours in the fridge.

Pre-heat oven to 110 deg C. Line 2-3 baking trays with aluminium foil (not much cleaning after). Using the back of a spoon, spread the pork VERY thinly all across the baking tray. Use more trays if you have meat leftover.

Place the trays in the oven and bake dry the meat for about 30-40 minutes. The meat will shrink quite a bit. There will be oil and some juices in the tray but don't worry about that. Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, cut into your desired shapes and sizes.

After that I used my toaster oven to grill the meat. Do line the bottom with aluminium foil because it will make a bit of a mess. I didn't use my oven because I didn't want the grilling to
mess it up! Keep turning the meat from time to time and don't take your eyes off it. When
the meat darkens and has those little charred spots, it's ready.

Well, there you have it! Homemade Bak Kwa!! Let me know how it goes!


Shionge said...

You are amazing Rebecca!!!! Don't have to queue for Bak Kwa...healthier Bak Kwa and maybe people might be queueing at your house instead kekekeke...

Gong Xi Fatt Choy!!!

AT said...


I'm keen to try the recipe. But what's spice powder? Is that the same as five spiced powder?

thank you!

Rebecca Yam said...

Hello! I used mixed spices (bought in a bottle) but you can also use 5-spice powder. Mixed spices has caraway, allspice, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and ginger. 5-spice has star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel and Szechuan peppercorns.