Homemade Bak Kwa

ShareFood Writer

This year in 2020, skip the long queues at famous bak kwa stores and sheath your wallets! For our Top 8 Chinese New Year Dishes series’ seventh dish, we have home cook Carrie Lum’s recipe for homemade Bak Kwa 自制肉干!

Although it is available all year round, demand for the barbequed pork slices rises the most during CNY. Therefore, while one of Singaporeans’ favourite pastimes may be queuing, once you realise how straightforward and delicious this recipe is, you’d spend the time making it instead!

Moist, tender, and perfectly caramelised, this bak kwa tastes just like it is bought from a store. We think we MIGHT have stumbled onto Bee Cheng Hiang’s secret recipe here…

Homemade Bak Kwa 自制肉干

Homemade Bak Kwa 自制肉干

The beauty of making your own homemade bak kwa is that you know exactly what goes into it. This way, you can omit using any colouring and preservatives in the bak kwa.

But what surprised us the most was how easy the recipe is considering how high prices usually are (ranging from $50 to $80 per kilogram). And to achieve the delicious crispy char the Chinese pork jerky is known for, an oven works just fine!

Homemade Bak Kwa 自制肉干

Easy and affordable to make on your own!

Here are the ingredients that you will need: minced lean pork, Mei Kuei Lu or Shao Hsing cooking wine, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, pepper, sugar, oyster sauce, and honey water.

The first step is to prepare the meat and marinate it overnight.

In a large bowl, add all the bak kwa ingredients and mix well with a spatula. Cover the bowl with cling foil and let it marinate in the fridge overnight.

Adding bak kwa marinade ingredients to ground pork in a bowl

Add all the ingredients into a bowl

Mixing seasoned meat with spatula in a bowl

Mix well, cover with cling foil and marinate overnight

After marinating, the bak kwa needs to be baked to cook the meat and drain the excess juices.

Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a flat surface and add half of the meat onto it. Flatten the meat out with the back of a spoon.

Scooping marinated meat onto a parchment paper

Add half of the marinated meat onto a large piece of parchment paper

Spreading marinated meat out on parchment paper with back of spoon

Spread the mixture out with a spoon

After that, cover the meat with another piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, flatten and roll out the mixture to get an even layer.

Rolling marinated meat out with parchment paper and a rolling pin

Roll to flatten the meat and get an even layer

Carefully transfer the meat onto a large baking tray and use the rolling pin to shape it accordingly to the tray for a more rectangular shape.

Rolling marinated meat out with parchment paper and a rolling pin in baking tray

Place the meat on the baking tray and roll to get a rectangular shape

Peel back the top layer of parchment and put the tray to bake in the oven at 150° Celsius for 15 minutes.

Peeling parchment paper off flattened marinated meat

Remove the top parchment and place the meat to bake

To achieve the lovely caramelised char, we need to cut and glaze the cooked bak kwa.

Using kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter, cut the meat into four large pieces then transfer them onto a wire rack.

#Tip: drain as much juice off the pieces as possible before transferring onto wire rack.

Cutting baked bak kwa meat into pieces with scissors

Cut the baked meat into pieces

Placing baked bak kwa pieces onto wire rack

Place the pieces onto a wire rack

Generously brush the honey syrup over the pieces. Meanwhile, turn the oven up to 220° Celsius and place the rack into the top rung of the oven to bake for three to five minutes or until it starts to brown.

#Tip: arrange the bak kwa slices on the rack so that they are directly below the top heating coil of the oven so that they will brown nicely.

Glazing baked bak kwa slices with honey syrup

Glaze the pieces with honey syrup and put them to bake again

Remove the bak kwa from the oven and flip them to the uncaramelised side. Brush with honey syrup and put to bake again. You can serve the bak kwa hot or store in an airtight container or the fridge.

Homemade Bak Kwa 自制肉干

Serve the homemade bak kwa hot or keep in a container or fridge to store

Get the recipe here!

Homemade Bak Kwa

Servings 8 large pieces

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1kg lean ground porkat least 20% fat
  • 1tbsp Rose Flavoured wineMei Kuei Lu
  • 1tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2tbsp fish sauce
  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2tsp ground pepper
  • 200g sugar
  • 2tbsp oyster sauce
  • red colouringoptional

Honey syrup

  • 1 1/2tbsp honey
  • 2tbsp water

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the meat and marinate overnight

  1. Mix all the bak kwa ingredients thoroughly in a big bowl. Cover and refrigerate for overnight.

Step 2: Bake the bak kwa to dry it

  1. Place a large piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and add half of the meat mixture onto it.
  2. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the mixture and roll it flat with a rolling pin.
  3. Transfer the papers onto a large baking tray and continue to roll and shape the mixture into an even rectangle. Remove the top parchment paper when done.
  4. Bake the mixture in an oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Cut and season the bak kwa

  1. Use a scissors or pizza cutter to cut the baked meat into pieces and transfer to a wire rack.
  2. Apply the honey syrup generously over one side of the bak kwa.
  3. • Bake the bak kwa in the oven at 220⁰C between 3 - 5 minutes or until the jerky start to brown on the edges of both sides. Remove from oven, flip over the pieces and apply the honey syrup. Bake again until the edges are browned.

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