Hokkien and Teochew Bak Kut Teh


Was a couple of hours early for what turned out to be an excellent dinner at Papi. So I decided to pop over across the road and get some tea.

Look, I needed something nourishing to fortify myself against the long wait ok? 🙁

Bak Kut Teh is a heavily spiced soup that contains primarily pork ribs. Some people order it with pork liver (it sweetens the soup somewhat) and other innards like stomach and intestines.

Grossed out yet?

Anyway, Bak Kut Teh is usually a breakfast thing for me. On a leisurely Sunday, I would sit by my favourite Bak Kut Teh stall, order up a set and have a pot of water boiling merrily away for my Tieguanyin.

Hot spicy soup with sweet ribs and a palate-cleansing, refreshing tea; the combination is unbeatable.

My only complaint now is that the fatty pork ribs has been replaced by lean pork. This has killed the taste, especially when fat provides an important backdrop against the tannic but floral Tieguanyin.


There are primarily two main versions of Bak Kut Teh: Hokkien and Teochew. The Hokkien version being the original version is the one with the dark soup while the Teochew version is the one with the clear peppery soup.

For me, both are equally good.

The one I had in the pictures had a herbal taste that made the soup sweet (liquorice or orange peel, perhaps) and greatly enhanced the pork ribs.

Bak Kut Teh should be served in a claypot because of its heat-retention properties. This is after all, not something that you want to rush through.

Slow down and savour the pleasure.

I ordered a small serving, so it was served in an ordinary bowl though. 😉 And if you order the Bak Kut Teh, always remember to get the Youtiao, making sure it is freshly fried. Dip into the soup and crunch away!


Posted on 2nd Sep 2006 in Food and Drink, Hokkien, Singapore, Teochew


There Are 6 Comments


Le Learn commented on September 2, 2006 at 9:09 pm

Where is this fav stall of yours then?


Ivan commented on September 2, 2006 at 11:36 pm

UE square (both), Yishun Central (Teochew), Bukit Merah (Hokkien) and Eunos MRT Station (Teochew). Depends on my mood for which type of BKT.


Karen Lim commented on September 3, 2006 at 11:02 pm

You must come down to Klang then for lip-smacking BKT!


Ivan commented on September 7, 2006 at 7:59 am

I must! I heard many good things about it!


Le Learn commented on September 7, 2006 at 12:46 pm

Don’t forget Joo Chiat!


Ivan commented on September 10, 2006 at 7:00 pm

@Le Learn: A bit far lah. Morning breakfast will become lunch. Not a bad thing though…

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