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Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh

 [ Pork Rib 'Pork Bone' Tea ]

           INGREDIENTS for Bak Kut Teh :

  • 1 lb country-style pork spareribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 whole bulb garlic, unpeeled, slightly crushed
  • 2-inch ginseng root, peeled, slightly crushed
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 star anise
  • 1 tbsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 6 dried shitake mushrooms
  • 6 shallots, finely sliced and fried golden brown [optional]
  • salt and pepper

 Cook's Note : Clay-pot dishes are the Oriental version of the American casserole. The main difference is that it is cooked on top of the stove; rather than in the oven. Food cooked in a clay pot has maximum flavor, enormous nutritional value and is visually appetizing - the dish can go straight from the oven to the dinner table. The design of the clay-pot assures good retention of heat and keeps food hot much longer.




             To Prepare Bak Kut Teh :

  • Soak dried shitake mushrooms in 1 cup of boiling water to reconstitute, when soft slice into strips; reserve liquid for cooking
  • In a stockpot, cover spareribs with cold water, parboil ribs until froth rises to the surface
  • Drain, briefly rinse spareribs under cold running water and drain again
  • In a clay pot [no preheating] add the parboiled spare ribs, garlic bulb, ginseng root, shitake mushrooms, reserved [shitake] liquid and additional water [to cover the meat], and season with salt and pepper
  • Wrap cinnamon, star anise, white and black peppercorns in cheesecloth, tie with string and add to the clay pot
  • Gradually bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer until pork is very tender, about 45 mins to 1 hr; occasionally skim off fat from the surface
  • When the meat is almost falling off the bones, discard spice bag, add dark soy sauce and sugar
  • Garnish with fried shallots, serve hot with steamed rice or Chinese crullers [a light fried dough bread]. Serve with Special chili dipping sauce (see below) or chili dipping sauce!


             To Make Special Chili Dipping Sauce :

  • 1 kaffir lime or key lime, juiced
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3-4 tbsp hot chili sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • -inch ginger
  • Using a mortar & pestle or blender grind garlic and ginger to a fine paste
  • Add to hot chili sauce and mix well with lime juice, sugar and salt to taste
  • Serve chili sauce in individual condiment dishes





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