How to prepare bak but teh from scratch (no need to use prepackaged spices) just like the one you find in Malaysia or Singapore.
Bak kut teh is a Chinese pork ribs soup cooked with many Chinese herbs, typically served with steamed white rice, you tiao (Chinese crullers), and thinly sliced chilies and minced garlic with soy sauce. It has been a long while since I had bak kut teh, and I miss it so much.
I spent close to two years in Malaysia and it was one of my many favorite Malaysian food. I used to have this all the time from the night market with my friends, and it was really really good, I think it must be the combination of good food and good company :)
Fast forward some years later when I was in the States, I found a bak kut teh recipe from a Malaysian/Singaporean/Indonesian cookbook and I made it with a huge success.
That book was such a little treasure to me since it has many of my favorite recipes, and being such a newbie in the kitchen at that time, it has been so useful. Unfortunately, I no longer have the book with me, so it has been a frenzy hunt for a reliable bak kut teh recipe again.
I think this recipe is really close to the one that I had in Malaysia, or maybe I just miss this dish so much, haha. Anyway, if you love bak kut teh and would like to gather the spices from scratch (not using expensive prepackage bak kut teh spices), this might be a good reference. ♥
Bak Kut Teh - Pork Ribs in Spices and Herbal Soup
- 800 gram pork ribs
- 2 liter water
- 10 gram angelica root (Chinese: dang gui)
- 5 gram Sichuan lovage rhizome (Chinese: chuan xiong)
- 1 head garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih), peeled and lightly bruised
- 1 cinnamon stick (Indonesian: kayu manis)
- 1 star anise (Indonesian: bunga lawang/pekak)
- 5 cloves (Indonesian: cengkeh)
- 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 8 fresh shiitake (Indonesian: jamur shiitake), remove stems and cut into bite size pieces
- 8 deep fried tofu (Indonesian: tahu goreng), blanched in hot water and cut into bite size pieces
- 1 tablespoon goji berries (Chinese: gou qi zi)
- Chili and garlic soy sauce (mix the following together)
- 3 green Thai chilies (Indonesian: cabe rawit hijau)
- 3 red Thai chilies (Indonesian: cabe rawit merah)
- 3 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
- 3 tablespoon light soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
- Place pork ribs and water in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Keep removing the scum until the soup is clear.
- Once the soup is clear, add angelica root, lovage rhizome, garlic, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. Season with dark soy sauce, soy sauce, salt, and sugar. Once it boils again, reduce heat, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 1 hour, or until the pork is cooked and tender.
- Add shiitake, tofu, and goji berries into the pot. Bring to a boil again, and cook for another 10 minutes. Adjust with salt and sugar as needed.
- Turn off heat, and serve hot with the chili and garlic soy sauce accompanied with a bowl of steamed white rice and you tiao (Chinese crullers).