Rose’s Kitchen

Bak Kut Teh

Ingred Bak Kut TehBak Kut Teh


1 kg pork ribs, cut into pieces

2 litres water

1 whole garlic bulb

2 pieces sugar cane (about 10 cm long)

few pieces yoke chok (Solomon’s Seal)

2 slices Kum Chor (Licorice Root)

1 tbsp Kei Chee (Medlar Seeds)

1 piece star anise

2 cm piece cinnamon stick

2 tsp crushed peppercorns

1 stalk coriander leaves, chopped

1 fresh red chilli


1 tbsp light soya sauce

1 tbsp dark soya sauce

1 tsp salt

Dipping Sauce for Meat:

5 fresh red chillies, finely sliced

2 tbsp good quality dark soya sauce


1.  Boil pork ribs in a pot of water for 5 minutes.  Rinse to remove scum. 

2.  Scrub skin of sugar cane pieces, wash and cut into halves.  Rinse garlic bulb, medlar seeds and Solomon’s seal.

3.  Bring 2 litres of water to a boil.  Add the pork ribs, sugar cane, garlic bulb, licorice root, medlar seeds, Solomon’s seal and spices.  Add dark soya sauce  and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.  Lower flame and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender.  Add the red chilli (if used).

4.  Add light soya sauce and salt according to taste. 

5.  Sprinkle soup with some chopped coriander leaves  and serve hot. 

January 15, 2007 - Posted by | Soups


  1. Hi Rose,

    Thanks for posting the recipe for bkt on the web – this is the one I was looking for. The anise and cinammon make it very fragrant and I’m intrigued by your use of sugar cane. Never seen it before.

    The recipe that I used only recommended adding the soya sauces 10 minutes before serving though. I think the salt might dry out the meat?

    Glad you survived your battle with breast cancer. Keep on writing!!!!

    Comment by Daniel | March 17, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hi Daniel,
    I added the soya sauces earier so that the meat can absorb the flavour. The water volume will be reduced after one hour of boiling, so it is advisable to taste the soup first before adding the salt.
    Thanks for sharing.
    God bless!

    Comment by rose | March 17, 2007 | Reply

  3. I just used your recipe (unfortunately don’t have the chinese herbs, but oh well) and for the fun of it, I also threw in 2 pinches of ground cumin, 3 cloves and a teaspoon of crushed white coriander seeds. Gives it an interesting taste, but anise still dominates. Try it some time…

    Comment by Daniel | March 23, 2007 | Reply

  4. Thanks Daniel,
    I will try it out some time. It is good to be creative.
    For a more spicy soup, sometimes I would add a pinch of fennel seeds, a tbsp of chinese wolfberries and a few cloves. It tastes good too…

    Comment by rose | March 25, 2007 | Reply

  5. Hi Rose,

    Just made it again for my dad and it’s fantastic. I’ve also added another step to the preparation: strip out the inner membrane from the ribs because they’re still quite tough after boiling.

    Comment by Daniel | September 23, 2008 | Reply

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