Cooking Time: ~1 - 4 hours
The following only serves as a guide. Actual figures will vary depending on specific ingredients used.
If you’re not Malaysian, or you don’t know Malaysians, or haven’t been to SE Asia, you’ve probably never heard of it, and wondering what it is.
It’s translates as meat bone tea. It’s more or less some ribs cooked in water and herbs, oh the most delicious herbs, for a few hours, though can be achieved in less. Naturally the longer you cook it for, the better it tastes. It’s super easy to do, and is a good way to impress your friends.
The herbs used in Bak Kuh Teh are typically star anise, cloves, dang gui, fennel seeds, cinnamon, and garlic, so of course, you could make the mixture yourself, but it’s hard to find dang gui.
All good Asian grocers will carry similar to what is pictured, and the herbs are packaged within porous paper bags.
Place three liters of water, or more or less depending on what your herbs say, and bring it a rapid boil with the herb bags inside.
Use a sharp knife to cut down between the ribs so you have almost cube-like sections of bone and flesh.
When the smell of the herbs in the water is notable in the air, put the ribs into the pot, and reduce to a low heat.
Now with the meat slowly cooking away, crush up a bulb of garlic, breaking the cloves away, but leaving the skin on. Throw those in, too.
In most cases when you’d have Bak Kuh Teh in a restaurant or hawker stall, it’d come with tofu, which is not very keto, not very keto at all.
So of course, the best substitutes are mushrooms. Though Shitake mushrooms are ones you’ll mostly always find, I went with Enoki mushrooms as well, just for something a little texturally different.
Now is also a great time to add a little dark soy to the mixture, but not too much! Read your labels to make sure it’s carb safe. But a few splashes in 3L of water, I think it’ll be ok 🙂
You can cook this all for an hour, or even more, there’s really no limit. The pork will hit optimal tenderness at about one hour because it’s quite fatty. Of course, and as mentioned earlier, the longer the better.
Look at all that amazing, glistening fat, on the surface, wow!
Add a little chili for some punch, or even a dash more soy, light or dark, to meet your tastebuds.