Bak Kut Teh (Pork Ribs Soup)

Savor this sweet and spicy soup from the kitchens of Singapore.

August 2009 | By
Bak Kut Teh (Pork Ribs Soup)
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Preparation Time


Date Published

August 2009

Singaporeans infuse their dishes with the heady flavors of star anise and cinnamon.

Prep Time 15 minutes 
Cooking Time 2 hours

1 kilo pork neck
2 pieces star anise           
2 pieces cinnamon bark
3 tablespoons dark or sweet soy sauce
6 cups water
1 head garlic
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

For the dipping sauce
5 pieces bird's eye chili (siling labuyo),
      deveined, seeded, and sliced
2 tablespoons dark or sweet soy sauce

Place pork, star anise, cinnamon, soy sauce, water, garlic, and ground pepper in a pot with a tight-fitting lid.

Put pot in a wok or larger pot filled with water almost half the height of the smaller pot.

Turn on heat to medium and bring water to a slow simmer. Replenish water if the level goes below half the height of the smaller pot. Simmer for 3 to 4 hours or until the meat almost falls off the bone.

Make the dipping sauce: Mix chili pepper and soy sauce.

Serve in bowls as soup or with rice, with the dipping sauce on the side.

Shopping Tip:   Kecap manis or sweet soy sauce can be bought in specialty delis or some supermarkets (check the Asian sauces aisle).

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