Article featured image
Bak Kut Teh
Photo: wormy lau on Flickr

Bak Kut Teh literally means Pork Bone Tea soup and is a Chinese soup dish believed to be introduced into Malaysia in the 19th century by Chinese workers. It become famous out of the port town of Klang where it was traditionally served as a breakfast dish.

It flowed over into Singapore and even parts of Taiwan. (They will probably argue about where it originated!) 

With an ever so slightly medicinal taste, the broth is infused with spices such as cinnamon and star anise. Loaded with pork ribs, dried shiitake mushrooms, tofu puffs, and garlic, this soup fills the kitchen with evocative scents. 

While kicking around the backstreets of Kuala Lumpar,  I was lucky enough to find a Buk Kut Teh stall. Not sure at first what I had stumbled across, I could only image that the boiling aromatic pot of pork bone and spices had to be great thing at 11am in the morning, and a good way to start off the day. 

This dish has become a popular item at events, and also was the star of the show in a recent dinner at the James Beard house.