Bakkwa, a sweet-savory barbecued meat jerky, is extremely popular in Singapore. It is traditionally made with pork marinated with sugar, salt, and spices, which is then smoked to dry the meat and form a squarish flat patty. Finally the meat patty is barbecued to caramelize the sugars and bring out the flavors. The resulting bakkwa is tender, moist, and rich in flavor. Bakkwa is now also made with beef, chicken, fish, and even shrimp, and in a variety of sizes (regular, mini, gold coins, cubes, etc.) and flavors (chilli, black pepper, etc.).
The two most popular bakkwa companies in Singapore, both with long histories and strong followings, are Bee Cheng Hiang and Lim Chee Guan. Bee Cheng Hiang has vastly greater number of stores so its products are more readily accessible but this also lends exclusivity to Lim Chee Guan, which has 3 stores at last count. In fact the snaking lines outside their stores has been used by Lim Chee Guan in its marketing – “The long winding queues are the quintessential expression of true loyalty customers have for Lim Chee Guan… This makes acquiring Lim Chee Guan bak kwa for family an act of love and devotion to be proud of.” Fans of Lim Chee Guan say their bakkwa is fresher and meatier. Regardless, we think both brands taste pretty amazing. One thing we appreciate about Bee Cheng Hiang is that it offers vacuum packed bakkwa that has a much longer shelf life and is much easier to travel with or mail.Price: n/a