Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tank, the Triceratop!

Meet Tank, the Triceratop from PBS Kids' Dinosaur Train! Ok, he's supposed to be a blue triceratop in the show, but I'm not keen to use food dye, hence the yellow triceratop made with cheese slices =)

Darling son YW is going to the Geology Museum today, to learn about rocks and fossils, and dinosaurs. When I showed him his lunchbox this morning, he said "This is Tank!". In the lunchbox, he gets rice, fried with eggs, carrots and canned mushrooms, plus a little oyster sauce. The extra ingredient which the boys were looking forward to ... Bak Kwa! Bak Kwa is similar to Beef Jerky, but softer in texture.

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, I made a batch of Bak Kwa yesterday and reserved half of it for today's lunch. Frying the rice didn't take up too much time. Cutting and putting together the triceratops took up as much time as frying the rice, if not a little longer! Oh well, as long as the boys bring home an empty lunchbox, I'm happy!

The different stages of making the Bak Kwa.

  • Marinade the minced pork and leave it overnight in the fridge.
  • Place a sheet of parchment paper on a overturned cookie sheet.
  • Spread the meat as thinly as you can on the sheet of parchment paper.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 250F for about 15 minutes, or until the meat is cooked, but not browned. Remove and let cool.

  • Cut up the cooled sheet of cooked meat into smaller slices.
  • You can pack them into a ziploc bag and store in the freezer for later use. Or you can continue to go on to the next step to broil or bbq them.

  • Put the slices on a sheet of parchment paper in a baking tray.
  • Spread some honey on the slices if you like it sweet.
  • Place the rack on the second or third level from the broiler, depending on your oven.
  • Keep an eye on the pork slices, as they browned really fast!
  • Turn the slices over.
  • Remove when it is sizzling and starts to brown.
  • Let cool on a rack. The slices will turn a darker color upon cooling.

Bak Kwa from my kitchen! The little one came running into the kitchen as the slices were sizzling under the broiler and said "I smell something good!" =) They happily "chewed" on a small slice I gave them later, and asked for more when they finished! They were happy and satisfied when I told them that they would be having the Bak Kwa for lunch the next day.

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