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Singapore Stories: Bakkwa (Meat Jerky)
Living right next to Chinatown here in Singapore definitely has its benefits. Aside from the beautiful temples and awesome foot massage parlors, there's a slew of Sichuan restaurants, steamboat and hotpot eateries, and fun restaurant supply stores filled with any size bamboo steamer or wok you can imagine.
This area also happens to be jam packed with vendors of bakkwa, a sweet-salty char-grilled meat jerky. Bakkwa is extremely popular in Singapore, and everyone seems to have strong feelings as to the best place to procure it. I've always had a certain lack of control when it comes to any kind of dried, processed, sweet/salty, chewy meat product (or by-product). So when I moved here over a year ago, I made a radical decision to stay away from the stuff. I was sure that just one taste of it would get me crack addict hooked.
Last week I finally gave in to the calling wafts of bbq'd pork. I am in serious trouble.
When it came to choosing bakkwa shops to sample, I was nothing short of a gluttonous kid in a pork candy store. A short search pulled up no less than nine shops within a ten-minute walk of both each other and my apartment.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore as a freelance writer for Time Out Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.