The newest flavor from Ed's Roadhouse Jerky is this Chinese BBQ Pork. Read our previous reviews of other flavors from Ed's Roadhouse Jerky.
Ed's Roadhouse Jerky is run by Ed and Mary Herman of Wellington, FL. The two specialize in combining the decadence of sweet with the fiery burn of heat, and have earned top ratings for many of their jerky varieties.
This Chinese BBQ Pork is described as like getting takeout from your favorite Chinese restaurant. It's the newest addition to a line of Asian style flavors that Ed's Roadhouse has perfected in recent months, including Korean Teriyaki, Hong Kong Steak, Korean BBQ, Sriracha with Wasabi, and Sweet Spicy Thai.
Pork, garlic, ginger, salt, sugar, water, soy, wheat, peppers, fish sauce, sesame oil, natural flavoring spices.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a sweet, meaty flavor, with a moderate saltiness. There's a noticeable garlic, along with a hints of the sesame oil. A light bit of chile pepper flavor can be identified.
The chewing flavor starts with a well-defined pork flavor, more comparable to sweetened chunks of fire roasted meat on skewers. The fish sauce influence becomes more recognizable, giving this jerky a more Asian character. A light bit of heat can be felt on the tongue.
For being marketed as "Chinese BBQ Pork", it seems to fit the bill. It definitely has an Asian-style flavor, but I want to say it's tastes more like the thinly sliced pork served up at Korean BBQs due to the noticeable chile pepper and garlic. But the Fish Sauce component reminds me of pork dishes I've had at eateries in Little Saigons across Southern California. THough, I've still tasted this flavor at other Chinese restaurants as well, mostly in Chinatowns where a variety of Asian cultures seem to converge into a single menu.
As for being a "BBQ Pork" jerky, it's also well represented. The pork flavor is very identifiable, almost like pork chops, having that "white meat" flavor, but with a well marinated quality, graced with sweet, spicy, hints of a fire roasted finish.
Otherwise, the flavors that define this jerky most of all is the sweetness and natural pork flavor. The soy sauce and its associated saltiness are right there behind it, followed by an identifiable garlic, chile pepper, and lighter fish sauce.
The level of saltiness seems moderate to high.
The degree of heat, as measured on my personal heat scale, is a mild-medium (level 2 out of 5).
The ginger ingredient is actually not well noticed, but not necessarily missed.
Overall, this Chinese BBQ Pork jerky does seem to reflect the same kind of pork dish you might order from a Chinese restaurant, but not the kind you find at a buffet sitting under a heat lamp. It's more like thinly sliced pork at a Korean BBQ, but enhanced with other seasonings and sauces.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced thin, into small bite sized pieces.
This is a semi-moist jerky with a lightly oily, sticky surface feel. The pieces are very flexible and pliable. Chewing is largely easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and flexible. There's a light degree of initial chewing resistance, but breaks down quickly and feels like real meat. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it feels like chewing real pork meat, though more of the oily, roasted kind.
I can see small spots of fat on a few pieces, but otherwise, no gristle or tendon. I didn't encounter any stringiness or other unchewable tissues. It's all quite meaty.
As for clean eating, my fingers pick up a light amounts of oil and stickiness, require a licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.
Ed's Roadhouse Jerky sells this Chinese BBQ Pork variety from its website in several package sizes. If you bought four 4oz packages, with shipping out to Southern California, the total would cost $39.55 ($33.60 + $5.95). That works out to a price of $2.47 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.47 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability from its great flavor, excellent meat consistency and chewing texture, and bite-sized pieces. Even though it will cost you more than the major brands of jerky at the grocery store, it's clearly a better value.
As for being marketed as a Chinese BBQ Pork jerky, it's a great value. I'm getting a clearly Asian flavor, though you could argue that it has touches of Korean, Thai, and or Vietnamese as well. But the natural pork flavor is well evident and it has a fire roasted flavor, much like a pig over an open flame.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Chinese BBQ Pork jerky from Ed's Roadhouse Jerky is yet another winner in a long string of top-rated jerky flavors from the long time jerky master. What really wins with this is the well-identified natural pork meat flavor, along with a good chewing texture and excellent meat consistency. It's flavorful, complex in taste, easy to eat, and represents its advertised flavor.
When you consider that Chinese restaurants today tend to offer menus that amalgamate the best of all Asian cultures, you can appreciate the same subtle characteristics that goes into this jerky. The noticeable chile pepper and garlic is quite Korean, while the fish sauce is more South East Asian. The sweetened soy sauce adds a Japanese Teriyaki touch, but the fire roasted BBQ pork flavor is more reminiscent of China.
But this Chinese BBQ Pork is quite unlike that of competing brands. It's not like the BBQ Pork you find sitting under a heat lamp at a Chinese Buffet. It's more like the thinly sliced pork at a Korean BBQ, more spicy, more marinated, where you grill it yourself at the table.
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