Being confined to staying home today due to a stomach upset last night (woke up 3 times at night!), I decided to make myself useful at home. Normally I don’t cook since I always get home late after work and on weekends, hubby and I like to take the car out for a spin. But this morning, after seeing the doctor and being told I needed a syrup or some fruit juice to mix my sachet of powdered medication with, I went to the nearby NTUC supermarket to get a bottle of Ribena.
At the check-out counter, I saw a packet of Seah’s Spices Singapore Bak Kut Teh. It was spices in a sachet form and after checking the cooking instructions at the back of the package, I decided to give it a try. My eldest sister just recently cooked the same soup but instead of using pork ribs, she used chicken wings since her son and my youngest sister don’t take pork. Hubby liked it and commented that I should try. I don’t know what brand of spice mix she used but I decided at that moment just before I was about to pay for my Ribena to save that packet of spices from languishing in oblivion in a corner of the checkout counter 😛 I thought I’d cook it over the weekend but as I walked across the road towards home, I decided to cook it today.
So after chewing down 2 charcoal tablets and resting a bit, black tongue and all, and then running to the throne one more time (TMI! Sorry :P), I left home again and headed off to get the ingredients.
Ingredients and preparation instruction (on back of the package):
– 1 sachet of spices
– 1 kg of pork ribs (boil for 5 mins and rinse the boiled pork ribs to remove scum)
– 8 pieces of garlic (skin intact)
– 6 bows of water (1500ml / 50oz)
– Boil 1500ml water
– Place sachet and pre-prepared pork ribs in boiling water
– Simmer for 30 mins on low heat
– Add garlic and continue to simmer for another 15 mins. Serve hot.
Easy, isn’t it? So I bought pork ribs, garlic, Chinese parsley and eggs for making omelette. It didn’t take too long to prepare and cook the soup, omelette and rice, all in all just 1 hour (45 mins for the soup and a little time to wash and prepare the ingredients). I added some canned button mushrooms to the soup and the remainder to the omelette. Cut some chilli padi to go with the pork ribs only to remember I’m not supposed to take anything spicy these few days 😦
The soup tasted alright, I suppose. I mean, it’s idiot proof so nothing can go wrong unless you add too much water and dilute the taste. But the herbal tastes should’ve been stronger, instead it’s a little too mild. Bak kut teh is supposed to be about the Chinese herbs and spices so that’s where this brand fails, I think. Maybe hubby will think differently. Will have to wait till he comes home tonight and try it.
– Bak Kut Teh
I almost forgot, the mushroom omelette was cooked with my new Happy Call pan from Korea 🙂 If you haven’t heard about it, here’s a video of the Happy Call pan:
Now, a little write-up on Bak Kut Teh, or literally translated as ‘Meat Bone Tea’. It’s a very common and popular Chinese dish in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and parts of Indonesia and Thailand where there are Chinese communities, especially the Hokkien and Teochew dialect groups. The coolies of olden days used to eat this as a morning meal, together with rice or noodles. Chilli in light or dark soy sauce is used as a condiment to dip the meat in and most people like to eat it with fried dough sticks which they dip into the soup before eating. Chinese tea (Pu-er, Long Jin, Tie Guan Yin, etc) is taken with the meal to wash down the feeling of oilyness caused by the fats of the pork ribs, since it is generally believed that tea can dilute or dissolve fats in our bodies. There is another variation of the soup which is more peppery instead of herbal. To know more, read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bak_kut_teh
If any of you Diva friends want to try this soup, let me know 😉 Remember, it’s idiot proof and I don’t mean it as an insult 😛