Chinese New Year 2014: The History of Bak Kwa


Hello Readers! Chinese New Year Festival is happening in about 2 to 3 weeks’ time and is time to shop for your CNY goodies! Few days back, I took out my free time to visit and do some street photography at the Singapore Chinatown.

Along the Street of Chinatown was decorated with beautiful Chinese New Year display, Street vendors was mass selling CNY goodies item and the whole street was filled with New Year atmosphere. I walked in the crowds and capture the busy moment. Hence, I chance upon few Bak Kwa stall and start ponder few question came into my mind…

Bak Kwa (肉干), one of the common food we will eat during Chinese New Year Festival, it is one of my favourite CNY goodies too. People who eaten Bak Kwa before will love the taste but have you guys ever wonder what is the behind culture and history of Bak Kwa? I went back home and did a little research about the history of “Bak Kwa” and I find it quite interesting. Therefore, today post going to share with you guys what i read about the legend history of Bak Kwa adapted from 2 useful website…

“Bak kwa is a dried meat product similar to jerky that is a traditional food to Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese populations. It is also known as rou gan, 肉干, in Mandarin and is a popular snack food which is frequently consumed during the Chinese New Year period. These meat pieces are usually made from pork and sold in thin square slices; however beef, mutton, chicken and even vegetarian alternatives have since been produced (Guay, 2010; Chinatownology, 2012). The meat is typically marinated with many spices, sugar, salt and honey, and then dried on racks with temperatures between 50°C to 60°C (Leistner, 1999; Bakkwaking Ltd, 2012; Chinatownology, 2012).” – Read More (

“Bak kwa is thought to have derived from a meat preservation and preparation technique used in ancient China. It is also considered a Hokkien delicacy, as it originated from the Fujian province in China, where poverty meant that the consumption of meat was a luxury usually reserved for Chinese New Year. Leftover meat would be preserved by slicing the meat into thin sheets and marinating them with sugar and spices, before air-drying the slices and cooking them over a hot plate. When immigrants brought this delicacy over to Singapore and Malaysia, it took on local characteristics. For example, while the meat is still air-dried, it is instead grilled over charcoal, which imparts a smokier flavour. The local version is also sweeter than its original counterpart.” Read More (

Enjoy Reading the History of Bak Kwa!!!

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