Thursday, September 18, 2008


Bakkwa, or rougan is a salty-sweet dried meat product similar to , made in the form of flat thin sheets. It is normally made from pork. Bakkwa is believed to have originated from a meat preservation and preparation technique used in ancient China that is still practiced in places with influence.

In Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines ''bakkwa'' or ''ba gua'' is the most widely used name. Cantonese speakers use the term ''yuhk gōn''', Anglicised version ''long yok'', while in China and Taiwan the product is more commonly known as ''rougan''. Commercially available versions are sometimes labeled as "barbecued pork," "dried pork," or "pork jerky." Rougan is particularly popular as a snack in Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines. In Beidou, Taiwan, it is regarded as one of the three pork delicacies.

Cultural significance

In Malaysia and Singapore, bakkwa has become a highly popular gift offered to visitors and acquaintances, as well as amongst corporate employees (some during the Chinese New Year. In Muslim-majority countries like Malaysia, ''halal'' chicken varieties of the snack may be used as a gift substitute. It may also be served in functions such as Chinese wedding banquets and religious ceremony dinners. While demand is particular high during the festive seasons, it is also served throughout the year in various outlets as takeaway snacks or to be served together with main courses at home. The meat is commonly sold in red-coloured bags or packaging, an auspicious colour in Chinese culture.


Traditionally, bakkwa was made using leftover meats from festivals and banquets. They were preserved with sugar and salt, and then kept for later consumption, and was the preferred method at a time when refrigeration was not available. The meat from these celebrations is trimmed of the fat, sliced, marinated and then . After smoking, the meat is cut into small pieces and stored for later. It is believed that the distinguishing feature behind the preparation was in the marination, and the recipe is often closely guarded.

Contemporarily, however, the meat is often prepared using fresh produce or imported pre-packed and pre-marinated from China, often barbecued in high-temperature ovens locally. Currently, two main variants exist, with more traditional ones involving minced meat shaped into slices , and the newer versions involving slicing off solid blocks of meat . The latter, although more expensive, became increasingly popular due to its tougher texture and healthier lower fat content. The meat is most commonly served plain and in square-shaped slices, though spicy versions are also popular. It may be cut into bite-sized circles to resemble coins, thus referred to as "''Golden Coins''" for auspicious reasons during the festive seasons. More adventurous chains have attempted to introduce more novel ways of selling the meat.

Popular culture

A bubble gum-like packaging for bakkwa was virtually invented in the Singaporean movie ''I Not Stupid''.

Notable ''bakkwa'' shops, brands and chains

North America

*Soo Singapore Jerky


*Chun Me Food Trading
*Tan Heong Kee
*Wing Heong
*Kiew Brothers
*Hock Seng Guan


*Bee Cheng Hiang
*Fragrance Foodstuff
*Lim Chee Guan
*Tan Chee Yuan
*New Peng Hiang
*Golden Glory Food Industries


*Jin Xiang Yuan
*Chuan Xiang
*Hsin Tung Yang


* Bee Tin

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