Bak Kut Teh, From East to West

Bak Kut Teh, From East to West

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Bak kut teh (or literally translates in English as “meat bone tea”) is one of the popular food staples among the local Chinese in Malaysia. Widely claimed by many people that Bak kut teh is originated from Klang, this famous dish is usually served in a hot claypot where the main ingredient is the meaty pork ribs simmered in a dark-colored broth filled with various herbs and spices.

Bak kut teh is typically eaten with steamed white rice or noodle, along with yau char kwai (Chinese cruller) and other side dishes such as preserved vegetables, bean curds, and pork intestines thrown into the mix. To enjoy a hearty meal of Bak kut teh, most local Chinese will tell you that Klang is the best place to savor for this famous dish. In fact, I went there before and tried their original Bak kut teh in Klang and believe me, they tasted more aromatic and better than the one found in the Klang Valley. If that’s not enough, the Klang version even has a dry Bak kut teh at which the broth is actually reduced to darker and thicker gravy. Unlike the broth version, the dry one is stronger in taste and eating the gravy itself is simply irresistible. Among the places that you should explore are Seng Huat Bak Kut Teh restaurant (famously located under the bridge) and Teluk Pulai Bak Kut Teh.

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While you can try broth and dry version of Bak kut teh at the restaurants or stalls, you can even make your own Bak kut teh at home. There is premix that comes in a packet available at the supermarket. Among the famous Bak kut teh premix you can look into are the A1, Claypot or Tean’s Gourmet brand.

Then there is a fast food version of Bak kut teh. Obviously catered for the younger generation, this is something uniquely different than the usual one you used to eat. You can find this fusion food at J Tean Kitchen, which is located at Lot G 58, SStwo Mall, No. 40, Jalan SS2/72. It is called J-Pork Burger, at which the thick pork patty is marinated with the aromatic blend of Bak kut teh and served together with lettuce, sliced tomato and cucumber under the burger bun. It comes along with few pieces of potato wedges as side dishes. Reasonably priced at RM7.90, this Bak kut teh-flavored burger is easily more affordable than the broth or the dry version.

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/// Written by Casey Chong, Malaysia