My Glasgow Kitchen

My Little Corner of the World

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.

1. Red dates  2. Yu Zhu玉竹 solomon’s seal  3. Dang Gui当归 Angelica sinensis  4. Chuan Xiong 川芎Ligusticum striatum  5.  Shu Di Huang 熟地黄 Rehmannia glutinosa  6. Dang Shen 党参Codonopsis Pilosula  7. Cassia bark  8. Cloves  9. Star Anise  10. Fennel  11. goji berries

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

Sugar (optional)

Salt to taste

2L water


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.

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