Last evening I had a sumptuous dinner of Bak Ku Teh cooked by my mother. It’s one of my favorite dishes. I used to frequent the popular Shoon Huat Bak Kut Teh in Johor Bahru Sentosa 顺发肉骨茶. But with the onset of COVID-19 over the past 8 months, I’ve not tasted it. I don’t really like the local ones.
I had no choice but to depend on my mother brewing it at home. She tried all kinds of Bak Ku Teh recipe easily available in the market. I was not impressed but had to make do with 2nd rate BKT cooked by my mum using those recipes. That changed when I tried Lao Niang Bak Ku Teh last evening.
Some time last week, Patrick passed me a packet of his newly set up Lao Niang Bak Ku Teh which he sells online. He insisted that I try it. He knows that I only enjoyed eating JB Sentosa BKT. I finally tried it when my mother was free to cook for me.
She bought a pork rib for about $7 and chopped to pieces. Put in 15 cloves of garlic without smashing them. Added some mushrooms and dried tau pok. With the spices and ingredients that came with Lao Niang BKT, she brewed the concoction for slightly an hour before throwing in some sparsely and salt (optional) to taste.
Verdict – It’s beyond my expectations. Definitely surpassed anything found in the market. The secret lies in the 7 types of herbs. The color of the soup is light grey – some BKT look blackish and it’s spicily hot. Since I love spicy food, it suits me.
If you ask for my honest opinion I still prefer that JB Sentosa BKT which I frequented for more than 10 yrs. But if I were to cook it on my own, I would prefer Lao Niang BKT from the tons of BKT recipe in the market. I got a feeling that BKT must be cooked in earthen claypot style in order to get the flavor and taste out. Try cooking rice in a claypot and you’ll taste the difference. Maybe if my mother were to cook Lao Niang BKT in a claypot over charcoal and throw in some ginseng, it might change my years of preference over JB Sentosa BKT.
Lao Niang BKT is available online for $10 per packet. If you buy more you’ll get a discount. If you mention Gintai, you will get another 5% discount. Why not give a try?
Here is the link.
I’ve got a German friend who’s crazy over BKT. Whenever he comes over to Singapore he would buy lots of BKT recipe back. He usually cooks it during the cold winter on a portable stove in his garden. Imagine sipping hot spicy BKT broth in the cold winter. Priceless!
Uncle Bodo if you reading this, I’ll get some Lao Niang Buk Ku Teh for you on your next visit. We’ll have to wait until this pandemic is over when the borders are open.
Bak Kut Teh preparation
Wash the pork rib and cut into pieces. Peel the garlic into pieces to leave the last layer of garlic.
Place the pieces of pork rib in boiling water and blanch for three minutes.
Soak the medicinal materials in water for 1-2 minutes to wash off the dirt and then filter.
Put the ribs, garlic, all the herbs, and all the spices in the pot, add enough water, boil it over a fire, and then boil it for about an hour.
Add some salt. (optional)
PS : Patrick told me that he personally chose the 7 herbs. Those premium organic herbs are fresh and without preservatives.
Reply from my fren Bodo
Thank you so much for the wonderful write up which is thrilling me since I learned to love Bak Kut Teh some 30 years ago in Singapore. At home in Munich I cook this “signature dish of mine” at least fortnightly. I change the basic recipe from time to time, adding mushrooms (Tonga, Shitake). Pak Choi, pieces of the white cauliflower is doing good as well, but the stock has always to be hot according to my taste – “Some like it hot”. Now the season is “Autumn” or Indian Summer, still warm and sunny during the days, but trees and bushes are changing colour and in a few weeks all the leaves will fall down. It is a season to recover from the heat of summer for humans, animals and the entire nature. Please send me best regards to all Singaporeans and please let them know that I slow down my comments until I am back in Munich, shortly before Holy Eve.
As ever yours,