Good Eats

Good Eats – Pork Rib Soup (Bah Kut Teh)

Bah Kut Teh is a must eat if you ever had a chance to visit Malaysia or Singapore. A lot of Malaysian Chinese actually have this dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The name of this soup literally translated from a hokkien dialect as “meat bone tea”. Despite the name, this dish do not include any tea in cooking the soup, but we as Malaysians do have hot tea to go with this dish. It is believed that the tea helps with digestion when you are consuming the protein rich soup.

I like to use dried shitake mushrooms for this soup because they have an nice meaty flavor that enhances the flavor of this soup. Some people do not like to use dried mushroom because the soaking process can be time consuming, you may use fresh button or portobello mushrooms instead.

I prefer to blanch my pork ribs and pork loins. This is not a necessary step, I like to do it because I like a clear soup without the gray foam floating in my soup. By blanching the meat, excess proteins from the meat’s surface coagulate, creating the gray foam that you often find in the broth of a pot of hot soup. This way the broth will be much clearer and require less skimming or straining. This method will also help get the full flavor of the ingredients.



  • 1 pack of pre-packed Bah Kut Teh herbal seasoning
  • 1 lb of spare ribs
  • 1/2 lb of pork loins (cubed)
  • 1 head of whole garlic
  • A handful of dried Shiitake mushrooms (soaked, stems removed)
  • 2 packs of enoki mushrooms
  • 1 pack fried tofu balls
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of dark soy sauce


  1. Blanch spare ribs, and pork loins in a pot of boiling water for a minute. If you don’t want to blanch your meats before hand, skip to step 3.
  2. Rinse the meat under running cold water, to get rid of the gray foam formed while blanching.
  3. Fill the crockpot half way with boiling hot water, add in the Bah Kut Teh seasoning  and turned it on high.
  4. Add in all the cleaned spare ribs, pork loins, soaked mushroom and garlic into the crockpot.
  5. Add in soy sauce and dark soy sauce and let it simmer on the crockpot overnight.
  6. Add in enoki mushroom and fried tofu pouch 45 mins before serving the dish.


Besides curry, this is probably the one dish that reminds me of home. The fragrance of the soup will fill your entire house. I don’t have a lot time as I mentioned before, I prefer to make the dish in a crockpot. This dish is considered quick and easy if you can get everything ready the night before. Enjoy your pork ribs soup.


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