Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶)

Bak Kut Teh is the Teochew/Hokkien pronunciation of pork bone tea (肉骨茶), though there is no tea in the ingredients 😁. Preparation of this dish involves hours of simmering the pork ribs in spices. When it’s ready, the broth is full of flavors and … fat. That’s why we need to pair it with Chinese tea to cut the grease.

Ashley asked for Bak Kut Teh when she visits this week. I have been cooking this 4-ingredients Bak Kut Teh forever, yet it never crossed my mind to blog it. It is very easy to prepare this dish at home with packaged Bak Kut Teh spice shown in the picture; they can be found in the spice aisle in most Asian grocery stores.

Fried crullers are often served with the broth too and they can also be found in the frozen section of the Asian stores. There is no reason why we can’t enjoy a heart warming dish of Bak Kut Teh at home when the craving hit.


  • 2 lbs pork spare ribs or baby back ribs, cut into individual segments
  • 3 whole garlic
  • 1 package of Bak Kut Teh spice (contains 2 sachets of spice and 1 package soy sauce)
  • 7 cups water
  • Ground white pepper, chopped green onions and cilantro for garnish.
  • Fried crullers (optional)
  • Chilli and dark soy sauce for dipping


  1. Bring 7 cups of water to a slow rolling boil.
  2. Rinse pork ribs and add to boiling water for 5 minutes.
  3. Skim away the scum that floats to the top.
  4. Add the 2 spice packages and 3 whole garlic. Bring to a boil again, cover and simmer for 2 hours on medium heat. Alternatively, put all ingredients in a slow cooker and set to cook at medium setting for 4 hours or until the meat is tender.
  5. Add the package of soy sauce, stir well and cook at low setting for another hour.
  6. Garnish with chopped spring onions, cilantro, and ground white pepper.
  7. Serve hot with jasmine rice and fried crullers (油条)。Dip the meat in chilli and dark soy sauce, and dip the crullers in the broth. You will be slurping down the bowl of jasmine rice and the broth in no time.
Boil ribs for 5 minutes and skim off the scum.]
Add ribs, spice, and garlic
5 hours later … Slurp!
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