Bah Kut Teh

Bah Kut Teh

Bak kut teh if directly translated means pork rib tea, this Chinese soup is made out of meaty pork ribs slowly simmered for long times in an array of herbs and spices such as star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, garlic, wolfberries, dried dates, dried chillies, dried squid and even ginseng. This dish is popular in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, China and Taiwan

Usually this dish is consumed with rice, a type of puff bread called Youtiao, a chilli dipping sauce and don’t forget the Chinese tea as the Chinese believed that the hot tea dissolves the fat that you might had taken when you had this dish. Apparently my ex-Boss had told that to me when he introduced me this dish in Klang Valley in Malaysia in one of the office breakfasts we had. Yes you saw it right “Breakfast”, apparently this is a popular breakfast dish and in popular shops people line up early in the morning just to have one of this.

Now for a bit of History, it was believed that the Bak Kut Teh was invented in Quanzhou of the Fujian province in China, it was then introduced to Malaysia via Klang in the 19th century by the Chinese in a move to boost the nutrition of dishes served to labourers in port cities, the original recipe was a secret and contains a lot of herbs and spices that aids in boosting the health of the said labourer. That secret recipe was later on passed to someone who went to Klang which started the commercialization of the dish. It became so famous that and the dish was copied and improvised by different vendors, also due to the popularity a lot of different cultures are claiming for the invention of such dish and the popular one are the Hokkiens and the Teochews.

I guess I can say I am lucky as I had tried this dish where it became popular, and in fact it was in the restaurant where the family of the original recipe came from, I cannot remember the name but I still can remember how good it was, so try it when you visit Malaysia and make sure try it only in Klang where it all started.

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Bah Kut Teh

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Malaysian


Bah Kut Teh is a Chinese soup dish made out of meaty pork ribs slowly simmered in herbs and spices such as star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, garlic, wolfberries, dried dates, dried chillies, dried squid and even ginseng.



Bah Kut Teh

  • 1 kg pork ribs
  • 2 whole garlic
  • 8 pcs dried Shitake mushrooms
  • 1 packet Bak Kut Teh herbs and spice mix good for 1 kilo of meat
  • 1 dozen tofu puffs
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • water
  • ground white pepper
  • salt


  • Youtiao, sliced
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Green Chillies in Vinegar


  1. In a pot add pork ribs, fill it with enough water until it covers the ribs. Bring to a boil and remove any scum that rises to the top.
  2. Add the garlic, Shitake, Bak Kut Teh herb and spice packet, tofu puffs, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and oyster sauce. Simmer for 1.5 hrs.
  3. Season with salt and ground white pepper then serve.


Bah Kut Teh Wide


16 Responses

  1. I would like to try this out, but I haven’t seen any Bak Kut Teh in any local supermarkets here in the Philippines. If anyone would be kind enough to point me where exactly I can buy this packet, I would highly appreciate it. Thanks for the post! Made me even hungrier, I always love any dish that is swimming in tasty, aromatic broth.

  2. This is a great warming medicinal herb soup for breakfast. It seems funny to see youtiao outside of HK. Did you make your own? I hope you are enjoying your day.

  3. blank Kristy says:

    This looks very good, but I don’t know if I could eat it for breakfast. I’ve never been a bit meat eater at breakfast. Certainly for lunch or dinner though. The flavors sound delicious.

  4. blank kitchenriffs says:

    I don’t make enough pork stocks. This looks incredibly good — thank you.

  5. blank Juliana says:

    Oh Raymund, this pork ribs sound and look so tasty…such a comforting dish…and yes, youtiao…yum!
    Hope you are having a great week 😀

  6. This Chinese pork rib soup sounds amazing– and so ideal for these cold winter days…

  7. This soup sounds so spicy and flavorful! Yum!

  8. I love the pork ribs tea. Very clever description and it sounds wonderful, Raymund.

  9. An all-time favourite. I love this spicy soup.

  10. blank mjskit says:

    I had no idea what a tofu puff was, but now I know. You always introduce me to something new and delicious!

  11. Dear Raymund,

    I never used to like this dish as a kid but began enjoying much later and now, it’s one of our favourites during winter. Good that we can get such good quality ready-made herb packs too!

  12. blank Geraldine Acosta says:

    This is one of my favorites when we went to Singapore and Malaysia, but I haven’t seen any Bak Kut Teh in any local supermarkets here in the Philippines. It would be highly appreciated on where exactly I can buy this packet . Thanks for the post! Made me miss Malaysian and Singaporean dishes.

    • blank Raymund says:

      Hi apologies as I dont know where to buy it in the Philippines as I reside in New Zealand. But just guessing a Chinese specialty store might help.
      I also updated the ingredients so I have a link on how it looks like as it is sold in Amazon.

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