Two bak kwa recipes you can’t say no to

And one of which doesn’t even involve any cooking.


You don’t need to wait till Chinese New Year with plenty of leftover bak kwas to enjoy this yummy snack. For a start, you can make bak kwa jam. Yes, you can serve up a jar of this sweet-salty treat with a few toasts on the side. Or with keropok. And then have it with pancakes for breakfast the next day. After all, this also has bacon in it for a savoury kick. 

Another way to elevate bak kwa (not that it needs elevating)? Especially if you can’t cook? Take your cue from the way Japanese chefs serve dried puffer fish with an umami dip of tobiko (flying fish roe) mayo. It’s a simple, clever way to make your bak kwa extra special — and er, even more calorifically yummy. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Bak Kwa Jam

Makes about 2 cups


5 rashers bacon, chopped
8 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 slices bak kwa, chopped
6 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp fish sauce
¼ cup brandy
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat without oil, stirring until the fat is rendered and the bacon lightly browned. This should take about 15 minutes.
2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon from the pan to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
3. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the skillet.
4. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook until the shallots are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the reserved bacon, bak kwa, maple syrup, fish sauce, brandy and vinegars.
6. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the bak kwa turns soft.
7. Taste and add more fish sauce, maple syrup or vinegar if necessary.
8. Turn off the heat.
9. Transfer the jam to a blender or food processor. Pulse till roughly chopped (you don’t want the mixture to be smooth — you want some chunks of bak kwa in there).
10. Let cool and transfer to airtight containers. Keep refrigerated for up to a month.

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