Bak Kut Teh is means Bone Tea in Hokkien. It is a soup made with pork bones, spices and Chinese herbs and is served with rice. Nowadays, we add other ingredients added into it: pork liver, pork intestines, pork belly, pork balls, shiitake mushroom, straw mushroom, button mushroom, enoki mushroom, tofu, tofu puff, soy bean stick, lettuce and romaine lettuce.
Previously I used a ready made packet for bak kut teh and I have been slightly curious on the types of Chinese herbs used for it. Surprisingly I have quite a number of them (bought it recently for herbal tea leaf eggs) and bought 1 extra herbs only. The packet ingredients available are really variable. Some contains minimal herbs and some contain a lot of herbs. One of them had such a strong herby taste that it was so bitter.
I used more goji berry, red dates and yu zhu so the soup is sweet and not too bitter. I also caramelised the sugar on a separate pan before pouring it into the soup.
Piglet loves the garlic chilli soy sauce for dipping so it is a must have. I didn’t have any youtiao (deep fried bread sticks) so it was omitted.
Bak Kut The Recipe: Mixing your own herbs and spices
(Makes 4 serving)
6 red dates
2 tbsp goji berries
10g Yu Zhu玉竹 solomon’s seal
2 Dang Gui当归 Angelica sinensis
1 Shu Di Huang 熟地黄 Rehmannia glutinosa
8 Chuan Xiong 川芎Ligusticum striatum
2 Dang Shen 党参Codonopsis Pilosula
Spices: 1 Star Anise, 3 Cloves, 1 stick cassia bark, ½ tsp Fennel
Meat: 300g Pork leg, 500g pork ribs
Soy products: 4 tofu puff, 2 tofu, 3 soy bean stick
Mushroom: 4 dried shiitake mushroom, 1 packet enoki mushroom
Sauces: 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 Garlic Bulb
Salt to taste
Parboil pork ribs. Boil then simmer meat, shiitake mushroom, garlic, herbs and spices for a few hours. Add sauces, soy products and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and sugar to taste.