|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 11g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*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.|
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
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
Gather the ingredients.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Remove it from the oven and let it cool before eating or storing in an airtight container.
- 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.