About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh is a traditional Chinese herbal soup popular in South East Asia and some parts of China. I decided to make some as it is perfect dish for a cold winter's night and we have been having rather cold winter nights lately.

Traditionally in Malaysia, this soup dish is served for breakfast and is accompanied with a bowl of boiled rice. However, these days, the dish has become more than a breakfast dish. I believe there are now restaurants in Malaysia that serve it for lunch and dinner. How times have changed.

When my father was alive he had this for breakfast every day for about 40 years. Part of the dish includes whole bulbs of garlic infused with the soup and Chinese herbs and I recall my father eating the garlic bulb for breakfast. I recall how much he loved the dish and how he so enjoyed downing all that garlic.

The packet of herbs I used is from a Malaysian company called Tean's Gourmet and you can buy it or other brands at most Chinese/Asian grocery stores.

The Chinese herbs and spices
Dried shiitake mushrooms
Canned mushrooms
Here are list of ingredients for this lovely soup dish.

1 packet of Bak Kut Teh herbs (in this case there are 2 sachets)
1500ml of water
1 kg of pork ribs (Chinese style) - cut to preferred size
15 pieces of dried Shiitake mushrooms (soaked for at least an hour)
1 can of button mushrooms (drained of liquid)
2 bulbs of garlic
1 tbsp of thick caramel sauce
Salt to taste (start with about 2 tsp)
Light soya sauce to taste (start with about 1 tbsp)
Fresh red chillies (optional)

1. Put the 2 filter bags of herbs and spices in water to boil at medium temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, pork ribs, thick caramel sauce and salt to boil. Then simmer for about 45 minutes.
3. Then add in the Shiitake mushrooms (drained of liquid) and simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Add in the light soya sauce and adjust taste to your preference.
4. Then add in the button mushrooms and simmer for another 15 minutes.
5. Final taste of the soup to determine right balance of saltiness.
6. Serve with boiled white rice and some freshly cut red chillies (note that the red chillies are optional)

I like cooking this in the winter and I hope you will enjoy it too. The herbs from the sachets are quite strong in flavour and smell but add such an interesting character to the dish.

1 comment:

Charmaine said...

BKT and yau char kwai; perfect for winter. I like to add enoki mushrooms too. Next time, get the fresh ones from the Fungi Man at Eveleigh Market.