myFresha-licious: Teochew Bak Kut Teh

Teochew Bak Kut Teh

© fresha-licious :  Teochew Bak Kut Teh

Fresha-licious went on hiatus for over a week because, I, the author had been sick for over a week (too bad).  All I did was sleep, eat, sleep, and stare blankly at the ceiling. I felt disoriented and incoherent that blogging would be a bad idea.   No worries though, coz there’s nothing serious.  My head and my abdomen/gut just ganged up and rebelled on me, and that gave me a difficult and painful week.  

My head made me suffer from enormous and intensely painful pulsating migraine that attacked me almost every single freaking minute that I was awake all throughout the week. And if it wasn’t that bad enough, my abdomen, actually, it was the whole of my gut, as usual had tantrums for the same whole week – pain at the upper right portion of my abdomen (it’s always on that same spot), and bloating, digestion and excretion of waste were problems despite the fact that I’ve been eating the usual healthy foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, fishes, less salt, less sugar, less fat) Imagine that ordeal I went through (huh).  I was just thankful that my husband took very good care of me (Thank you Dear! mmmuah)

My guess was as good as my husband’s. I over indulged my body during the weekends when my in-laws (Frederick’s parents) came to visit us here in Singapore – too much physical strain because of long strenuous walking and too much exposure to heat and even rain, and excessive eating may have caused my system to breakdown.  Mama Glo and Papa Tim enjoyed their stay here anyway, and we’re glad about that, though I know that the 2 ½ days they were here was never enough to get the most out of Singapore, may be next time they visit, they will stay longer AND with my parents already.

So the break is over 🙂 though my gut is still not in a good shape but is already tolerable and manageable.  I still have on and off migraines but I am already capable of thinking clear and coherently as you can see (thank goodness).  For a fresh start, I am posting my bak kut teh recipe I made from scratch.  My husband, Frederick who is finicky, choosy, and demanding, loves this Chinese pork rib dish but he prefers cooking it the fool-proof way using pre-packed spices for bak kut teh as he doesn’t want to ruin its taste.  When I told him that I’m cooking the dish from scratch, he texted me a cynical “good luck to that”.  He doubted the idea that I can really pull it off.  Guess what?  I did, and he loves my Teochew Bak Kut Teh.  He said it’s delicious and it tasted like the real Bak Kut Teh.  And by “real” he meant the same great taste he gets using the pre-mix spices of bak kut teh . My in-laws loved it too 🙂
That made me happy.  Thanks to Marc of  for his Teochew Bak Kut Teh . I copied his recipe to this post so in case anyone prefers to follow his can do too.
Here’s my take on the Marc’s Teochew Bak Kut Teh:

© fresha-licious :  Teochew Bak Kut Teh with boiled cabbage

You can also check our other bah kut teh recipe using premixed spices – (Bak Kut Teh )

Pork spareribs, cut into serving sizes – 500 g.
Pork belly, cut into serving sizes – 250 g.
Black peppercorns, slightly crushed – 1 1/2 tbsp
White peppercorns, slightly crushed – 1 1/2 tbsp
Garlic, smashed – 20 cloves
Red Onions, quartered – 3 medium
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Water at least 2 inches above the meat level or more for the soup
Cooking Procedure:
1. Pour Water in a pressure cooker then add the garlic, peppercorns, and onion.  Bring to a boil.  let it boil for 2 minutes
2.  Add the pork and bring to a boil under pressure for at least 30 minutes from the time the valve whistles or until the meat are tender.
3. .   Season with salt and sugar. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
Add your desired vegetables like papaya, sayote, cabbage, or bok choi   serve and enjoy
 © Fresha-licious (28April2012)
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Bak Kut Teh (Sparerib Soup)
By Marc of
see original post here. 
for soup
5 pounds pork spareribs (I used half spareribs and half loin bones)
1 head garlic smashed
1 Tbs black peppercorns
1 Tbs white peppercorns
cinnamon stick
green papaya, peeled, seeded, then cut into 3/4″ cubes
gai choy
crispy fried shallots (minced shallots deep fried until golden brown and crisp)
for dipping sauce
6 red bird chilis chopped
3 tablespoons kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Cut the spare ribs apart at every second rib so they’re in managable sized pieces. Cover the spare ribs with a handful of salt, and let it sit in a container overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, then add the pork (you may need to do this in two batches). Return the water to a boil and let cook them until there is no blood coming out (about 5-10 minutes). Use tongs to transfer the ribs to a bowl of cold water, then scrub any bits of blood or scum off of them. Give them a rinse under cold water and put them in a clean bowl. Repeat with the rest of the ribs.
Dump the now murky water down the drain and rinse out the pot. Add the cleaned ribs to the pot with the garlic, peppercorns and cinnamon, and add enough water to cover the top of the ribs by 1″. Bring the water to a simmer over medium high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer (medium low on my stove). Skim off any foam or fat that floats to the surface (you should only have to do this for the first 20 minutes). Continue simmering uncovered for 2 hours.
To make the dipping sauce for the ribs, combine the kecap manis, soy sauce and chilis in a bowl then divide evenly among small bowls or ramekins. If you can’t find kecap manis, you can also use Chinese dark soy sauce mixed with some honey or agave nectar.
After two hours the water should be just above the level of the meat. If it’s too low, add some more water so the meat is just covered. Taste the soup for salt adding more as needed, then add the green papaya. Cover with a lid and turn down the heat slightly and cook for another 1 hour. Add the gai choy and cook for about a minute or until it is bright green.
Serve in bowls with plenty of soup, sprinkle the fried shallots on top, and serve with a side of rice and the dipping sauce.