This is the reason that always get me crossing the bridge to our neighbouring country – Malaysia (Johor Bahru) and of course only to my favourite stall – Shoon Huat Ba Kut Teh @ Taman Sentosa (顺发肉骨茶).
The reason I love their Ba Kut Teh is because their Ba Ku Teh is neither too peppery nor is it too herbal in taste. Their soup is well-balanced with a hint of herbs and is extremely flavorful. This was like my only motivating to be stuck in the traffic for hours to just to get a dose of this bubbling hot of soup and of course, their tons of yummy ingredients swimming in their broth.
However, it’s really a hassle to travel in and with me getting lazier, I tried to hunt around Singapore for a similar one – failed! I tried sachet – well not bad, but to get as flavorful, i need a few sachet and the cost is actually not feasible to make for a big group.
Soooo… I decided to explore in DIY this JB-Style Ba Kut Teh Sachet. After a few try, I know it’s successful when my usually “ungenerous in praises” husband asked me what did I actually add to the broth with his brighted eyes.
With Chinese New Year round the corner, this also made an extremely favorable hotpot broth which both kids and adult will love it. Not only is it flavorful, it also possesses properties to improve overall health. My 2 and 4 years old nephews loved it so much and they kept thanking me for the dinner.
Making this pot of flavorful broth need not much herbs.
The herbal sachet requires wolfberries, angelica roots (Dang Gui 当归), Licorice Root (Gan Cao 甘草), Codonopsis Pilosula Root (Dang Shen 党参), Cinnamon, Star Anise, Cloves & Whole White Pepper
Stuffed these herbs into a stock bag and you will not need much filtering when the soup is ready
And Making this yummy broth is also very easy. Add the herbal sachet, garlic, Ribs, dried Sea Whelk (干螺片) and all other seasoning, bring it to boil before allowing it to simmer for another hour half.
Just before you are ready to serve, remove the sachet and add in other ingredients of your choice that do not required long hours of boiling like Enoki Mushroom, Pacific Clams/ Abalone, Pork Liver, Pork Ball, Fried Bean Skin Stick, etc. Bring to boil and allow the newly added ingredients to cook thoroughly before serving hot with Rice, Fried Chinese Cruller and Preserved Salted Vegetables.
Bonus Recipe – Preserved Salted Vegetables (Kiam Chye)
Pork Fats enhanced the flavor of this whole bowl of vegetables but it’s definitely optional.
- 15g Codonopsis Pilosula Root (Dang Shen 党参)
- 6g Licorice Root (Gan Cao 甘草)
- 15g angelica roots (Dang Gui 当归)
- 3 tablespoon Wolfberries
- 3 Cinnamon
- 6 Star Anise
- 15 Cloves
- 1.5 Tablespoon Whole White Pepper (Lightly Crushed)
- 3 Bulb Garlic (Washed; Cut away the head and discard and skin of garlic remains)
- 18g Rock Sugar
- 3 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 3 Teaspoon Salt
- 750g Pork Ribs (Or Mixture of Ribs and Pork Tail or any part of the pork)
- 4.5 litres of water (1/3 of the water will evaporate from simmering)
- 60g Dried Sea Whelk (螺片干)
- Enoki Mushrooms
- Pork balls
- Pork Liver
- Pacific Clams
- Fish Maw
- Bean Curd Puff (Tau Pok)
- Fried Bean Skin Stick
- Fried Chinese Cruller (油条)
- 50g Pork Fats/ or 2 tablespoons of oil
- 300g Preserved Salted Vegetables (Kiam Chye) - Washed and Sliced
- 6 Cloves Garlic (Skin Removed)
- 4g Dried Chili (Optional)
- 200ml Water
- 2 tablespooon Sugar
- Chopped Spring Onions
- Stuff all the herbs into a soup bag
- Add 750g of pork ribs in a pot of water enough to cover the ribs and bring to boil
- Discard the water and the floating scum
- In a deep pot, add the herbal sachet, the scalded meat, all other ingredients that is required to simmer for 1.5 hours.
- Bring it to boil at medium high heat before allowing to simmer for 1.5 hrs under low heat.
- The water should reduce by ⅓, leaving about 3 litres of water *Seasoning is based on 3 litres of remaining broth after simmering)
- Remove the Herbal Sachet
- Add other suggested ingredients (except the fried cruller which to be served seperately) and bring to boil
- Allow them to be cooked thoroughly before serving
- Garnish with chopped spring onions and serve hot with Rice, Fried Crullers, and Kiam Chye
- If using pork fats, add these fats into a frying pan and allow the fats to render, leaving behind a crispy pork fats with melted pork oil under medium. Remove the crispy pork fats and use the oil.
- If not using pork fats, heat 2 tablespoon of oil in the pan
- When the oil is heated, add the garlic and saute until the outer layer of the whole garlic cloves is slightly brown
- Add in dried chili (Optional), sliced preserved salted vegetables, and sugar and continue to saute for 30 secs
- Add in water and allow it to boil
- Once boiled, lower the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 30 mins. Stir occassionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan.