mardi, octobre 06, 2009

Bak Kwa/Long Yoke (BBQ Minced Meat Slices)

Bak Kwa

I have not celebrated Chinese New Year for more than a decade. And lately I had images of myself as a child going from house to house gobbling up slices of Bak Kwa and cracking red and black melon seeds. At one stage we even had a plastic melon seed cracker to make the job faster and easier, I used to compete with my siblings and cousins to see who could have the biggest pile of melon seeds on the table in the shortest time. I think some of my teeth have jigsaw edges because of that.

I only brought back one pound of Bak Kwa from Singapore on my last trip. And it was from Bee Cheng Hiang and not Lim Chee Guan as I would have preferred it. But I didn't have the time to queue in Chinatown for the meat. I think Bak Kwa uses an ancient Chinese meat preservation technique and is predominantly Hokkien and so are popular in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Macau and even the Philippines. It is like jerky but way tastier.

This afternoon, I decided to make my own Bak Kwa. Maybe in February when we celebrate the Lunar New Year, I could make some that would be good enough to mark the occasion.

Bak Kwa (BBQ Minced Meat Slices) :

500g Minced Pork with 20% fat
2 Tsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 Tsp Light Soy Sauce
1/2 Tsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Chinese Wine/Dry Sherry
Salt to taste
Ground Chilli (optional)
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 pinch Ground Cloves
80g Sugar
Red food colouring (optional)

Marinate the meat with everything for a few hours. Heat the oven to 125°C. Normally Bak Kwa should be air dried under the sun, but that would be inviting all the animals and insects in the neighbourhood so I used the oven.

Raw Bak Kwa

Stir the marinated meat with a pair of chopsticks till it turns into a paste. Put some of the meat between 2 pieces of baking paper and roll it flat. Remove the top piece of paper, put the flattened meat on an oven tray and bake it in the oven for 20 minutes. This is to dry the meat.

Once removed from the oven, one can cut it up into pieces to be grilled for consumption or eventually frozen for use another day.

I think grilling on a BBQ would be best as it would dry and harden the meat better and give it a distinctive smoked taste. But I was too lazy to start a fire so I just dribbled a bit of sesame oil on a non-stick frying pan and pan-grilled the sliced meat. I think my meat was a little too lean, to enjoy Bak Kwa you must enjoy the fat. The thinner slices fared better by the way as they probably dried out better. One can also use chicken instead of pork, but I think pork still tastes better than chicken when cooked this way.

P.S. : When barbecueing the meat, it would probably help to glaze it with some honey or marinade, there is often a sheen on the Bak Kwa we buy from the shops.

2 commentaires:

Pris a dit…

Awesome! Boy, I´m thinking of making my own bak kwa too... but it looks like so much work...and I think grilling them would be the best too... What type of red food colouring do you use? I don´t seem to be able to get them here.

Beau Lotus a dit…

This is very easy to make, only thing is you need to set up the BBQ. And adjust your seasoning according to taste. I still haven't figured out how to properly dry the meat so that it can be kept properly.

I didn't use any red food colouring for this batch of bak kwa though I have a small stock of it. I think you can find it at the baking section of a big supertmarket or even in the pharmacy in Stuttgart especially when they are making easter eggs.