Welcome Bacon Fans!


A big hot and sweaty Singapore welcome to you, dear reader, if you’ve clicked on over from the fantastic www.baconismagic.ca.

I am such a big fan of the intrepid Ayngelina and her blog. If you’ve been following her for a while you’ll know she’s what a North American would call awesome and an Australian would call a top chick. Possibly even capitalized. A real Top Chick.

My guest post on Bacon Is Magic was my first ever. So I’m thrilled you liked it enough to click on over.

For those who have no idea what I’m on about, check out my Porky Postcard From The Far East.

A Porky Postcard From The Far East

Bak kwa barbecued pork

You’ve gotta love a country where people give bacon as a gift. Pork presents are so popular in Singapore that temporary shops have sprung up everywhere to meet the demand for bak kwa in the lead-up to the Chinese New Year.

Queuing for the city-state’s finest barbecued pork is considered a Chinese New Year tradition in Singapore. Oh, to be wealthy and have a “helper” to queue for you. (Singaporeans call their domestic staff helpers, rather than maids.)

Bak kwa is translated as barbecued pork and is usually sold in thin square sheets. It looks like plastic but tastes fantastic. The chewy-sweet-salty porkiness is addictive. There’s a hint of exotic spice, there’s a sweet stickiness that has to be sucked off your fingers, there’s a satisfying chewiness. What more could you want from a meat?

The first day of the Year of the Rabbit falls on February 3 this year. And so things are hotting up in the already-hot city-state of Singapore. I’ve only ever bought 100 grams at a time so no one has bothered to tell me how long bak kwa keeps for.

Singapore bak kwa

“It is the embodiment of a perfect gift – a joy to give and a delight to receive,” says the packaging on the first bundle of bak kwa I bought from the esteemed Kim Hock Guan barbecued pork chain, which has been practicing the “art” of barbecued pork-making for four generations. “It is an art that has been refined and continually researched on to satisfy even the finest gourmands,” the packaging says.

Kim Hock Guan, which first set up shop in 1905, is Singapore’s oldest bak kwa making company. There’s an outlet within walking distance of my house, in the groovy urban village of Katong.

Rival bak kwa chain Bee Cheng Hiang has a shop opposite my local supermarket. It is also good and my Darling Man says it’s better than Kim Hock Guan’s. A week before CNY, as Chinese New Year is known here (Singaporeans just love acronyms), and my local Kim Hock Guan has a queue and a horde of extra servers.

Queuing for bak kwa

Buying Bak kwa is a very serious matter. Unfortunately, the customers I could hear intensely interrogating the bak kwa shop staff were speaking Chinese so I have no idea what to ask for to get the best barbecued pork. People were buying $40 or $50 of bak kwa, which was packaged up beautifully in little red cardboard carry bags. Red and gold are very lucky colours for the Chinese and at CNY just about everything is red and gold, from lanterns to paper pineapples. (And I have no idea why pineapples are a CNY decoration.)

I found a recipe here for home-made bak kwa. I haven’t tried it but it looks good. I’m not sure I want to try sticking slices of oily meat into my toaster though. That sounds like something the baby will do soon enough. Although she’ll probably put the meat into the DVD player.

Next time you’re in Singapore, keep an eye out for

Bee Cheng Hiang at 1359 Serangoon Rd, 189 New Bridge Rd and on the basement level of Parkway Parade shopping centre, 80 Marine Parade Rd. Kim Hock Guan is at 150 South Bridge Rd, 180 Bencoolen St and 107 East Coast Rd.
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4 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, had a baby, went back to work and then decided to drop out again. Blogging from Ho Chi Minh City at the moment. With a new baby!

11 Comments

  1. Loved your post. Very well written. I don’t eat pork; I simply do not like it. But your post made me drool. I would totally try it. Can’t wait to hear what else you can tantalize me with :)
    The Domestic Yogi recently posted..Just Breathe – 5 Minute Exercise To Revitalize Mind-Body

  2. ayngelina says:

    I also didn’t really LOVE pork in North America but I think it’s because we only do bacon well, but everywhere else in the world does it so deliciously!
    ayngelina recently posted..A porky postcard from the Far East

  3. Jillian says:

    Interesting post. I can’t imagine giving pork for a gift, but I guess it’s really no different than chocolate or other food gifts we do give. I mean who really wants a gourmet popcorn tin?! Anyway, love the pictures, and let us know if you make homemade bak kwa!
    Jillian recently posted..Photo of the Day- Doner Kebab

  4. [...] even our relatives but we were welcomed like long-lost family. There was wine, there was bak kwa, there were pastries, there was curry, there were babies crawling on the floor. There were parents [...]

  5. Laurel says:

    I wouldn’t have thought of pork as a gift either, but I like the idea of giving something that somebody will use, rather than some bath soaps that sit in a cupboard for years without getting eaten.

    In Northern Germany, they give smoked eel as a gift. Can’t say I was brave enough to try it.
    Laurel recently posted..Fun Things to Do in Bremen

  6. Anthony says:

    Bacon is magic! I love pork in all forms. You post made salavate! I must go cook some dinner now. I think I am going to buy some pork! Yum!

  7. Christine says:

    Mmm, your post transports me there! I can almost taste it :)
    Christine recently posted..Eat- Sleep- Drink- See- Sevilla

  8. ciudades says:

    I like Bacon!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ciudades recently posted..El valor educativo de la geografia

  9. I clicked on this article because it said bacon. Shallow I know, but I must confess I although the article was a good read, even if it just said bacon over and over again for about 200 words or so you still would have had me hanging on your every word. YUM!
    Scott – Ordinary Traveler recently posted..Friday Night 1-00AM – All Alone 1

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