Dry Bak Kut Teh Recipe

Meaty pork with bones in herbal broth, also known as “bak kut teh (BKT)” in the Hokkien language, is a popular dish that originates from Klang. Based on an article published recently by the Malaysian newspaper, The Star, BKT was brought over to Klang from Fujian in the 40s by a man named Lee Boon Teh. This man then started off with a stall, in the 1945 along the intersection of Klang train station and Klang South police station, that sells nothing but just this dish. He then moved into a nearby shop named Teck Teh, which is still around till now and operated by his grandson. Nothing has been changed as the BKT is still being cooked using the original recipe from his grandfather. (Read more here)

Originally, this dish was just being named as “bak kut (肉骨)” which literally means meaty pork bones. In order to make this a special dish or rather to claim it as Lee Boon Teh’s dish, he added his middle name, “Teh”, behind the dish name which becomes “bak kut teh”. As time passed, “Teh” becomes part of the dish’s name to what we known today; the “bak kut teh (肉骨茶)”.

Over time, stall owners started evolving the BKT to differentiate themselves from one another. The differentiation are through different recipes used, cooking method and ingredients. Apart from that, different clans too uses different recipes to cook this dish. For example: the Hokkien’s version uses dark soy sauce which is why the soup base is darker in colour as compared to the Teochews version, which is lighter in colour with more peppery taste.

There are two particular versions that I remembered managed to gain it’s popularity around Klang, they are the seafood BKT and the dry BKT (干肉骨茶). The dry style BKT is the main topic for today’s post.

Around 1996, another Hokkien’s version of bak kut teh was being introduced, which are famously known as the dry version of BKT. The dry version’s flavour is totally different as compared to the soup’s version. The dry version of BKT is being cooked with additional ingredients such as okra/ lady fingers, dried chilies and dry squids, which resulted to a more tangier and sharper taste.
In order to cook the dry version, I will need to cook the soup version of BKT first. To cook the soup version of BKT, there are many pre-packed soup herbs available to choose from in the Malaysian supermarkets. Meanwhile in NZ, there are only a few brands that are available. Usually I either used those brands that I brought over from Malaysia, whenever I am back in Malaysia for holiday. When my stocks ran out, I got it from the local Asian groceries stores here. In NZ, the brand’s that I always get are either from SingLong or Claypot.

There’s nothing wrong with using a pre-packed soup herbs. It is very convenient as there is no need to get an individual pack of the herbs needed, which will be too much. They are delicious too. Hence, get a favourite brand’s of your and cook as according to the package instructions before following my recipe below for the dry version’s below.

All photos, videos and recipes on CoasterKitchen are copyright protected. Please do not use the photos, videos and recipes without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own words (instead of copy and paste) and link back to my blog. Thank you very much!

INGREDIENTS 
(Serves 3 – 4)

500g pork ribs/ pork belly/ soft bones (pre cooked in the BKT soup)
10 – 15 pcs dried chilies
2 – 3 pcs birds eye chilies (optional)
8 pcs okra/ lady fingers
1″ ginger
3 cloves garlic
Handful of shredded dried cuttlefish (also known as jiu hu in hokkien dialect)

1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
125ml bak kut teh soup broth
Salt, to taste

Spring onion, to garnish

1. Slice the okras to about 1cm thickness, diagonally.

2. Remove the seeds from dried chillies, and rinse it through with water. Cut it into 1″ length.

3. Slice the birds eye chillies thinly, if using.

 * You can remove the seeds if you want to reduce the spiciness.
* I did not use any this time as it is not in season now in NZ.

4. Thinly slice the ginger into matchsticks sizes, and finely chop the garlic.

5. Wash and soak the dried shredded cuttlefish until soften. Drain and set aside.

6. Remove the pork meat from the soup and set aside.

7. Heat up a claypot with some cooking oil.

*If you do not have a claypot at home, no worries. Just use a frying pan as a substitute.

8. Add in the chopped garlic and shredded ginger. Sauté until fragrant.

9. Then add in dried chillies, dried shredded cuttlefish and bird’s eye chillies (if using). Sauté until fragrant.

10. Add in pork, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar. Mix it well.

11. Pour in the soup broth, and bring it to boil.

12. Add in sliced okra and mix well. Cover and continue to simmer for about 5 – 8 minutes.

13. Sprinkle some chopped spring onion and serve immediately.

Dry Bak Kut Teh Recipe (干肉骨茶)

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print


Credit: CoasterKitchen

All photos and recipes on CoasterKitchen are copyright protected. Please do not use the photos and recipes without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own words (instead of copy and paste) and link back to my blog. Thank you very much!

Ingredients

  • 500g pork ribs/ pork belly/ soft bones (pre cooked in the BKT soup)
  • 10 – 15 pcs dried chilies
  • 2 – 3 pcs birds eye chilies (optional)
  • 8 pcs okra/ lady fingers
  • 1″ ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Handful of shredded dried cuttlefish (also known as jiu hu in hokkien dialect)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 125ml bak kut teh soup broth
  • Salt, to taste
  • Spring onion, to garnish

Directions

  1. Slice the okras to about 1cm thickness, diagonally.
  2. Remove the seeds from dried chillies, and rinse it through with water. Cut it into 1″ length.
  3. Slice the birds eye chillies thinly, if using.
  4. Thinly slice the ginger into matchsticks sizes, and finely chop the garlic.
  5. Wash and soak the dried shredded cuttlefish until soften. Drain and set aside.
  6. Remove the pork meat from the soup and set aside.
  7. Heat up a claypot with some cooking oil.
  8. Add in the chopped garlic and shredded ginger. Sauté until fragrant.
  9. Then add in dried chillies, dried shredded cuttlefish and bird’s eye chillies (if using). Sauté until fragrant.
  10. Add in pork, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar. Mix it well.
  11. Pour in the soup broth, and bring it to boil.
  12. Add in sliced okra and mix well. Cover and continue to simmer for about 5 – 8 minutes.
  13. Sprinkle some chopped spring onion and serve immediately.

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