Friday, January 27, 2012
Bak Kwa (Pork Jerky)
This popular Asian-style pork jerky is sweet, sticky, juicy and delicious, and is so easy to make at home. Commonly found in Malaysia and Singapore, it is traditionally grilled on a wire mesh over a hot charcoal fire. However, if you don't have a barbecue grill or pit at home, just your oven broiler or grill will work fine to produce some of that smoky charred flavour. It's best to use a fatty pork mince in order to get a tender and juicy result, but if you prefer a healthier option, then use lean pork (with less fat) by all means.
Bak Kwa (Pork Jerky)
500g fatty minced pork
1 tbsp maltose (optional) or substitute with honey
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Cheong Chan thick caramel (thick dark soy)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chinese cooking wine
1/2 tbsp rose wine (optional)
1/4 tsp five spice powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
Tiniest pinch of MSG
A drop of red food colouring (optional)
Combine pork with marinade ingredients and stir around with a spoon in one direction until the pork turns pasty and is evenly mixed. Divide into two portions. You can leave it to marinade for a few hours in the fridge, but that's optional.
Prepare 2 sheets of baking paper which will fit on your baking tray. Place one portion of the meat onto the paper and cover with a layer of clingwrap. Use a rolling pin to flatten the meat until you get an even layer of rectangular shape, about 2mm thick. Slide the paper onto the baking tray and peel off the cling wrap. Repeat with the other portion of the meat.
Place the 2 trays of meat into an oven at 100C and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the surface of the meat looks dry and firm, and holds together without breaking apart. Remove from oven and cut each one into 9 square pieces. Drain off any excess liquid.
Dissolve the maltose in 2 tbsp hot water and microwave for a few seconds if necessary. If using honey, dissolve it in 1/2 tbsp water.
Turn on the broiler or grill in your oven. Place the slices of pork on the wire rack of your oven and brush with some of the maltose solution. Grill for a few minutes until it starts to char at the sides. Flip the pork over and brush maltose on the other side. Grill again until charred to your liking. Transfer onto a plate and serve warm or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in the fridge and heat up briefly in the microwave before serving.