Hed Chef: Bak kwa
Want to savour good bak kwa (barbecued pork) without queuing or paying cut-throat prices?
Put your time to better use and save money by making your own.
Be warned though, your friends and relatives may end up queuing outside your home for this festive treat.
>>> 1kg minced pork (shoulder butt)
>>> 220g fine sugar
>>> 1½ tsp salt
>>> 1 tsp light soya sauce
>>> 1 tbsp oyster sauce
>>> ½ tsp five spice powder
>>> 1½ tbsp Chinese rice wine
>>> Pinch of red food colouring powder
You will need baking paper, cling wrap, a rolling pin and a baking tray measuring 37cm by 26cm and 1.5cm deep.
1. Place the minced meat in a bowl. Add the sugar, salt, light soya sauce, oyster sauce and five spice powder. Mix well.
2. Add the red food colouring sparingly and mix well.
3. Marinate the pork, preferably overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C.
5. Cut the baking paper to fit the baking tray. (I recommend using 250g to 280g of pork mixture per tray.)
6. Take 250g of the minced pork and place on the baking paper. Cover the minced pork, including the entire piece of baking paper, with cling wrap.
Use a rolling pin over the cling wrap to flatten the pork mixture evenly. Aim for a thickness of about 0.3cm.
8. Remove the cling wrap.
9. Place baking paper with the pork mixture on the baking sheet. Bake at 160 deg C for 18 minutes on the middle rack.
10. Remove from oven and slice the bak kwa into your preferred size.
11. Place back into the oven and bake for another 18 minutes at 180 deg C.
12. Turn the bak kwa pieces over and bake for two minutes. (The timing varies with your home oven and the thickness of your bak kwa.)
13. The bak kwa may appear to have an orangey hue, but it will become a darker red as it cools down.
14. Remove from oven and allow it to completely cool before storing in an airtight container.
15. Repeat the baking process for the remaining minced pork mixture.