As a hallmark snack of Chinese New Year, Bak Kwa is a must-have during this time of the year, especially if you consider yourself Singaporean! And guess what, your pets can enjoy this treat too! This year, we’ll show you how to make DIY, pet-friendly Bak Kwa for your pet dogs and cats to double New Year celebrations. You can even customize it according to your pet's taste. Additionally, you don’t need any fancy equipment to make it. So, if you want to give your pets this delicious treat during Chinese New Year, you’re definitely in the right place!
Having said that, if you’re pressed for time, we’ve got other Bak Kwa options for you: Absolute Holistic Jerky treats look and taste just like Bak Kwa! Choose from many different flavours: Pork, Lamb, Duck, Salmon & more.
Do pets love Bak Kwa?
After making pet-friendly Bak Kwa in your home and serving it to your pet dogs and cats, you'll quickly learn that they simply love this treat. Watch them surround and trail after you, edging the other pets out of their way to get to you first. As an additional health benefit, Bak Kwa does not fall under the category of “processed food”. While making a pet-friendly Bak Kwa, you need to be careful with the ingredients. The ingredients used to make Bak Kwa for people are not always equally healthy for dogs. In fact, some of them can be toxic and might lead your dog towards sickness including vomiting, diarrhea, and other problems.
Using excessive amounts of sugar and honey can be harmful to pets so we must be mindful to add them only in moderation. Nevertheless, we can tweak the amount according to our pet’s tastes and sensitivities. For instance, the quantity of sugar can be reduced to decrease the amount of sodium. By making it yourself, you can be sure and satisfied with the quality of the food and the absence of any harmful ingredients such as preservatives or harmful food color. However, do keep in mind that Bak Kwa should not be used as a treat that can be given to dogs or cats every day.
Pet-Friendly Bak Kwa Ingredients and Equipment:
Throw away all unhealthy seasonings because we have brought you a super easy recipe of Bak Kwa which will not require grilling! You need the following things:
- Minced meat
- NZ natural manuka honey
- Air Fryer or oven
Traditionally, people make Bak Kwa by grilling it on charcoal. However, baking it in the oven will also give incredible results.
Meat Choices for Making Bak Kwa:
For meat, you can use any meat that's your dog's favorite. For some people, it can be pork while others may prefer making it with chicken. People also use turkey and beef. Keep in mind that in case of making a Bak Kwa with chicken, it will be lighter in color and the meat is going to be less juicy as compared to beef or pork.
Ground Meat or Sliced Meat?
Selecting between the ground and sliced meat for making a perfect Bak Kwa might seem difficult. If you ask a Bak Kwa enthusiast, he will likely say that sliced meat is a better choice as it has more flavor and meat. However, ground meat can also turn out to be finger-licking. Ground meat is also convenient as it is more manageable and easily available.
So here we go! Let's start making a tasty treat for your fur babies
Step 1: Thaw the Meat
First, you need to thaw the meat. To do it properly, make sure that you run it through clean water and drain out the maximum amount of liquid. This practice will help in shortening the dehydrating process. Add honey to enhance its taste. After this, you can add your favorite pet-friendly herbs along with some oil (this step is optional).
Step 2: Stir the Meat
Now stir the meat with the help of a chopstick. Continue stirring until meat turns sticky and paste-like.
Step 3: Marinate the Meat
Once you get the meat in paste-like form, cover and keep it in the fridge for marination. Note that meat should be marinated for at least 6 to 8 hours. Keeping it marinated overnight would be great for rich flavor.
Step 4: Shaping the Meat
Now that your meat is completely marinated, you need to shape it. For this, take a jelly roll pan and transfer the meat in it. Take a small rolling pan and roll out the marinated meat on the pan. Your pan's surface should be covered with meat to nearly 2mm thickness.
Step 5: Cook the Meat:
With the help of a spatula or spoon, flatten the meat gently all over the tray. Now take a baking paper and spread the meat on it. Place in the oven at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes. Then, baste your meat with honey on both sides and flip your meat over very gently and bake it for 5 more minutes at 200 degrees C.
If you want your Bak Kwa to be crispier, you can put it in the oven for 5 more minutes (and watch your pet drool over it).
Keep checking the color, and when you get a satisfactory color, flip the meat to the other side and brush with honey again. (Keep in mind that you should NOT walk away during the process of baking otherwise, you will end up burning the meat and wasting all your hard work!)
Step 6: Cut the Meat
Now that your meat is baked, you can cut it into your favorite shape and size with the help of kitchen shears.
Another way of getting the desired color on the meat is through broiling. Use a broiler and set it to high. Keep broiling for few minutes and wait for your desired color. Once the color is changed, flip the meat over and brush honey on the other side as well and broil it.
Once it is ready, serve it to your pets as a yummy treat on the special occasion of Chinese New Year. We bet they will love it and enjoy it very much.
What is the Shelf Life of Bak Kwa?
If we talk about a freshly made Bak Kwa, you can keep it in an air-tight jar and it can easily be stored at room temperature for 3 days. After that, you can freeze it in a refrigerator for about a month. However, if you observe white spots on your Bak Kwa, that’s only due to the sugar not being able to caramelize enough during the process of cooking. Do not worry about it being fungi or mold, under normal circumstances.
Try it Now!
This recipe is so delicious that your pets would never be able to resist. It’s enough to make them start drooling on the floor. As the mega event, the Chinese New Year is around the corner, the sales and demand of this New Year goodie are going to rise high. While everyone is going to indulge in the richness of Bak Kwa, don’t forget to let your pets experience the same delight. As you must have noticed, the above-mentioned recipe of Bak Kwa is not complicated at all. Being a parent of amazing fur babies, you should try this out and serve it to your babies. Let them celebrate the Chinese New Year in their style too!