It's Saturday afternoon, 3 December, 2016. On the way to the Jelutong Market this morning, I remarked to my wife that it's been a while since she last made bak knua (Chinese pork jerky). Being such a wonderful wife, she decided then and there to make bak knua for me today. So upon arriving at the market, we bought 1 kilogram of minced meat. My wife specified to her regular butcher that she was going to make bak knua.
"So early?" her butcher said, expecting that most homemakers only make bak knua towards Chinese New Year. But we weren't making it for the festivities, rather for personal consumption.
Coming home, my wife found that the minced meat provided to her is not as fatty as she would prefer. So I suggested we add some oil to the meat, to enhance its fattiness. Other items that went into her bak knua include light soya sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, pepper, sesame oil and five spice powder. She also put one tablespoon of brandy.
As I am writing this, I have just finished eating two pieces of bak knua, and they were absolutely delicious. I look forward to having them re-grilled, because that will further enhance their crispiness. But the bak knua is already ready to be eaten as they are.
If you wish to make bak knua yourself, I recommend the recipe in Agnes Chang's book, Let's eat. The bak knua recipe is on page 20. My wife referred to this book for the list of ingredients, though she substituted brandy for rose wine which was listed in the book. The book is available at Popular Bookshop in Penang.
Minced meat formed into a single sheet, before first bake. (3 December, 2016)
Minced meat first bake in oven. (3 December, 2016)
Minced meat, after first baked, cut into rectangles. This is the reserve side of the bak knua. (3 December, 2016)
Another view of the minced meat rectangles, after first bake. (3 December, 2016)
Bak knua finish and ready to be eaten. (3 December, 2016)
To make bak knua, refer to this cookbook, available at Popular Bookshop. (3 December, 2016)
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