Thursday, January 7, 2010

Homemade Bak-kwa....

When you don't have something and you really want it...what do you do?

You make it yourself....duhh!

So today, I tried my hands at making bak-kwa (asian pork jerky).

I found several homemade bak-kwa recipes online and adapted bits and pieces of the various recipes into one single recipe purely based on intuition and trial-&-error. I also used some of the methods that I recalled from a TV program which I had watched several years ago on how the bak-kwa sellers actually made their bak-kwas.

I bought slightly over a pound of minced pork at the supermarket yesterday.

I added to the minced pork 1-1/4 tbsp of fish sauce, 1 tbsp of ABC sweet soy sauce, 3/4 tbsp of light soy sauce, 3/4 tbsp of chinese cooking wine, 1/2 cup of fine sugar, some chilli powder & 1/2 tsp of cooking oil into the minced meat and stirred with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes till very well mixed.

While preparing the minced pork, I had already preheated my oven to 260F.
While several online recipes had recommended to spread the minced pork onto baking paper.....I remembered watching bak-kwa vendors used the back of baking trays for spreading the minced pork onto. So I greased the back of my baking pan with spray-oil......

....and then i scooped cupfuls of the minced pork and slowly pressed the pork onto the surface of the baking tray...i used my palm to spread the pork out into a thin even layer right to the edge of the pan.

Since there was some minced pork left....I tried the other method of spreading the pork onto a piece of baking paper. Then I popped the 2 trays into the preheated oven.

I left the pork to bake at 260F for about 20-25min. Then I increased the temperature to 350F for another 20-25min. At this point, the edges of the bak-kwa might start to char so if it starts to char too'd have to either reduce the heat or take the trays out.

After 20-25min at 350F.....I took the trays out from the oven 'cos the edges were starting to brown. I decided to flip the bak-kwa over and pop them back into the oven for another 10-15min just so to ensure that both sides are properly cooked.

When fully cooked, remove the trays from the oven and let the bak-kwa cool for awhile before cutting them into pieces. The bak-kwa that was cooked on the baking pan was more evenly browned whereas the one on the baking paper was unevenly cooked. So I'd definitely use the baking tray method the next time.

Here's my homemade bak-kwa....ready to be eaten!! =P~
I made a batch that's slightly less burnt so that I can freeze them and put them on the grill to cook further when we are ready to eat them.

Not too bad for my first attempt. At least RG is eating it enthusiastically even though he's not a big fan of bak-kwa. He doesn't like his bak-kwa I had made mine slightly more savory.

The next time, I'd consider to substitute the sugar with agave nectar which is a natural sweetener for healthier bak-kwa! =) And I'd make the bak-kwa slightly thicker to give it a better bite. Lastly, i'll probably use more chilli oil or chilli sauce for extra spiciness.

While bak-kwa can be as expensive as SGD56/kg during Chinese New Year only cost me less than USD8/kg to make them. It's quite a lucrative business selling bak-kwa!!!


  1. Looks good. I guess when you live abroad away from the local delicacies in M'sia, one has to improvise. Good on you!

  2. okay, now I see why it is CHUNKY much yummy eating going on ;p