For those who have been following my blog for a while now, you'd know that soups are one of my favourite things to eat (or, in this case, drink). That's why I've shared recipes of a lot of simple soups on my blog as I make them all the time.
So, when I read about a Singapore-Style Bak Kut Teh recipe from a blog I follow.....goodyfoodies...I immediately set out to make that for my own consumption.
I didn't know that a Singapore-Style Bak Kut Teh is something like the pig stomach soup (which I love incidentally). I also read from another blog that this version of bak kut teh is actually a Teochew version.
Anyway, it's so simple to make and you basically need just 3 ingredients...pork ribs, peppercorns and garlic. I added a twist to mine with a 4th ingredient....enoki mushrooms! ;)
12 pcs (2 1/2-inch) pork ribs (about 500g)
1 1/2 bulbs garlic
1 (Chinese) tbsp white peppercorns (about 20g)
Enoki mushrooms (about 100g)
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
Separate the garlic cloves but leave the skin intact. Rinse them.
Crush half the peppercorns lightly (I used a pestle to crack them up as I find that to be the easiest to do). I used only about 20g (or 1 Chinese tbsp) of white peppercorns (for 1L of water) since I crushed half of the peppercorns which will make the soup more peppery (hopefully).
Place the blanched pork ribs, peppercorns, garlic cloves and water into a 1.5L slow cooker and let it simmer away for 3 hours....and that's it...so simple, right?
Season with salt to taste and add the enoki mushrooms in the last 15 minutes or so. Typically, Singapore bak kut teh probably doesn't come with mushrooms but I like mushrooms in mine. So, the only one I could think of were enoki mushrooms as they won't change the taste profile of the soup that much (unlike Chinese dried mushrooms).
Simply great with a bowl of rice, some simple stir-fry vegetables and a dip of bird's eye chilli, minced fresh garlic and soy.
I found the soup to have the right balance of peppery zing to it...just enough without being overly spiced with pepper. If it was pig stomach soup, I'd probably dial it up a notch.
So, if you like it to be more peppery, you can certainly add more peppercorns...but a word of caution....if you let the soup steep and heat it up again (for a later meal), the pepper flavour does get stronger.
When I had some for lunch, the soup was a bit clearer (as can be seen in the pic on the left) but, when I had the leftover for dinner, the soup became more intense in flavour and that's because the garlic cloves continue to soften and the peppercorns continue to steep for a longer period of time.
The pork ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender....and eating it with the garlic-chilli-soy dip was even better.
Actually, this soup is a whole lot easier to make compared to the herbal-style bak kut teh (unless, of course, you just use those prepacked bak kut teh herbs). Go on, give it a try.....if you like peppery soup, you'll like this Singapore-Style Bak Kut Teh.
Nothing like a bowl of steaming hot (and peppery) soup to warm the soul.....especially welcoming on a cold rainy day! ;)
Serves 4 - 5 (soup-sized bowls)