Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh is a Pork Ribs cooked with 5 spices, garlic, and pepper in a tasty shoup that is served iwth a choice of rice or fried dough fritters . It can also be accompanied by Chinese Tea to heighten its flavour.

The name literally translates as "meat bone tea" -- "bak kut" means "pork rib" and "teh" means "tea". Bak kut teh is introduced to Malaya in the 19th century by Chinese workers from Hong Kong, Canton and Fujian. They ate bak kut teh for gaining energy.

There are numerous variants of bak kut teh with its cooking style closely influenced by the prevailing Chinese enclave of a certain geographical location. In Singapore, there are three types of bak kut teh. The most common variant is the Teochew style, which is light in color but uses more pepper in the soup. The Hoklo (Hokkien), who prefer saltier food, use more soy sauce, which results in a darker soup. The Cantonese, with a soup-drinking culture, add medicinal herbs to create a stronger flavoured soup.
Below is Bah Kut Teh (Hokkien Style) Recipe
Taken from cookbook titled “Singapore Heritage Food” by Sylvia Tan
Spices tied in a cloth square: 1 cinnamon stick, 4-5 cloves1 tsp white peppercorns, 1 tbs kei chee (dried hawthorn berries), 2 whole star anises, 500g (1 lb) meaty pork ribs, 2 whole heads of garlic - unpeeled, 1 tbs black soya sauce, 6-7 cups of water, 1 tbs salt, 1-2 heads iceberg lettuce -washed and separated

Place ribs, spice packet and the garlic in a pot. Add water to cover and bring to the boil. Skim off the meat scum as it rises. Add soya sauce and salt. Reduce heat to simmering and cook till ribs are tender. Place a few lettuce leaves in the bowl before dishing out the ribs and soup. Serve with white rice and sliced red chilli in dark soya sauce on the side.
The spice packet can be used to flavour not only this hearty Hokkien soup, but also any dish that calls for a mix of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin and fennel. There is also a Teochew version of bak kut teh that is clear and simple, cooked with just garlic, pepper and light soya sauce.

Yes, it needs various spices & herb to cook Bak Kut Teh -- normally we can find it at Traditional Chinese Medicine Shop. Below is the shop at the centre of Singapore China Town ...

I went there also for Bak Kut Teh but not for the real herbal or spices but for this thing ... it's a ready mixed Bak Kut Teh Pack ... It must be this one -- I have proven already since sometimes I went for other brands I found in supermarket, it gives me too strong taste !!! Let say I'm not sure whether this can be found in any Singapore or Malaysia Supermarket or not --But everytime I went to China Town Singapore, it have to go for this one (at least as sourvenir from Singapore -- even it made in Malaysia !!!).
By the way with this ready mixed package, I need to add ingredient pack in then cook around 30 mins. Fresh ingredients to be prepared is only pork and garlic !!! So easy and So yummy -- my mom like it !!!

1 comment:

Vernand Pan said...

hi all
What do you know about food in Batam???

i recommened to you all
This website provides a culinary food in Batam.