Malaysian and Taiwanese Beef Jerky

I love beef jerky.

Dried meat, full of concentrated beef flavour and just enough herbs and spices to enhance the flavour.

On my recent trips to the US, I had the opportunity to have not just beef jerky, but elk, bison and other exotic meats. Elk, while more gamey made a jucier jerky.

While the jerky in the US is salty and readily available, ours is sweet, sometimes spicy and quite difficult to find.

So I was very excited to receive two packets of Taiwanese Beef Jerky from a friend – a spicy version and a sweet one, both from the same company. As I’ve never been to Taiwan, I’ve no idea if this is the most popular brand.

Since I also purchased some beef jerky for Malaysia a couple of weeks back, I decided it’s time to rip open all the packets and compare both types of beef jerky.

The difference is night and day.

I’ve bought beef jerky from a restaurant selling beef noodles in Tangkak, Malaysia before, and I repeated my purchase this trip. Although the packaging looks similar, I’m convinced the beef jerky is manufactured by a different company now or that the recipe has been modified.

Local Beef Jerky Label

The brand to avoid if you want Local Beef Jerky

Unfortunately, with the change, the standard has dropped. Drastically. It’s less spicy and too sweet. There is zero beef flavour.

Malaysian Beef Jerky

The unappetizing colours of Malaysian Beef Jerky

And there you can see it. It is as hard and dry as it looks.

In comparison, the Taiwanese Beef Jerky had a good strong beef flavour, and was wonderfully moist.

Two types of Taiwanese Beef Jerky

Two types of Taiwanese Beef Jerky: Sweet, on the left, and Spicy

The spicy version was a tad drier. with just a hint of chilli, fit even for those with a woolly stomach.

Taiwanese Spicy Beef Jerky

Taiwanese Spicy Beef Jerky

And look at the nice large slices of beef. Unlike the one from Malaysia, it doesn’t look like leftover beef scraps that you feed your dog with.

The meat is also still juicy. Even the jerky in the US can’t compare.

Taiwanese Sweet Beef Jerky

Taiwanese Sweet Beef Jerky

I found the spices were drowned out by the sugary sweet version.

Overall, the Taiwanese Beef Jerky leaned on the sweet side, but not so much that it overwhelmed the flavour of the beef.

If you’re lucky enough to visit Taiwan the next time, do give the beef jerky a try.

Happy eats.

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