Bak kut teh literally means pork rib tea in Chinese (Hokkien) and it's the combination of herbs, spices and tender pork ribs that make this dish so delicious and popular in Malaysia and Singapore. In Malaysia, people usually have bak kut teh for breakfast, serve with yam rice and fried dough. Thanks to the prepacked herbs and spices, I am able to prepare authentic bak kut teh here in New York City. It's one of the easier dishes to make, you just need to gather the right ingredients and seasoning, let it cook in the pot for at least an hour, and it's ready to serve. Of course, it's a little more work if you like to have the traditional yam rice instead of the white rice. But still an easy dish to prepare overall. Here's the recipe:
Serving size 2
straw mushrooms (enoki)
fried tofu skin (fried yuba)
1-2 lbs of pork ribs
2 whole garlic
1 cup of yam (cubed, without skin)
1/4 cup of dried shrimps
1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice
10 cups of water
sweet soy sauce (ABC brand)
1 satchel of bak kut teh prepacked herbs and spices
1) wash the uncooked rice and set aside.
2) fry yam and dried shrimp in some oil until fragrant. Add the uncooked rice, season with salt and pepper, stir well for a few minutes and cook the rice mixture into a rice cooker (with some water of course).
3) prepare a pot of water and bring to boil. Add the pork ribs, whole garlic, and the bak kut teh herbs satchel into the boiling water.
4) Simmer for about 30 minutes before adding soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce and some salt to taste.
5) Let the pork ribs and herbs simmer for another 30 minutes before adding celery, straw mushrooms and fried yuba skin. Cook for another 30 mins, season with soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce and pepper to taste.
6) Create the dipping sauce by combining chopped garlic, sliced red chilis and soy sauce.
7) Serve the bak kut teh soup with yam rice on the side. Enjoy while it's hot!