I was craving for Bak Kut Teh but my stash of herbal BKT mix from Singapore had run out and reinforcements from the homeland will not arrive until the husband goes back in two weeks time. Desperate, I decided to make my own BKT from scratch. I attacked my task with my research skills, trial and error and adaptation from the Vietnamese Pho adventure I had with some friends a few months ago. So my taster (the husband) finally gave the thumbs-up (Yes! It tastes like Bak Kut Teh!) on the third taste and I’m sharing it with you. This might not be the ACTUAL method used by our great Singaporean BKT hawkers, but this is as close as I could get from a home that’s quite far away from Home.
1 onion (brown skin on)
1 bulb of garlic
3 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise
a tsp of whole black peppercorns
a tablespoon of white peppercorns
1 tsp of cardamon
1 tablespoon of whole cloves
2 pounds pork ribs – blanched in hot water (I used country-style cuz they are meaty and my man likes meat)
3 dried red dates – deseeded and blanched in hot water
1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
salt to taste
1. Char the onion and garlic (I broiled them for 10 minutes, you can use a toaster or a grill, or just hold it over the stove like my friend Yvonne does)
2. Toast the spices on a frying pan under medium heat until you can smell them. Place spices in cheese cloth bag. (I actually omitted this step and had my spices floating all around, I don’t mind that, if you don’t, good for you too)
3. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the charred onion, garlic, bag of spices, red dates and pork ribs in and bring to a rolling boil. Bring to a simmer and scoop out the scum from the top.
4. Simmer for 4 hours or until meat is tender.
5. Add a tablespoon of dark soy sauce.
7. Serve hot and enjoy!