Ben Yeo Is Selling Limited-Edition Yuzu Bak Kwa At $58 For 500g This Chinese New Year - 8 Days Skip to main content

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Ben Yeo Is Selling Limited-Edition Yuzu Bak Kwa At $58 For 500g This Chinese New Year

The creation is a collab with bak kwa brand Kim Joo Guan, and there’s an early bird promotion till 31 Dec.
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Hot on the heels of opening mod-Chinese restaurant Tan Xiang Yuan, actor Ben Yeo, 44, has yet another new F&B offering — a limited-edition yuzu bak kwa for Chinese New Year. The creation is a collaboration between his online biz, Singapore Chee Cheong Fun (SGCCF)and family-owned bak kwa brand Kim Joo Guan. The latter, which has more than 45 years’ history, prides itself on hand-made bak kwa using grain-fed Australian free-range pork that's chilled, not frozen.

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.

800 boxes snapped up within five days

The yuzu bak kwa is currently available for pre-order at an early bird price of $48 for 500g (around seven to eight slices). After Dec 31, it will be priced at $58. Each box comes wrapped in pretty sakura-print furoshiki Japanese cloth, and only 1,000 sets are available.

Ben tells us that response has been “better than expected” with some 800 boxes of the bak kwa snapped up within five days of their launch. “I am very happy ’cos customers trust our brands and are willing to support us. There was one customer who bought 100 sets as corporate gifts for her clients,” he chirps excitedly.

Despite brisk sales, there are no plans to increase production as their “staff will not be able to cope”.

Yuzu Bak Kwa ($48 for 500g till 31 Dec; $58 thereafter)

While we found Kim Joo Guan’s sliced pork bak kwa rather tough in the past, this yuzu-scented version is surprisingly quite soft, with a pleasantly chewy mouthfeel. Perhaps Ben was right — the citrus juices indeed helped tenderise the meat. Its marinade is well-balanced and delivered the requisite sweetness, saltiness, smokiness and a delightful zesty, floral back note from the fruit. We don’t often see yuzu being used in grilled meat dishes, especially something as strongly flavoured as bak kwa, so we were rather sceptical at first. But this pairing grew on us as it lends a lightly refreshing Japanese twist to a decadent Chinese New Year treat. Our only grouse? A couple of pieces in our stash had a weaker hit of yuzu than the others. Interesting point to note: Kim Joo Guan is selling the same cut of sliced bak kwa, albeit without any yuzu in it, at $31 per 500g. We guess you’re paying not just for the special marinade but also that pretty Japanese cloth wrapping that’s good for gifting.
 

Order the yuzu bak kwa at https://www.sgcheecheongfun.com (while stocks last). More info on Facebook and Instagram.

Photos: Pyron Tan and Kelvin Chia

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