Let us all welcome THAT time of the year: The bak kwa craze. Find out which stalls everyone's making a beeline for, how to skip that dreaded queue hassle and more.
According to Vincent Ong, co-founder of task outsourcing app LaborMe, these are the most popular stalls that their pool of taskers are roped in to queue for:
1. Lim Chee Guan
2. Kim Peng Hiang
3. Kim Hua Guan
4. Kim Joo Guan
The biggest single order of bak kwa
The largest purchase made through LaborMe tallied up to almost $2,000 for the bak kwa alone - that's a whopping 30kg - commissioned by a corporate client. For regular customers, the average order is between 3 to 10kg.
The waiting time for bak kwa
With Chinese New Year looming so close, these two weeks were the peak season for bak kwa purchases. Queues for the popular stalls now hover around six hours.
How much it'll cost to outsource your bak kwa shopping
You would probably realise by now that it's quite foolhardy to try to brave the queues yourself, unless you've time to burn. Oh, and don't forget this week's never-ending wind and rain too.
Over at LaborMe, instead of fixed hourly rates, customers decide how much they are willing to pay for a task. It is then up to the taskers to decide which jobs to take. For bak kwa, the average rates you're looking at right now is $8-$10/kg. Delivery is inclusive, and there are no hidden charges. This means that if you're ordering 3kg of bak kwa, you should expect to pay between $24 and $30 for the task.
Unusual bak kwa flavours to try
While the traditional flavours are always the most popular for the season, you may also want to consider switching things up and try these unusual riffs on bak kwa.
Turkey bak kwa, from Fragrance
First things first, no they're not halal. After all, they're made in the same factories as regular pork bak kwa. But it's worth trying if you like more chew, or if you find regular bak kwa a tad too fatty.
Beef bak kwa, from DenDeng House
Okay, this one is halal. Dendeng is Indonesian for meat jerky in general, and Dendeng House on Changi Road has built up a loyal following for their jerky ─ we hear the Beef Chilli version is quite popular.
Pineapple bak kwa, from Kim Peng Hiang
This old stalwart is possibly the only bak kwa purveyor in Singapore to mix pineapple bits along with the sliced pork. Besides lending a zesty fragrance, the pineapple also serves to tenderise the meat.
Duck bak kwa, from Xi Shi Bak Kwa
If wacky twists are your idea of fun, Xi Shi has quite a number. One of their more popular items is the duck bak kwa, and they claim that their special mix of herbs and spices helps to counter the gamey flavour of the dark meat.
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