Twenty years ago, if I wanted to cook this dish, I would have to go to the Chinese Medicinal shop to buy the herbs. Just tell the shopkeeper I want to buy spices and herbs for "bak kut teh" and they would assemble a variety of herbs and spices and wrap them up for you.
Today, these herbs and spices are available in convenient packets in the supermarkets. Better still, there are "instant" versions, where the herbs and spices are blended and packed into satchets. They come in a variety of brands. After trying a few, I like this one.
I like the ILC brand of "instant" bak kut teh spices.
1 sachet of bak kut teh spices is enough for 1 kg of meat.
The instructions are at the back of the packet.
This recipe is for 5 servings.
1 sachet of bak kut teh spices
500 gms of spare ribs (cut into bite size)and 300 gms of lean pork (cut bite size)
12 cloves of garlic (add more if you like garlic)
10 pieces of fresh shitake mushrooms for added flavour.
1.5 litres of water.
Parboil the meat for 5 minutes to get rid of the blood and surface fat and set aside.
In a pot, bring the water to a boil.
Add the pork ribs, lean pork, mushrooms and garlic.
Add the sachet of bak kut teh spices.
For colour, add a few drops of dark soya sauce.
Bring the mixture to a boil and switch to low and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
Serve in individual bowls and garnish with fresh coriander leaves (cilantro).
Goes very well with white rice.
Enjoy this short video on bak kut teh
In this video, Joanne added vegetables to the soup
A nice video on how to make bak kut teh from scratch