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Bak Kwa Recipe (Pork Jerky)

   

Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky)

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Chinese New Year (CNY) is just a few days away (23 January, Mon), have you bought your bak kwa (Chinese bbq pork jerky;rougan; long yoke; 肉干) yet? By this time, there will be long queues at popular bak kwa stores and the prices will be sky high (at least S$40 per kg). I have always hated queuing so I almost never buy bak kwa during the festive season anymore.

See Also: Pen Cai Recipe

This year, I experimented with making my own bak kwa and I was pleasantly surprised by the result. I will definitely be making a few more batches before CNY. The ingredients are really cheap (just minced pork and seasonings) and I am using the oven to do the grilling. The quantity listed below will fit one standard oven tray, but feel free to make several batches at a time according to your needs and oven size. As long as you have the proper set-up and equipment, believe me that making your own home-made bak kwa is actually a breeze to pull off!

Printable Recipe
Bak Kwa Recipe (Chinese Pork Jerky) (Step-by-Step)
Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky) Combine minced pork and seasonings in a deep plate. Mix the ingredients with the back of a spoon in a circular motion, until the red hue is even; this will take several minutes. The resultant mixture will have a gluey consistency. Wrap plate with cling wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.
Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky) Place parchment paper on a flat surface and spread the meat mixture one layer as thin as possible (about 5mm) with the back of a spoon.
Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky) Align the wire mesh directly over the meat mixture and invert it.
Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky) Carefully peel away the parchment paper.
Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky) Place the wire mesh with the meat mixture on top of an oven wire-rack with a tray beneath it. Bake the bak kwa at low heat for 20 minutes to dry the meat, then increase the oven heat and bake for 12 minutes.
Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky) When cool enough to handle, remove wire rack and transfer bak kwa to chopping board. Use a pizza cutter or pair of kitchen scissors to cut bak kwa to desired shapes and sizes.
Return bak kwa pieces to wire rack, the other side up (the side with the wire grill lines), and continue baking for 10-15 minutes, until the edges start to char slightly. Cool on wire rack and store in air-tight container.
                                           

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54 Responses to “Bak Kwa Recipe (Pork Jerky)”

  1. sheri — January 19, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

    wow, looks soooo good!

    Reply

  2. thehomefoodcook — April 27, 2012 @ 12:53 am

    I made mine spicy…and that way I didn’t have to use any food colouring!
    http://www.thehomefoodcook.com/2012/04/bbq-sweet-dried-meat-bak-kwa.html

    Reply

  3. Always — November 6, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

    Hi,
    We buy bak kwa at such exp prices outside and actually we can make it with simple ingredients. Yours look so nice.
    Can I just use a baking tray as I do not have the wire mesh?
    How long can we keep it?

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — November 7th, 2012 @ 11:10 am

      Hi, check out page two of the recipe: it elaborated on the reason for the wire mesh. I think it can keep a few days in an air-tight container. There are no preservatives added, so the shelf life will be shorter than those sold commercially.

      Reply

  4. Andrew Voss via Facebook — January 16, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

    Great recipe! I made this and it’s a huge hit with my friends and family :)

    Reply

  5. Lala — January 16, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

    Where do I get the oven wire rack and the parchment paper?

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — January 17th, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

      Hi lala, for parchment paper, can get it at the baking section or cling wrap area at the supermarkets.

      For wire rack, either get from Daiso or cut to size by getting a large piece from BBQ section of supermarkets. More information on this on page two of the recipe.

      Reply

  6. karyn — January 18, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

    Wonderful.. i am going to try this for CNY. Save time queuing, fresh and save money too..

    Btw. I love your recipes, your instruction were easy to follow. And, my helper can understand it! :D.. now everyday we have nice dinner after work :)

    Reply

  7. Jo — January 19, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

    If i make a kg worth, can i freeze it after step 6? In case not enough to eat or too much too eat :P We can be pretty greedy sometimes.

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — January 22nd, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

      I have not tried, but I think it might not be so ideal to freeze the minced meat, perhaps can freeze the cooked bak kwa?

      Reply

      • jo replied: — February 1st, 2013 @ 11:58 am

        At last i bake my bak kwa… I rolled it too thin and it was a little dry, then i make it thicker and the texture is better, more juicy. However its not sweet enough and the 5 spice powder a little too power. Think my mince not fatty enough, self blend mince… now marinating my 2nd batch , added more sugar and lesser 5 spice powder, will try out if the taste suit me better. crossing fingers… thx so much for an easy receipe… really food deprive overseas :P

  8. Lily — January 22, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    Hi wiffy,

    I was looking for those wire mesh without the thick metal boundary but not able to find at Ntuc. Any advise where I can get them from?

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — January 22nd, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

      Hi Lily, I got mine from NTUC, BBQ section. Try a few other outlets, or perhaps Daiso.

      Reply

  9. Lala — January 25, 2013 @ 11:18 am

    My ba kwa turns out to be hard n dry so disappointed. I followed your steps but it din work.The wire mesh without the hard border is really hard to find. I go to ntuc shop n save n neighborhood shops, all comes with the hard border n they are large pieces. End up I buy 2 small ones with border fm daiso. I overlap them to fit in my oven

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — January 25th, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

      Sorry to hear that. If you ever try again, reduce the oven temperature (every oven is slightly different and needs to be calibrated) and/or baking time.

      Reply

  10. Karen — January 31, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

    Does this work with chicken?

    Reply