Bak Kut Teh 肉骨茶

One of my favorite Chinese herbal soup, bak kut teh 肉骨茶 (meat bone tea). The soup is often eaten in Malaysia and Singapore. It is a street food often eaten during breakfast or lunch. The bak kut teh soup base is made with pork ribs, at least 10 gloves of garlic and a herbal spice mix which contains dong guai, star anise, fennel, pepper and cinnamon. The taste is a peppery riche broth and served as a hotpot. You can add all kinds of vegetables, fried tofu, tofu skin or mushrooms into the bak kut teh. As side dishes, rice, fried dough stick (you tiao) and a thick soy sauce with chili is served along. It is easy to make and can be eaten in the summer as well in the winter to get an extra boost when you are feeling tired or cold of the weather.

Bak kut teh soup


  • 1 sachet of the bak kut teh herbal mix
  • 1 kg pork ribs, chopped into squares
  • 3 gloves of unpeeled garlic
  • 8 pcs fried tofu puff
  • 8 pcs mushrooms
  • vegetables, choi sum or broccoli, pak choi
  • 2 pcs fried dough stick, you tiao

Optional bak kut teh sauce

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • some fresh chili

Prepare the bak kut teh soup according the instructions on the packaging. I put less garlic in the soup as it is quite strong putting all the suggested garlic into soup. Simmer it for about 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, take the herbal spice mix and garlic out. Add the tofu and mushroom into the soup. The vegetable, I prefer to blanch in a separate pan with some water. Cut the fried dough into little slices. Serve the soup with some rice.

To make the bak kut teh sauce, put all the soy sauce, water and sugar in a pan and warm it shortly till the sugar has been dissolved. Let is cool down before you add the fresh chili. You can also buy ready made bak kut teh sauce.

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