Chinese BBQ Pork Jerky

Chinese bbq jerky stacked on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 8 hrs
Cook: 2 hrs 20 mins
Total: 10 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 12 pieces
Yield: 12 pieces
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
97 Calories
2g Fat
12g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 97
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 398mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 135mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bak kwa, or pork jerky in Fukienese, is a popular Asian snack all year around, but especially during Lunar New Year. Originating from the Fujian province, the technique of preservation was developed in ancient China when poverty was rampant and meat was hard to come by. Traditionally air dried then barbecued over a hot plate or coals, it was a way for people to conserve meat for special occasions. Unlike most American jerky, this recipe is beautifully glazed with honey and caramelized creating a slightly sticky and succulent snack with the perfect umami bite.

“This jerky was so delicious! It is the perfect combination of sweet and sticky yet savory. The Chinese five spice also adds a really nice depth of flavor. Even though there is a long prep and cook time, most of it is hands-off, which makes the process very easy indeed.” — Julia Hartbeck

Squares of shiny, reddish brown jerky on a white plate
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Meat:

  • 1 pound 90% lean ground pork

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon chinese 5 spice

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chinese bbq jerky ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Combine all the ingredients for the meat in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Paddle the meat on medium speed until it looks like a paste, about 1 minute. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can mix it by hand but you really have to get in there and mix it in one direction for 3-5 minutes until it looks like a paste.

    meat and other ingredients for jerky mixed in bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Transfer the meat to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and poke a few air holes on the top. This will help the meat dry while it rests and marinates in the fridge overnight.

    jerky mixture in bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Remove the marinated meat from the fridge and spread into a thin, even rectangular layer about 1/8 “ thick on a parchment lined rimmed baking tray to prevent the juices from leaking. Bake the pork for 1 hour 15 minutes.

    Chinese bbq jerky mixture spread out on parchment lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Remove the tray from the oven and drain any juices. Transfer the jerky to a cutting board or work surface. Change the parchment paper to a fresh sheet. Flip the jerky with the other side facing up onto the new paper on the tray and bake for another hour.

    bbq jerky removed from oven after baking

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Remove the pork from the oven again and set your oven to a LOW broil. Transfer the jerky back to the cutting board and cut it into 12 even squares.

    cooked jerky meat cut into 12 squares on cutting board with chef's knife

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Make the glaze by whisking together the honey and water. Rearrange the jerky back onto the baking tray and brush each piece with the glaze. Place it back in the oven on the middle or lower rack. Let it broil for 3-4 minutes or until desired level of caramelization is reached. Do not leave unattended. It can burn very quickly.

    squares of bbq jerky on sheet tray with glaze

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Remove the tray from the oven, flip each piece over and glaze the other side. Place it back into the oven to broil for another 3-4 minutes.

    bbq jerky squares cooked under broiler and coated with more glaze

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Remove it from the oven and let it cool before eating or storing in an airtight container.

    cooked and cooled squares of Chinese BBQ jerky on plate

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to use very lean pork. If you can only find 80% lean, you may need to cook it longer at 250 degrees F before broiling.
  • The longer the meat marinates, the more flavor it will have, At least overnight is recommended.
  • If you are preparing the meat mixture by hand, make sure to stir it well enough until it forms a smooth paste.
  • Please pay close attention when broiling the jerky. Check it after 2 minutes as oven broilers can vary.


This recipe is easy to scale up, doubling or even tripling the recipe. However, do not put any of the trays on the upper rack as it will burn too quickly.


  • The jerky can be stored in an airtight container or zip top bag at room temp for up to 3 days, in the fridge for up to one week, and in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  • Make sure to bring the jerky to room temperature or heat in the oven or microwave before consuming.