Bak Kut Teh
There are several claims for the invention of the dish. It is believed that the dish was brought over by migrant workers from Fujian, China. Coolies working in Port Klang supplemented their diet with the dish to boost their health.
The Teochew variation is lighter in colour and taste as it uses more pepper and garlic. The Hokken version soup uses dark soy sauce and more salty than other varieties. The Cantonese version employs more medicinal herbs.
There is also a dry form of Bak Kut Teh where the broth is a thick gravy, and other ingredients such as dried chili, wolfberries and dried dates have been added.
In Malaysia, chik kut teh, made with chicken with pork, can also be found.
The origin of the dish was subject to a dispute between Malaysia and Singapore in September 2009, with the tourism minister of Malaysia, Ng Yen Yen, claiming that the dish was created in Malaysia by a Chinese physician in the 1930s.
The translation from Hokken of the dish’s name is “meat bone tea”, and consists of pork ribs simmered in a broth of herb and spices such as garlic, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds and coriander. There is no tea in the dish itself, though it is often consumed with a serving of Chinese tea. Other ingredients include choy sum, dried tofu, mushroom and offal.
Bak Kut Teh is often accompanied by steamed rice, strips of fried dough. preserved vegetables and beancurd skin. Chinese tea often accompanies the dish, as it is believed to help wash down oil and fat from the dish.
Pork, herbs, spices, soy sauce