The collab started out as a joke, sorta
After trying Kim Joo Guan’s bak kwa last year, Ben, who’s pals with the brand’s second-generation owner, Arthur Ong, 44, jokingly suggested that they collaborate on a limited-edition flavour for Chinese New Year. Unexpectedly, Arthur agreed.
“I love bak kwa and since SGCCF introduces a CNY collaboration every year, it was the perfect opportunity to launch this product,” Ben tells 8days.sg.
He picked yuzu as he says he loves the zesty, tangy Japanese citrus fruit, and thinks it also pairs well with grilled meat.
“I wanted something citrusy as it not only adds flavour, but also acts as a tenderiser for the meat. I also like the fragrance of yuzu,” he shares.
Ben worked with Arthur and his team to come up with the recipe, and like the brand’s traditional bak kwa, only fresh pork slices are used. The meat is marinated in packaged yuzu juice and zest, fish sauce and “Kim Joo Guan’s secret family recipe” before they are charcoal grilled and sent out for delivery the same day.
“I like that the bak kwa is not too sweet, with a subtle yuzu flavour and fragrance. The yuzu cuts the oiliness, so it’s not jelak,” says Ben. He recommends heating it up in a microwave or oven for 30 seconds, or pairing it with his chee cheong fun.
“Cut the bak kwa into small pieces, and stir-fry it with some mushrooms, garlic, shallots, as well as the soy sauce that comes with our chee cheong fun kit. Add the fillings to the chee cheong fun, roll it up and heat it up for around two minutes. Finally, toss it with the rest of the condiments,” he says.