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4 Jan 2014

Homemade meat jerky! Bak Kwa experiment for Chinese New Year!

My very 1st post for the year 2014 and I will be blogging about my homemade meat jerky process! I still
have a couple of 2013 posts which I have yet to update but this post was the priority since Chinese New
Year is approaching! My 3rd time experimenting with the seasoning quantity before finally settling with the
one below. (Note: Adjusted based on my personal preference!)

The recipe I modified into:

Pork                    300g       (A bit fattier would be better)
Sugar                     3 tbs
Honey                    3 tbs     (I think malt syrup would be better, more caramelised flavor.)
Fish Sauce           1.5 tbs
Sweet Wine            2 tbs    (I used a dessert wine)
Dark Soy Sauce   1/2 tbs
Char Siew Sauce     1 tbs   (Removed after 3rd batch)
Five Spice            1/2 tbs
Sesame Oil           1/2 tbs   (Removed after 3rd batch)

If anyone knows of any better tried-and-tested-before recipe, care to share with me so I could try?
I knew it would not be so easy to get close to the exact taste of Bak Kwa, if not everyone would be making
their own already. 

The recipe would be for 300g of meat and I did X2 the recipe for 600g of marinated minced pork, beef
and chicken. Best if you could add more fats into your minced meat as mine were all too lean! After
marinating the meat overnight in the chiller, the minced chicken was a bit watery while minced beef
was still rather firm. Pork was always in-between.  

I started off by portioning the meat into 100g - 110g so that all the jerky would be about the same size.
(Too large piece would be difficult to flip over and would easily break apart.) I spread the minced meat
onto an aluminium sheet, place a cling wrap over and using a rolling pin, flatten the meat evenly. About
2mm thickness for mine.

After spreading evenly on the aluminium, either you could directly bbq the meat or place it into the oven to
bake fully. I did half-half. About 200 degrees in the oven for 10-15 mins to firm up the meat before
transferring to the BBQ pit to barbecue! I guessed that it was normal for the marination to leak out of the
marinated meat during the baking process? Any ideas?  

Picture of myself barbecuing the meat jerky!

Another selfie shot with my friend's barbecue pit! Thanks Glenn for letting me use his house to barbecue!   

The texture was way too smooth to be Bak Kwa and it looked more like ham instead.

My friend did the baking to firm up the minced meat before I barbecued them. Kept flipping and
barbecuing piece by piece as his oven could only bake a piece at a time. 

Glazed with honey when the meat was about to be done with a bit of charred parts appearing. Make sure
the honey dries slightly or it would end up sticky.

Done! Pork or beef ??

Another shot with only 2 pieces...

Some of the minced chicken ended up like this, all broken apart because it was too soft to flip with tongs.

Done with all the 1.2kg of beef and pork which took about 5 hours...?

Final conclusion:

Beef - Jerky have quite a strong beefy taste and smell which could be quite unpleasant.
          The meat was rather firm but soft and tender.
          Easy to handle while baking and barbecuing.
          Easiest to dry up and discolour after a few days in the fridge  

Chicken - Became watery/mushy after marination and broke apart easily.
                Tasted a bit like satay / chicken steak. 

Pork - Texture a bit rubbery after a few days in the fridge.
           More suitable due to having more fats (although mine still not enough)
All - Unusual smell and taste, something like hoisin sauce detected.
        The texture too smooth to be Bak Kwa.
        Overall taste still negative to me.

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