Sunday, July 16, 2006

Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh (BKT) = Pork Ribs Tea. This soup concoction is believed to be originated from Singapore and Malaysia. It was first created by the Chinese immigrants in the earlier days. The readings that I done show that there are 3 types of BKT, the TeoChew style, the Hokkien style and the Cantonese style. Teochew style comes with peppery clear soup. Hokkien style is slightly darker as more soy sauce is being added. I am not too sure if there is really a Cantonese style as I always heard either TeoChew or Hokkien style. Well today my readings proof me wrong. Apparently, Cantonese BKT is one with strong medicinal taste. BKT is normally served with a bowl of rice and Chinese Breakfast Fried Dough (yiu tiao). Some stores offer some side dishes eg. braised pig trotters, salted vegetables, braised tau gua (fried tofu), and a small pot of Chinese tea.

Anyway, I prefer the TeoChew style. There is one popular store at Balestier Road - Founder Bak Kut Teh. The soup is very peppery. You will never have enough with one bowl. Understanding how good is his soup, the store owner is nice enough to allow "soup refill". One day mum bought a packe of A1 BKT spice from the supermarket. Gosh, it's almost as good as Founder's. What she needs to do is to add extra pepper into the soup. This is becoming our favourite dish. It's one of the easiest "cheating" recipe we have:) I guess making Bak Kut Teh would be really a hassle as there are so many spices to make the perfect concoction.

1 pack of A1 BKT spice
1 tbs of pepper (We love to put more, but I'm afraid it might be too hot for some people:) )
1 kg of pork ribs (cut along the bones)
2 bulbs of garlic
2 lit of water

As Singapore pork does give a distinct "porkie" smell, we always wash the meat thoroughly. Scald the pork twice. This is to ensure that pork is really clean. Chuck all ingredients into a pressure cooker. Cook for 15 minutes. Scoop out the fat if it's too oily. Easy?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will try cooking the Bah Kut Teh in a pressure cooker. I usually use a clay pot but was thinking pressure cooker will cut the cooking time. Thanks for the recipe.

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