Bak Kut Teh – A bowl of goodness!
Admittedly, this dish is a little less spectacular than the others! ‘Bak Kut Teh’ literally translated as ‘Meat Bone Tea’. The meaning of “bak” is pork, “kut” means ribs and bones while “teh” stands for tea.
‘Bak Kut Teh is attributed to Hokkien immigrants who moved from China to Singapore in the 19th century. It is a popular Chinese dish in Singapore which consists of pork ribs stewed with a mixture of fragrant herbs and spices such as garlic, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds and coriander.
Bak kut teh is typically eaten with steamed white rice, you tiao (dough fritters), offal, preserved vegetables and braised beancurd skin. Braised pig trotters and pig liver are also an option that can be ordered as a side together with the dish. Dark soy sauce with chilli padi is preferred as a condiment.
Chinese tea is the preferred beverage when having bak kut teh, as it is believed that tea helps to wash down the amount of fat consumed in this meat-laden dish.
A bowl of bak kut teh does wonders, it has positive benefits for rheumatism and also some health benefits which can be found in the ingredients of the bak kut teh. For example, the pepper in the soup can help to fight cancer and detox the skin. Garlic can help to prevent heart disease, avoid cancer and control high blood pressure.
This savoury peppery pork-based broth warms the body and soul and remains high on the list of the nation’s culinary treasures.