A bowl of Singaporean Bak Kut Teh (pork bone tea soup)
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Singapore Bak Kut Teh (Pork Rib Soup with White Pepper)

Singapore Bak Kut Teh is a clear peppery soup made by simmering pork ribs with white pepper and garlic. This delicious soup is so fragrant, filling and comforting.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Dish, Noodle and Soup
Cuisine: Singaporean
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 490kcal
Author: Sophie

Ingredients

  • 1.25 oz whole white peppercorns (about 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons)
  • 0.15 oz whole black peppercorns (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 oz garlic bulbs (about 20 cloves)
  • 2 lbs meaty pork ribs, separated into individual ribs
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt (to taste)

Instructions

  • Use a mortar and pestle to lightly crack open the peppercorns. Alternative, place them in a sealed ziploc bag and use something heavy to crack open. It is fine if some are still intact. Rinse the garlic bulbs and cut off the bottom (no need to peel them).
  • Place a skillet over medium-low to medium heat, toast the peppercorns and garlic bulbs briefly until fragrant.
  • Bring a pot with plenty of water to a boil then add pork ribs and a pinch of salt. Bring it back to a boil and continue to parboil for 1-2 minutes. Discard the liquid and rinse the ribs.
  • Clean the pot or use a different pot, add pork ribs, 6 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer, skim off any foams. Add peppercorns and garlic.
  • Use low heat to maintain a gentle simmer with the lid slightly askew (to leave a small space between the lid and the rim of the pot). Simmer until ribs are tender, about 90 minutes. Add the remaining amount of salt or to taste.
  • Serve the soup hot with steamed rice, youtiao (Chinese fried doughsticks), oolong tea, some soy sauce and bird's-eye chili on the side.

Notes

If you have never tried or cooked Singaporean bak kut teh before, you may want to go easy with the amount of peppercorns. The amount of peppercorns in this recipe results in a pretty hot soup. You can reduce the white peppercorns to 1 oz and omit the black peppercorns if unsure about how hot you want it to be.

Nutrition

Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 1313mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg