Chinese Pork Jerky (Bak Kwa)

Bak Kwa is a salty-sweet dried meat produce similar to jerky. It is originated from Fujian province in China by the Hokkien society. I used to remember we only get to eat Bak Kwa during Chinese New Year. But nowadays, you can enjoy this Hokkien delicacy all year through, thanks to the shops specialize in selling Bak Kwa.

I have never thought of making Bak Kwa myself until i saw many mommies in DHM group successfully making these Bak Kwa. They are truly inspirational! I am so glad I've joined this group just in time for CNY. Thank you, VL for creating this group, and thank you mommies for inspiring me! A special thanks to Mommy Yen and Mommy Nidz for mentioning about red yeast rice as food colouring. You ladies ROCKS!

For the meat and fat ratio, I've tried on a few and I would say the best ratio would be 80% meat and 20% fat. The fat is essential to keep the meat juicy during baking and grilling. It will also flavor the meat with the lard rendered through the cooking process.

The recipe is adapted from Malaysian Chinese Kitchen and I make changes to it to get to the closest taste of those commercial ones. (I am still finding tune to the EXACT taste but right now, I am confidence to publish this recipe for those who likes homemade taste. It has at least 80% similarity to the commercial ones) And of course, the final grilling must be over the charcoal to get the optimum char flavor.

With the economy so bad and the pricing of Bak Kwa increasing each year, it is a brilliant idea to DIY at home. What's more when it is not that complicated as I thought it would be. I am definitely (DEFINITELY) making another batch (or batches) of these juicy~licious Bak Kwa again soon.

(Recipe adapted from Malaysian Chinese Kitchen)
Prep Time  : 40 mins
Cook Time : 45 mins
Total Time : 1 hour 25 mins
Makes       : 12 pcs (3" x 4")

450g minced pork, with at least 20% fat
1/2 Tbsp dark caramel soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp ground red yeast rice 红曲米
1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp honey
3/4 tsp Shao Hsing wine
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp five­ spice powder
1/2 cup sugar

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well until it turns gooey, approx. 2 mins. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

2. Prepare 2 sheets of parchment paper the size of your baking tray.

3. Using a butter knife, spread a thin layer of meat mixture onto parchment paper, leaving about an inch around the paper clear of meat for easy handling. The meat layer should be around 3mm thick.

4. Cover the meat with a cling wrap. Using a rolling pin, slightly roll over the meat to even out the meat. The meat layer should be around 2mm thick. Repeat step 3 & 4 until all meat is used up.

5. Transfer the sheets of meat to baking tray and bake for 15 mins at 120°C.

6. Leave to cool on the tray until it it cool to handle, approx 5 mins. Using a pizza cutter, cut each sheet of meat into 6 pieces or your desired size.

7. Grill the slices of meat over prepared BBQ stove, flipping constantly until you get your desired char look. You will need to coordinate the timing with your eyes as the meat will burns easily.

8. Leave to cool completely before storing.

When grilling over charcoal is not able, you may grill in oven.

7. Grill the slices of meat at 220°C for 5 mins. You will need to coordinate the timing with your eyes as the meat will burns easily.

8. After 5 mins, remove from oven and flip the slices of meat over. Return back to oven for another 5 mins. Leave to cool completely before storing.

DO NOT use your hand to mix the meat mixture as the bacteria in your hand will turns the meat mixture bad. Instead use a metal spoon or spatula.

Make this recipe? Don't forget to snap a photo of it and tag #msyummyliciousrecipe on social media! I would love to see them! Enjoy my recipe!

I am linking this post to "Cook & Celebrate CNY 2016" organized by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

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