Khoon Klang Bak Kut Teh (焜吧生肉骨茶)
Operating Hours: Opens daily 11am - 10:30pm, Close on Friday
Bak Kut Teh or pork ribs herbal soup is a popular dish consumed in Malaysia and Singapore.
The name of the dish means “meat bone tea” in Hokkien. The meat here refers to pork mainly; though there are also chicken or vegetarian versions.
In Malaysia, whenever Bak Kut Teh is mentioned, the locals will often relate it to Klang as the place of origin.
It is believe that the soup-based dish was invented to help the Chinese workers at Port Klang to supplement their diets and prevent health problems like arthritis and rheumatism. (as many of them worked as manual workers that carries heavy loads in barefoot and are easily afflicted with joint problems)
Traditionally, the pork broth is simmered for long hours in claypots; with Chinese herbals, spices, meaty pork ribs, pork belly, and big pork bones. Light and dark soy sauce are also added to the soup during cooking.
These days, claypots are replaced with big stainless steel pots when cooking and is only used when serving to keep the food warm; while some stalls has totally replaced it with normal bowls.
There are actually two variations of Bak Kut Teh; namely the Teochew Bak Kut Teh and Hokkien Bak Kut Teh. The main difference between the two is the Teochew versions are slightly lighter than the Hokkien’s.
Bak Kut Teh is often served with “you char kuih” (Chinese fried dough strips) and rice. Light or dark soy sauce along with chopped chili padi and garlics are offered as condiment to be taken together with the meats.
Other than the traditional broth, a dry version of Bak Kut Teh (which has its broth further cooked and reduced to a thicker gravy) has also become increasingly popular within Malaysia in recent years.
Additions of other ingredients such as wolfberries, dates, dried squid slices and chilis are included in the dry version; which makes it tangier and stronger in taste.
Heads up! When it comes to food and experience, opinions varies from person to person. So please take ours with a pinch of salt.
Photo credit: @devouritt