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Bak Kut Teh Recipe – Pork Rib Soup Recipe

Bak Kut Teh - Pork Rib Soup

Bak Kut Teh Recipe – Pork Rib Soup Recipe

A popular late-night or early morning pick-me-up, this flavourful soup can be prepared with various cuts of meat, although this version using ribs is most popular.

Ingredients :

  • 500 g (1 lb) pork ribs, cleaned, separated and cut into lengths
  • One 150-g (5-oz) piece lean pork
  • 1 bulb garlic, unpeeled, washed
  • 12 cups (3 litres) water
  • 4 tablespoons black soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 red finger-length chilli, thinly sliced, to serve (optional)
  • Black soy sauce, to serve (optional)


  • 1 packet of Bak Kut Teh Spices (see note), a combination of cloves, star anise, cinnamon, rock sugar and various Chinese medicinal herbs (gan cao, luo han guo, dang xin, chuan kong, dang guei and sheng di)

Method :

  1. Place the pork ribs, pork and garlic with the water in a large pot. Wrap the Seasonings in a piece of clean cheesecloth and add to the pan. Add the soy sauces and sugar, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, covered, for 11/2 to 2 hours, until the meat is very tender and almost falling off the bones. Discard the cheesecloth filled with the Seasonings.
  2. To serve, slice the pork meat into small pieces. Place a few pieces of meat in individual serving bowls with a few ribs and whole cloves of garlic, and ladle the hot stock over the meat. Serve with a small bowl of sliced fresh red chilli in black soy sauce on the side. Serve immediately.

Note : Packets of Bak Kut Teh Spices are sold in supermarkets and food shops in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. You can also stop by a Chinese medicine shop and ask for seasonings to make Bak Kut Teh.

Yields 6 cups
Preparation time : 15 mins
Cooking time : 1 hours 45 mins


Source :
the food of Singapore
Simple Street Food Recipes from the Lion City
by David Wong & Djoko Wibisono
photos by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni
introduction by Lee Geok Boi


See also Singapore Cooking “Duck Braised in Fragrant Soy Recipe”