Thursday, December 29, 2005

Winter Warmer - Ba Kut Teh

Ba Kut Teh
Ba Kut Teh (herbal version) served with chinese you char kway (cruellers)

Ba kut teh is a famous Hokkien dish, I do not know the origin or the history of the soup but it's something I have grown up with. The black herbal version is the original Hokkien version. Those peppery version you find in Singapore only exist in Singapore as far as I know. Hokkien people normally cook the peppery version of soup with pig stomach and of course the ubiquitous pork big bones.

My version is not black enough as I have gone easy with the black soy sauce, oh yes, the black colour comes from soy sauce. Hokkien people cook with the black soy sauce A LOT as evidence in our famous Hokkien noodles and Hokkien style braising sauce. Somehow food just taste more appetizing if they are darker in colour.

Herbs I used are 15 wolfberries, 1 piece angelica (tong kwai head), 6 red dates, 6 garlic pips (do not remove skin), 1 star anise. Other herbs required are mandarin peel, chuan siong, cinnamon and liquorice which I have omitted as I do not have them in my pantry.

I simmered the herbs together with spare ribs and some chicken bones for 1.5 hours. Add black soy sauce for colour and salt to taste when cooked. A very tasty winter warmer........

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