Thursday, December 3, 2009

Malaysian Bak Kwa in Chinatown, NYC

One of the things that I really miss since moving to the States is Malaysian style Bak Kwa (pork jerky). Yes, you can find some sort of pork or beef jerky in Asian grocery stores but it's not the Malaysian type. It's usually the ones imported from Taiwan or China, vacuum packed and not really that fresh (since it came all the way from Taiwan/China). Also, Malaysian bak kwa is usually soft and tender, where else, the ones you that you can find in Asian grocery stores are usually very hard and chewy.
I found out online that there is a Malaysian Bak Kwa shop in Chinatown and boy was I excited! After watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, we headed downtown to Chinatown, in search of this shop. With the help of the Chinatown Information center, we managed to locate this bak kwa shop. If you don't look hard enough, you might just miss it. It's just a tiny little shop, well, it's not even a full shop, it's just half a shop :P It looks kinda old and run down but the familiar smell of freshly BBQed bak kwa coming out from the shop was just intoxicating!
We checked out the old menu board outside the shop and saw that they had most of the stuff that bak kwa shops in Malaysia would have. They sold the bak kwa by weight, ranging from $17 to $18 per lbs. We can see from the board (old sticker marks) that it used to be between $15-$16 per lbs, but hey, I guess inflation happens everywhere :P
We walked in the shop and it looks like any of the bak kwa shops in SS2 or Petaling Street. Rows of different types of bak kwa in see through display cabinets. They had pork, beef and chicken jerky, available in spicy and regular. You can also choose between the sliced or minced version. They were also promoting their recently launched new flavor, shrimp flavored pork jerky. Too bad they didn't have the gold coins bak kwa or the gourmet bacon bak kwa, both my favorites (not to worry, two more months before we go back to Malaysia for CNY. That's when we can eat as much bacon bak kwa as we like!! :P).
Look at the guy behind the grill. He was BBQing the bak kwas non stop while we were there....smells so gooooood. We bought a lbs of regular pork jerky ($17), since I prefer the minced type to the sliced type. The lady was trying to push the shrimp flavored pork jerky to us but errr I think we'll give it a skip :P She also proudly told us that we can now buy the bak kwa online and they ship them all over America. How cool is that? :D
Check out our loot! They even have those yellow plastic bags with red letterings, just like all the bak kwa shops in Malaysia :D She also slipped in their menu as well as their business card, with their website url.
Here's how they pack the bak kwas. They would of course seal it air tight if they were shipping it cross country but for walk in customers, they would place it in a wax paper bag and then in a resealable plastic bag. This way, it keeps the bak kwa nice and fresh.

Mmm mmm mmmmm, doesn't that look good? One lbs of freshly BBQed pork jerky. It's so tender and nice, unlike the ones we can get from the Asian grocery store. Also, I just love the charcoal burnt sides, it just makes it even more authentic tasting. Of course we cannot compare the taste to the big time bak kwa companies like Kew Bros or Bee Cheng Hiang in Malaysia, but compared to the pork jerky that we can get here, it tasted like heaven. I think that it's as good as it can get. So, the next time you are in Chinatown and need a little dose of 'Malaysia', head over to Malaysia Beef Jerky Inc and get yourself a lbs of yummy jerky!!! :D

Malaysia Beef Jerky Inc
95A Elizabeth Street,
New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 965-0796


ICook4Fun said...

I've tried their bak kwa but I don't think they are good. But it is better than nothing especially when we are so far from home. I too can't wait to go back early next year and indulge in Malaysia bak kwa.

Charlene n Kevin said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I love all the recipes from your blog...they are just amazing!Yeahhh it's not as good as the bak kwa from back home but I guess it's way better than those hard ones we can get from the Asian grocery store. Oh well, like you say, it's better than nothing :D

Simply said...

so gonna try them when i go NYC! I've been making my own bak kwa...................... my hubby and my friend love it....better than ntg i guess..... i use minced sauce....salt, pepper,sometimes some chinese wine and LOTS of sugar!! spread it thin on a pan, and bake it until cook and slightly charred!

Charlene n Kevin said...

wahhhhh, how you make bak kwa lah? post the recipe in your blog!! :D oh and when you coming to nyc again? give us a holler, we go makan!

Dawn said...

Oh I might order some online since I'm no where living close to NYC. I tried making bak kwa and they turned out good...per the picky taster hubs of mine. i tried this recipe from Chowtimes

and this I like Tazz's better.

Charlene n Kevin said...

Wow looks like it's quite tough to make :( I think I'll just stick to buying it ready made...hehehe.

Health Freak Mommy said...

These entrepreneurs really know how to do biz. They even ship their jerkies round the US! Looks like Chinese food is quite rare in the US. You may want to consider setting up a Malaysian/Penang food eatery in the US, hehe!
BTW, I've found the Paying Post codes in my blog and hv removed them. Could you try to go into my blog now? Thanks very much for helping me.

Charlene n Kevin said...

Hahaha actually here in NYC, there are a lot of Malaysian restaurants. It's only in those more 'ulu' places, then it's hard to get Malaysian food..hehehe. I just went into your blog..everything is working fine already!! :D

Anonymous said...

I have something like this in Jakarta, INDONESIA..they called Be Cheng Giang..from Singapore...It was so good.I took a chance to carry with me on my plane.I am so glad now I can get right here in China town. Only 40 mins from my house...thanks.

interesting place to visit said...

I really wanna visit this place. i miss going this kind of place in Singapore call the chinatown

Dating and Relationship Tips said...

the BBQed pork jerky.. that is sooo good! I'm not a jerky connoisseur by any means, but I like a good jerky every now and then. Today I was at Costco and they were handing out samples of this BBQ pork jerky and I was floored. It's very sweet, with a sticky glaze, and it tastes just like Chinese barbecue pork. I bought a bag and I didn't even make it to the car before I'd opened it.

filipino singles said...

Beams of sunlight from heaven shone down and blessed these bags of meaty goodness with flavor fit for the Gods themselves. My sister and I are jerky fanatics. This pork jerky rules!

Anonymous said...

You can also order homemade bakkwa from Sam Tan's Kitchen, as well as really authentic Malaysian CNY cookies. It's double the price but soooooo good quality and tender, and she ships everywhere in the US!**TO%20ORDER%3A%20Chinese%20New%20Year

Madi son said...

Nice blog. Thanks for sharing useful infomation.
Mini round coaster

Madi son said...

Nice blog. Thanks for sharing useful infomation.
mini round coaster