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Black pepper bak kwa

epicure 23 July 2013
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Type of Meal
Vegetarian-friendly
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This salty-sweet dried meat is a must-have staple during Chinese New Year. Try this black pepper bak kwa recipe for a less traditional twist to the popular snack.

Serves 8-10
Prep time 20 minutes + 1 day (marinating time)
Cook time 1 hour

1.5kg minced pork
380g sugar
5 tbsp light soya sauce
5 tbsp fish sauce
5 tbsp hua diao jiu (Chinese cooking wine)
2 tbsp black pepper, crushed
1 tsp five-spice powder
½ tsp red colouring powder
½ tsp white pepper powder
½ cup honey, diluted with 4 tbsp hot water to make a runny glaze

  • Combine the minced pork with all the ingredients (except honey) in a deep dish. Mix the ingredients in a circular motion until the red hue is even, about 15 minutes. The mixture should be of a slightly gluey consistency. Cover the dish with cling wrap and refrigerate for one day.
  • With a rolling pin, spread the meat mixture thinly (about 5mm) in between two pieces of parchment paper. Place the bak kwa in a 70°C dehydrator for 8 hours to dry, or a 180°C open-door oven for 30 minutes.
  • Cut the meat into desired shapes, either with a round mould for coins, or sliced into squares. Brush both sides with honey and cook over a hot grill for 4-5 minutes until the edges start to char slightly.
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