Warning: This is a non-halal entry
Last weekend, 선생님 was showing a Korean friend around and wanted to eat Bakuteh for dinner. So she rounded our Korean classmates up and we all drove to Klang (around 45 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur / Petaling Jaya) for the famous Klang Bakuteh. It is good that one of our classmates is from Klang.
Bakuteh is pork (and i mean large, chunky pieces of piggy meat) stewed in a herbal broth. It is now served all over Malaysia, but was said to originate in Klang, Selangor. Nowadays people still travel from far away to sample the Bakuteh in Klang. It is said to be still the best Bakuteh around.
People in Klang eat Bakuteh for breakfast! Urgh…not my cup of tea. How could one eat such a heavy piggy breakfast? Anyway, i have heard of people waking up at 6am just to drive to Klang for a Bakuteh breakfast. But i digress…
Bakuteh was first created in the 1950s as the basic meal for Chinese immigrants in Klang. Since the early laborers were poor yet hard workers, they created a dish that is easy to prepare, cheap yet hearty. They used pork ribs, mushrooms and garlic as these ingredients are cheap and easily available. The fragrant stew stock is made by boiling pork bones and selected herbs and spices. The herbs is what makes Bakuteh so fragrant and yummy.
Bakuteh is served piping hot accompanied with white rice (ours had bits of onions in the rice for flavouring) and hot Chinese tea that came in tiny white porcelain tea cups. The cups were so tiny that one sip and you would have emptied it.
Fragrant cili padi (beware – very tiny but spicy) in soy sauce and Chinese tea
Bakuteh directly translated from “Hokkien” dialect to English is ‘pork bone tea’.
bak = pork
kut = bone
teh = tea
Nowadays, there’s also instant Bakuteh. You can buy a pack of “Bakuteh herbs”. All you do is add the pork or chicken, water and cook everything in a pot.
When something is so popular, there are bound to be spin-offs of the original. The chicken and beef version is called Chickuteh and Beefkuteh respectively.
I apologize for the unfocused photo. Had to
photograph quick as everyone wanted to dig in. 😉
Liz and Orchid are not pork eaters…so we filled up on mushrooms, tauhu-pok, fu-chok and bits of dried cuttlefish from the dry bakuteh. Actually i really enjoyed the dry bakuteh. It’s the first time i am tasting it. There’s bits of sotong (cuttlefish), ladies fingers (okra) and dry chili cooked in dark soy sauce.
Have you tasted bakuteh? Do you like it?
Having fun at Korean class