It's my turn to do the cooking for this coming 2 months as my partner's mum is back to her hometown. Before that, I had been wondering what should I be cooking for dinner. Till yesterday, I decided to cook a Klang version of dry bak kut teh.
In Malaysia, especially my hometown in Klang, bak kut teh is almost available at every corner and every hour (from morning till evening). Malaysians have the choice of having bak kut teh for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper. One of my ex-Executive Director always having bak kut teh for breakfast as it is one of his favourite. I remembered I did join him a few times for breakfast.
Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶), is literally translated as "Pork Bone Tea" in hokkien dialect. According to Wikipedia, Bak kut teh was introduced to Malaya in the 19th century by Chinese coolies and workers of Hokkien origin. The dish is reported to supplement the meagre diet of port coolies and as a tonic to boost their health.
There are a few different version of bak kut teh. The Hokkiens' version uses dark soy sauce which is why the soup base is darker in colour as compared to the Teochews version. which is lighter in colour with more peppery taste. Apart from that, in around 1996, another Hokkien's version of bak kut teh was being introduced, which are famously known as the dry version of bak kut teh.
The dry version of bak kut teh flavour is totally different as compared to the soup version. The dry version of bak kut teh is being cooked with additional ingredients such as okra/ lady fingers, dried chilies and dry squids, which resulted to a more tangier and sharper taste.
In Klang, there are lots of famous bak kut teh places that you can visit in Klang. And I would recommend you to a few places below which I personally find it very tasty as compared to the rest.
- Lai Choon, located in Jalan Pekan Baru, Klang
- Mo Sang Kor, located in Pandamaran
- Seng Huat Bak Kut Teh (also famously known as under the bridge), located in Pork Klang
- Ah Tao Seafood Bak Kut Teh, located in Teluk Pulai
For my dry version of bak kut teh, I served it with some Chinese cruller (油条) and stir fried cos lettuce with fermented bean curd (豆腐乳) as the side. Meanwhile for my rice, I garnished it with some deep fried shallot and some cut spring onion/ corriander garnish for the soup broth.
Dry Version Ingredient: