Bak Kut Teh - Pork Ribs in Spices and Herbal Soup

4.9 from 15 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour 45 mins

Total Time: 2 hours

Serves: 8


  • 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)


  1. Place pork ribs and water in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Keep removing the scum until the soup is clear.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).

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