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