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Flavor of Macau

Written by Joseff Musa

WGM went in search of the secret ingredients behind one of Macau’s favorite souvenir snacks, meat jerky.

Big and small, sweet or spicy and everything in between, meat jerky remains one of the most popular food products carried by tourists heading back across the border from Macau to mainland China every day.

Made from either beef or pork, visitors have the unique opportunity to try before they buy – choosing their favorites to take back home with them.

For many, jerky remains an irresistible souvenir or gift for a loved one because it’s like giving them the taste of Macau.

So what makes Macau’s meat jerky so special? WGM asked a local vendor that very question and were told only, “We have different techniques and secret ingredients to make our meat jerky stand out to other competing stores.”

Digging a bit deeper, it turns out that the delicious jerky is made by combining fish sauce, Kikkoman soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and ginger powder plus whatever secret ingredients the individual chef might prefer. After mixing these ingredients together, the ground pork or beef is added. If they’re feeling daring it might even be a combination of both.

Flattening it out to the desired size and shape with a rolling pin, the creation is baked before a coating of clover honey is added and it is baked again. Turning the jerky over, this process is then repeated on the other side to achieve the finished product.

The resulting rectangles of sliced meat are perfect for snacking on while taking in the local sights or to bring home as a special treat.

It takes a while to prepare each batch but the final result is definitely worth it – as the constant queues of tourists enjoying these savory delights can attest!