Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bak Kua (Chinese Pork Jerky)

Happy Lunar New Year to my family, friends and readers. Let's welcome the New Year with hopes that it will bring us good health, abundant wealth and prosperity! May your lives be filled with joy, love and care. 


Being miles away from home, I do feel the absence of the festive atmosphere. I am very grateful that my family mailed me some Lunar New Year decorations and my apartment do looked a little more ready to celebrate LNY. The other thing I could do is to prepare some Chinese New Year goodies. 


Bak Kua is a popular LNY must-have in every household. During this special festival, queues form outside every Bak Kwa shops in Singapore. The queues may take up to 2 hours. Hence, they make good gifts for future mother-in-laws especially if they are from the famous brands. Unfortunately, there is no Bak Kua in Boston. Good news is that I got to make it from scratch!


It is in fact rather simple to make but take quite some time to make a small amount. Now I understand why it is so costly. 






Recipe (Makes six 6" squares)

Ingredients:
  • 700g Ground pork 
  • 3 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dark Soya sauce (Thick consistency standard / 优等)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Light Soya sauce
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1/2 tbsp Five spice powder
  • 1 tsp Maltose (optional)
Glaze
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp maltose
  • 2 tbsp hot water

Steps:
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients  (except the glaze) with a pair of chopsticks in a single direction (e.g. clockwise). 
  2. Stir till the meat is sticky and gluey. 
  3. Cover with cling wrap and store in refrigerator overnight. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 300 deg Fahrenheit/ 150 deg Celsius. Prepare the glaze by mixing the ingredients together. 
  5. Prepare a parchment paper of the size of your baking sheet . 
  6. Take some of the meat mixture (depending on the size of your baking sheet) and spread on the parchment paper. Take a cling wrap and lay over the meat mixture. Use a rolling pin and roll the mix mixture into 2-3mm thick. Remove cling wrap.
  7. Bake it for 40 minutes or until the meat is cooked and gravy dries up. The meat should feel like a rubber mat. 
  8. Remove and use a pastry brush to glaze the meat.  
  9. Bake for 10 minutes and repeat glazing for the other side. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven. You may cut it into bite size portions. 
  11. Repeat baking process for the rest of the meat mixture.