Chinese bakkwa made from pork
Alternative names Rougan
Place of origin China
Region or state Fujian
Main ingredients Dried meat
Cookbook: Bakkwa  Media: Bakkwa
Traditional Chinese 肉乾
Simplified Chinese 肉干
Hokkien POJ bah-koaⁿ
Literal meaning dried meat
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Bakkwa, also known as rougan, is a Chinese salty-sweet dried meat product similar to jerky.

Bakkwa is made with a meat preservation and preparation technique originating from China.[1] The general method for production have remained virtually unchanged throughout the centuries, but the techniques have been gradually improved.[1] It is traditionally made of pork, beef, or mutton, which is prepared with spices, sugar, salt and soy sauce, while dried on racks at around 50 to 60 °C (122 to 140 °F).[2]

Nowadays, products with a softer texture, lighter color and less sugar are preferred.[1] The shafu type of bakkwa products has a higher water content, and thus has a softer texture and lower sugar content.[1] Whereas the traditional bakkwa has a water activity below 0.7, shafu bakkwa tends to be closer to a water activity of about 0.79.[3] Nevertheless, shafu can have similar shelf life as other types of bakkwa.[1]

Bakkwa is immensely popular in Singapore and Malaysia where it is usually eaten during Chinese New Year. When Chinese immigrants brought this delicacy over to Singapore and Malaysia, it began to take on local characteristics. A notable example lies in the preparation of bakkwa, where the meat is grilled over charcoal rather than air-dried. This imparts a smokier flavor to the meat. The Singaporean and Malaysian versions of bakkwa are also sweeter than its mainland China counterpart with many different variations adapted to suit the local palate such as chilli bakkwa.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Leistner, Lothar (1999). Lund, Barbara M.; et al., eds. The microbiological safety and quality of food: Volume 1. Gaithersburg: Aspen Publishers. p. 306. ISBN 978-0-8342-1323-4.
  2. International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods, ed. (2005). Micro-organisms in foods 6: Microbal ecology of food commodities (2nd ed.). New York: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-306-48675-3.
  3. Leistner, L. (1995). "Principles and applications of hurdle technology". In G.W. Gould. New Methods of Food Preservation. Springer. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-4613-5876-3.
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