Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bak kut teh 肉骨茶

It's already mid May, but it has been raining for the whole week, and the temperature is only in the low 50 degree Fahrenheit. I see people walking on the street all with heavy coats, but the temperature next week will be in the 80s! Such a weather roller coaster is not fun. It's very easy to catch a cold.

My husband worked from home today, because someone was coming to do some work around the house. Since he's already home, he's in charge of dinner, so I didn't have to beat the traffic to get home to cook. "Bak kut teh" is the best choice, it's hearty and it's easy. It's the best remedy for a cold rainy day like this, and it's easy enough for my husband to cook.

"Bak kut teh" is a popular soup in Southeast Asia, like Malaysia or Singapore. It is pork short ribs cooked with some Chinese herbs or spices, like star anise, cinnamon, cloves and fennels. I was in colleage when I had "bak kut teh" for the first time. I had a classmate who was from Malaysia, and she cooked "bak kut teh" for us once. In addition to the short ribs, she also put some tofu in it. She seasoned it with garlic and shallot. First impression is hard to change, so even thought it may not be "classic", I also put tofu in it. There are also commercially prepared "bak kut teh" tea bag available; it's very convenient.

  • 1 package of "bak kut teh" tea bag 
  • 1 lb. short ribs
  • 4 pieces of tofu
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 shallots

Fry the shallots in a pot with one tsp of oil. Put all ingredients in. Add enough water to cover. Slow cook for 40 min. Serve with rice. It smells so good! I give all the credit to my husband.

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