Bak Kwa | 肉干 | Chinese BBQ Chicken Jerky

Updated: Mar 15

As you already know, I do not eat any other cuts of meat, except for chicken. You can imagine how wonderful I feel when I finally get the taste and texture right for this Festive Chinese New Year treat. This is a very popular treat during this festive season. People will queue for hours upon hours just to get their hands on some Bah Kwa. You're right, they are super pricy during this season.

This my humble chicken version. I am proud to say that I do not use any food coloring or highly processed super-refined sugar like most eateries do. I use maltose syrup to get that sticky consistency. If you are having a hard time getting your hands on those, you can replace it with pure honey. You can also replace Rose Wine with Hua Tiao, Shao Xing or Sherry Wine. You might wanna try your luck at a local Chinese grocery store or simply order online via Amazon.

Lastly, I brushed the bak kwa with maple syrup to get that glossy shine. My daughters commented that it tastes exactly the same or even better; better texture, better taste and of cos better ingredients. Instead of spending huge dollars and hours standing in line to buy these for Chinese New Year, why not make them at home?

Ingredients:

(Serve 4)

  • Chicken Thigh Skinless Boneless, 500g

  • Fish Sauce, 1 TBSP

  • Dark Soy Sauce, 1/2 TBSP

  • Light Soy Sauce, 1/2 TBSP

  • Rose Wine, 1 TBSP

  • Chinese 5 Spice Powder, 1/8 TSP

  • Brown Cane Sugar, 1/2 Cup

  • Maltose Syrup, 1 TBSP

  • Cinnamon Powder, 1/4 TSP

  • Coriander Powder, 1/4 TSP

  • White Pepper, 1/4 TSP

  • Canola / Peanut / Vegetable Oil, 1 TBSP

  • Maple Syrup Preferably Grade 'A', For Brushing

Equipment:

  • Oven

  • Baking Tray Lined with Parchment Paper

  • Rolling Pin

  • Blender / Food Processor / Meat Grinder

Directions:

  1. Grind chicken.

  2. If you have a meat grinder, that's great. Grind the chicken thigh with your meat grinder.

  3. If not, you can use a blender or a food processor.

  4. Cut the chicken thigh into small pieces.

  5. Blend or process them up in batches.

  6. *Do not over blend or process them. Stop once the meat is ground up.*

  7. Prepare the marinade.

  8. Transfer the ground chicken into a large mixing bowl.

  9. Add in the rest of the ingredients, except maple syrup.

  10. Mix to combine well. Mix, mix, mix.

  11. *A quick tip. Maltose syrup is difficult to work with at room temperature. After measuring out, transfer to a heatproof bowl and let steam for about 5 mins or until the maltose is liquified.*

  12. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge overnight.

  13. On the baking day.

  14. Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius or 360 fahrenheit.

  15. Measure and cut 2 parchment paper to the size of your baking tray.

  16. Transfer half of the chicken onto the parchment paper.

  17. Place the other parchment paper on top of the chicken.

  18. Using a rolling pin, roll and spread out the chicken as evenly as you can, to about 1/8 inch thick.

  19. Make sure they are almost the same thickness to allow even baking.

  20. Remove the top parchment paper.

  21. *Do not discard, as you can use it for your second batch.*

  22. Transfer the chicken with the bottom parchment paper onto your baking tray.

  23. Wack into the oven and bake for 10 mins.

  24. Remove from the oven.

  25. Brush the chicken with maple syrup.

  26. Wack into the oven and bake for 10 to 15 mins or until the edges start to char.

  27. Remove from the oven.

  28. Set oven to roast.

  29. Brush the chicken with more maple syrup.

  30. Wack into oven and roast for 2 mins.

  31. Remove from oven, flip and brush the chicken with maple syrup.

  32. Wack into oven and bake for a final 2 mins.

  33. Remove from oven, immediately brush the chicken on both sides with maple syrup.

  34. Set aside to rest and cool before slicing and serving.

  35. Repeat the process for the remaining chicken.

  36. Serve.

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