Bak Kwa (Rou Gan), Very Addictive Chinese Equivalent of Jerky

Since moving overseas, bak kwa is the one treat from home that I really miss. As a kid, a common breakfast used to be bak kwa sandwiched between buttered slices of white bread. I would eat piece after piece of these till my throat started to hurt. Bak kwa here tends to be really expensive, don’t taste like the ones from home and they are often dry and tough. Luckily, it isn’t too difficult to make bak kwa at home – it is way cheaper and is often just as tasty as the shopbought ones that you get in Singapore.

Bak Kwa

Serves 4

500g minced pork belly

1T soy

1T kecap manis

1T fish sauce

3/4 T oyster sauce

Pinch of five spice powder

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

80g sugar

2 tsp dark soy sauce

2 tsp red yeast powder (optional, for colour)

Salt to taste, about 1 tsp

15″x13” baking tray

2 tablespoons maltose

2 tablespoons hot water

1/ Mix everything except the maltose and water well until it is sticky.

2/ Roll it out between baking paper on the baking tray, about 6mm thickness.

3/ Bake 15 minutes in a preheated 175C oven.

4/ Cut into squares, rectangles or coins. Bake another 15min.

5/ Cool slightly. Mix together the maltose and hot water and brush the slices on both sides.

6/ Grill over charcoal or pan fry in a dry pan until nicely charred.



Pamelia Chia is a Singaporean chef and the author of the bestselling cookbook ‘Wet Market to Table’. After graduating with an Honor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from the National University of Singapore in 2014, she decided to trade a food scientist’s lab coat in for chef whites. She has since been working in restaurants in Singapore and Melbourne, including Candlenut and Carlton Wine Room. Her deepest interest being the preservation and celebration of Singaporean food heritage and culture, she started Singapore Noodles in 2020 as a platform to share about Singaporean food to a global audience. Find her on Instagram @pameliachia.

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