Recipe: Homemade Bak Kut Teh

Trust me, it doesn’t take a genius to cook a decent tasting bak kut teh.  In fact, it tastes much healthier, less oily, almost no MSG (unless the herbs manufacturer hide it in the package) and you can choose any parts of the meat you like.

I have not tasted the famous Klang Bak Kut Teh so I cannot say how fantastic it is and what I am missing.  (anyone wanna ‘chia’ me? :)  )  But over here in Penang, there are so-so bak kut teh and lousy bak kut teh.  Some are so bad you don’t feel like eating after the first bite.  Some are tasty and you drink and drink bowls after bowls of soup but have to suffer later due to MSG overload.

I bought this pig’s tail actually to amuse my toddler!  He insisted it is sausage.  LOL.  Do you know that pig’s tail is getting shorter and shorter due to maybe some scientific intervention?  Long time ago, a pig’s tail used to be very long.  Now, they are mere stumps.

And the soft bones ribs.  It is like spare ribs but the bones here are soft bones.

There are two type of pre-packed bak kut teh herbs.  One is the powdered in a muslin bag (sort of like tea bags) and the other is the complete package of the various herbs.  Just buy any brand you like and follow the instructions.  Usually, they will ask you to add in garlic and mushroom for taste.  I added in Chinese wine, dark soya sauce and lots of pepper for the extra oomph.

Bak Kut Teh is best served with chopped garlic in a dark, sweetened, thicken soya sauce and bird’s eyes chillies.  Yam rice will be a good accompaniment.

Post Author: lilian

Used to be PenangFaces, now known as Food Haven, for all oink-oink foods

11 thoughts on “Recipe: Homemade Bak Kut Teh


    (April 26, 2006 - 12:54 pm)

    Time for lunch. Bak Kut Teh!!!


    (April 26, 2006 - 1:32 pm)

    Right terence.. time for a Bak Kut Teh lunch.

    Btw what exactly is MSG? (I can imagine it’s some sort of chemical substance?)


    (April 26, 2006 - 2:22 pm)

    omg omg. *drool* honestly, i missed Bah Kut Teh. can’t rmbr the last time i actually had tht. sigh.


    (April 26, 2006 - 2:50 pm)

    chengsim – Make your own, very easy oni.

    Jee – MSG? You don’t know? Serious? It is ajinomoto, mono-sodium-glutamate, the white stuffs that make food so nice and yet make us thirsty, that evil thing that makes junk food best! LOL.

    terence – Huh? How to eat bak kut teh for lunch? Later you feel sleepy the whole day, how?


    (April 26, 2006 - 3:42 pm)

    yum yum! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………..*rubbing tummy*


    (April 26, 2006 - 10:18 pm)

    erm…chinese wine means what type ah??
    i know rice wine, fah tiew zao, hong zao(red wine), wong zao(yellow wine)….so which type to use har?


    (April 27, 2006 - 1:03 pm)

    Hehe..Klang Bak Kut Teh is thicker, they come in a clay pot which consist of the meat, fuchuk, mushroom, some vege etc. But not all Klang Bak Kut Teh stalls sell good Bak Kut Teh…some are yucks..but those in Taman Rasna are damn good, In Berkeley there are a few good one too..make sure u don’t go to the wrong restaurant la. They have dried Bak Kut Teh, Abalone Bak Kut Teh, etc.. I still prefer PJ Bak Kut Teh in Old Town ( Ming Kee Bak Kut Teh) Opp. Public Bank or now they have a new branch just 2 or 3 shops away from Public Bank. I like the herbal smell. YUMMY!!
    Even KL Bak Kut Teh has its own variation too.


    (April 29, 2006 - 12:29 am) and my frens cooked bak kut teh yesterday. he bought the pork leg which’s actually for roasting but coz it’s cheap.. he got it anyway. and omg it really stinks!! i don’t know why but pork and beef in aussie has a funny smell. in de end, we had to throw 4 packets of the bak kut teh herb in, plus 2 packet of bean sauce.

    fashionasia: hmm i think she meant the shao tsing hua tiao chiew 🙂


    (May 20, 2006 - 4:47 am)

    yea aussie pork taste alot different. i think its because of the diet of the pigs. anyway try the porks in china town. they are from different a source.

    bakkutteh lover

    (May 30, 2009 - 12:53 pm)

    Apparently, our friend froginkl is a typical KL guy who hasn’t tried any good bak kut teh in Klang. No offence, but those bak kut teh in Taman Rasna are pretty average and they are only good enough to impress some ‘tourist’, so do the Berkeley ones. A good Klang Bak Kut Teh does not served in claypot and does not have fuchuk and vege in it. They usually come with a small bowl with ‘not quite enough’ amount of thick soup in it 🙂 I know a few good ones around in Pandamaran, Teluk Pulai or even Sentosa. Be there early (before 11am), else you cant even get to buy a good portion of it for yourself! And in fact, (to Lilian) nice bak kut teh in klang are served in the morning 🙂 (Ask the uncles aunties in klang then u would know where to get good bak kut teh).
    And to me,cook a good bak kut teh like klang’s is not easy at all, it’s a work of art! and i’m still working hard on it…


    (July 2, 2009 - 11:56 pm)

    The garlic in bak kut teh is a key ingredient. Besides the garlic which is sauteed at the start (mashed, sliced whatever) it is important to put lots more into the boiling soup. Just chuck in entire cloves i.e. the unseparated “cushion” of garlic cloves.

    By the time the soup is boiled down, the garlic cloves are virtually disintegrating (or perfect to pop into the mouth and squeeze out of its skin) mmm…

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