Malaysian Pork Jerky

More commonly called Loong Yoke or Bak Kwa in Malaysia, these yummy snacks are very more'ish :). At least for me as I could never stop at just one piece lol.


Growing up in Malaysia, I never knew of anyone who made these at home. And they were quite expensive to buy, so we'd only get them as special 'sometimes' treats. After migrating to Australia, I didn't have them for years as they are not easily available from shops, and customs won't allow them thru with travellers. Then a colleague told me she's heard that we can DIY Bak Kwa. Wow! Excited! Why didn't I know that 15 years ago? LOL

Anyhow, Bak Kwa is an especially popular snack during Chinese New Year celebrations. And as we are currently ushering in the year of the Monkey 2016, I thought it would be nice to share a recipe for this. 

I found a base recipe online that I've adapted to our own taste preference. I usually make double the quantity as they freeze very well before the final step of bbq/grilling. I use my stand mixer with dough hook attachment to mix the meat - a lot easier than using elbow grease. I have so far not used my KitchenAid Cook Processor to make this, but I imagine it would just be as easy as the stand mixer - just mix all ingredients with the DoughBlade at speed 3 for a few minutes.


Loong Yoke / Bak Kwa

1 kg ground pork (best mix would be roughly 80:20 ratio of lean and fat meat)
1 ½  tablespoons fish sauce
1 ½  tablespoons soya sauce
1 ½  tablespoons dark thick soya sauce
200 gms sugar (or brown sugar if preferred)
1/8 teaspoon five spiced powder
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
tablespoon neutral flavoured oil
tablespoons brandy
Optional, but if available add 2 teaspoons rose wine (Mei Kwei Lu Chiew)

Method:
  1. Mix all ingredients in a stand mixer bowl with dough hook attachment at a slow medium speed until meat becomes gooey. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with cling wrap, and marinate in the fridge overnight or at least about 4 hours. A cold mixture is also a bit easier to handle. Marinating is more flavorful but I have also continued without marinating time and the result was still good.
  2. Turn oven to 160C (fan forced) to preheat.
  3. Using 2 pieces of baking paper slightly larger than your baking tray, sandwich about a third of marinated pork between the baking papers. Use a rolling pin to roll meat as thin as you’d like your jerky to be (usually about 2mm thick) to roughly cover the size of your baking tray. After rolling, remove the baking paper on top, place the baking paper with the meat on it onto your baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes or until firm to touch.
  4. Remove from oven, let cool, and using a pair of scissors, cut meat into palm sized pieces.
  5. Repeat steps (3) to (4) with the remaining meat mixture.
  6. Meat is now ready for grilling or stacked (using the baking paper from baking meat in the oven to separate the meat pieces), then wrap stack in foil and freeze in air tight container until needed.
  7. I get hubby to use the bbq to bbq the slices and get a nice charcoal flavor. I have also used the oven grill at 180C for a few minutes until I get slight browning/caramelization.

Notes:
  • I usually buy ready minced pork from the Chinese butcher that has some fat through it already.
  • You can adjust taste of marinated pork mince by microwaving a teaspoon of mince and see if seasonings are sufficient to your taste and adjust accordingly.
  • My sis-in-law who was visiting from Malaysia a few years ago said my Bak Kwa was not ‘sweet’ enough when she tasted it. To our personal taste, it was plenty sweet when I used 200gms sugar. I had to keep in mind though she is used to the very sweet ones they buy in Malaysia, and that our tastes for overly sweet stuff have changed since living in Australia.