Chinese pork jerky

Keto Chinese Dried Pork Jerky (猪肉乾)

Are you wanting to get some snack food that is a good protein source in the form of meat and Asian?  Have you tried Chinese dried pork jerky?  I use to really enjoy Chinese Pork Jerky.  But it was expensive.  And due to the sugar and honey content in the original recipe not keto friendly.

So I attempted to ketofy the recipe!  There are definitely some tweaks for ‘next time’ but for now this is the recipe I used:

Chinese Keto Pork Jerky 猪肉乾 or Bak Kwa or long yoke

Want the tasty sweet but savoury snack that is Chinese dried pork? Pork jerky.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: pork
Servings: 12 large pieces
Cost: 10

Ingredients

  • 500 g minced pork with at least 20% fat I didn't have 20% fat so I thought I could just use extra fat... I added a tablespoon of duck fat but next time would just go for a fattier pork...
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes optional
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder
  • 3 teaspoons sweetener or more
  • 1/4 tsp maple essence optional
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp salt Quality salt only!

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with a sturdy serving spoon for about 2 minutes. Mixture will turn gooey. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Prepare a parchment paper or use silicon baking mats as I did.
  • Spread a thin layer of meat mixture and flatten with parchment paper. The meat layer should be about thin - say 2mm to 2.5mm thick. I used a combination of a rolling pin and my hand to get the meat into a flat piece.
  • I ended up with two cookie sheets worth of mince.
  • Transfer sheets of meat to cookie sheets or equivalent and bake in a 120°C / 250°F oven for 15 minutes.
  • The partially cooked meat should be in one piece. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut each sheet of meat into 6 (or more pieces).
  • I dry fried the pieces on a fry pan. You can ideally use a BBQ for this especially to get the charcoal scent! Or you can pop it in the oven.
  • Increase oven temperature to 220°C / 425°Transfer meat and grill for approximately 5 minutes. It could burn easily at this point so keep an eye on things. Adjust time accordingly. Flip each piece and grill for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Pack and store in an airtight container or ziplock bags in the fridge. I've seen commercial ones in shops "out" (not in fridgso this may be precautionary (to put in the fridge). Ours obviously don't have the protective (!) nature of sugar so I'm going to put mine in the fridge just in case!

This recipe would be great for those thinking or doing the carnivore keto diet.  I’m thinking of it.  Just as an experiment so it is a good option to have this in my repertoire.  Dried pork jerky is a great snack that is portable too, so could be good for hiking or overnight stays when there is no fridge.

What would I do differently?

  1. Definitely get the “half” fat pork that Chinese butchers sell.  I bought my pork from a supermarket that thinks lean pork mince is what people want (what are they thinking!).  It was a compromise as I wanted free range pork and I doubt the pork I buy at a Chinese butcher would be free range… but maybe I just need compromise here since getting pastured/free range pork is difficult here.
  2. Use a proper BBQ/Grill after the meat is dehydrated and cut up into smaller pieces .  If I had a proper charcoal type BBQ or grill I wouldn’t bother using the liquid smoke.
  3. Add a bit more sweetener – 3 teaspoons is not enough to get that taste I’m expecting although it’s nice!
  4. Dry it out slower than at 120 degrees in 15 minutes… maybe in a dehydrator (which I don’t have!) or over a longer time in the oven.  Traditionally this is dried in the sun… (yes that’s why I’m suggesting a dehydrator… and because I have two dogs!)

Hopefully what I’ve made this time will get finished in the next few weeks so I can try making the Chinese dried pork jerky again!

Chinese pork jerky

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