Chicken Bak Kut Teh (Clear version)

Bak Kut Teh direct translation for ‘meat bone tea’ in Chinese Hokkien dialect. In detail, the term “bak” refers to pork. Originally, the balance organ after indulging the best meat part was made into broth with ample of herbs.

These days (especially during a lockdown), any form of meat (chicken, beef or pork) or even vegetable broth can be used as a substitute. The star of the dish is the Chinese herbs and aromatics. The perfect pairing of Chinese herbs and aromatics like star anise, cloves and smoked garlic makes this dish special and addictive in its way.

This main soup dish is served with rice, vegetables and ‘youtiao‘ aka ‘cakoi‘ (sometimes known as Chinese churros). Commonly found in Malaysia and Singapore, it is now one of the dishes that is well famous in this region. 

Where to Purchase Bak Kut Teh Herbs?

Bak Kut Teh herbs

There are two options such as the easy route or the complicated option. The easier option is to get pre-packed of 10 herbs usually marketed as ‘Chinese Herbal Soup Mix’ or ‘Chinese Tonic Soup’ from asian grocery. The complicated route will mix all this by yourself.

What are the Ingredients? 

Bak Kut Teh ingredients
  • 600 grams of chicken (feel free substitute any meat) 
  • 1 packet bak kut teh spice mix 
  • 2 cinnamon bark 
  • 2 anise star 
  • 5 cloves garlic lightly bruised
  • 2 litres water
  • 4 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 10 dried mushroom (pre soaked and remove the steam)
  • 200 grams enoki mushrooms (bottom trimmed and discarded)
  • 8 dried tofu puffs
  • 6 “tau pok” sliced to 2cm strips
  • salt to taste
  • 2 table of vegetable oil 
  • lettuce
  • vegetable roots, bottom of vegetable and mushroom steam ( used to broth )

What to do with the ingredients ? 

Heat the pot using a rice cooker. Add cinnamon along with anise star with the cooking oil.

Moving forward, to add the garlic to the oil mixture. 

Clean bleached chicken then added to the mixture. 

After the chicken starts to cook, time to add the water. 

Bring water in a large pot to a boil. Place the herb sachet in water as well.

When water comes to a boil, place mushrooms in the water.

Bak Kut Teh soup

When liquid comes back to a boil, season with salt. Cover the cooker and allow it to simmer for about 1½ hours.

Add tofu puffs and enoki mushroom. Simmer for another 15 minutes.

Discard muslin filter bag and spice sachet.

Bak Kut Teh dish

Serve with steamed rice and cut chilies in soy sauce.

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