Recipe: Herbal Pork Ribs Soup (Klang Bak Kut Teh/药材肉骨茶)

What version of Bak Kut Teh do you prefer – soup or dry? Herbal or peppery? My family loves them all. In Malaysia, the herbal ones are more popular whereas Singapore’s Bak Kut Teh is usually peppery. However, if you fancy dry Bak Kut Teh, check our earlier posts: Video and Full Recipe!

For a long time, I have been searching for the right herbs and spices to concoct the soup base and finally found one which I have adapted (thanks to Alan of Travelling Foodies). I am so excited to share this new-found recipe with you as there are so much goodness and health benefits in this bowl of soup!!

Hope you will try this recipe and be generous by giving us some feedback/comments via our blog. Like and follow us on Beyond Norm’s Facebook Page and subscribe to our blog. Follow us on Instagram (@TheRealBeyondNorm) and YouTube (@BeyondNormEats), to get the latest exciting updates and videos.  We would also like to welcome you to join our Mummy’s Kitchen Facebook Group for food lovers like you, whether newbie or veteran.

Serves 4 to 6 persons


1kg pork ribs

2 big bones to add more flavour to the stock (optional)

6 bulbs garlics


Herbs and Spices

25g Solomon’s Seal/yuzhu (玉竹)

3 to 4 slices Angelica/dang gui (当归)

12g Chinese licorice/gan cao (甘草)

5-8g Sichuan lovage rhizome/chuan xiong (川芎)

2 pieces of 1-inch Cassia bark/gui pi (肉桂皮)

4 slices Astragalus root slices/bei qi (北芪)

4 pieces star anise/ba jiao (八角)

8g Codonopsis Root/dang shen (党参)

10g wolfberries/gou qi (枸杞子)


Salt (adjust to taste)

2 tablespoons black soya sauce (adjust to taste)

1 tablespoon light soya sauce (adjust to taste)

Optional ingredients:

8 pieces chinese mushrooms, soaked

1 packet Golden Enoki Mushroom

8 pieces fried beancurd puffs, repeatedly rinsed and squeezed out the excess oil and water.

3 deep fried youtiao aka chinese dough fritters

Iceberg lettuce


Preparation of the Ribs and Big Bones:

  1. Add the ribs into a pot of boiling water and blanch briefly. Remove and set aside.
  2. Next add the big bones to a pot of boiling water and blanch for 15 seconds. Remove and set aside.
  3. Discard the water.

Cooking the Bak Kut Teh:

  1. Rinse all the herbs and spices, except the wolfberries, then put them into a muslin bag (if you are using it).
  2. In a large pot, add about 10 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add in the bag of spice mixture and simmer it for about 20 minutes over low heat with the lid on. This will allow the flavours of the herbs to infuse into the water.
  4. Add in the seasoning; salt, light and dark soya sauce. Adjust according to your taste and if you prefer a darker coloured soup add more dark soya sauce.
  5. Add pork bones, pork ribs and garlic. Bring to a boil again, then set it to a low flame and continue to simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes.
  6. Check if you need more boiling water. Add water if necessary.
  7. Occasionally use a ladle or small wired sieve to remove any scum or blood clots on the surface of the soup. This helps to keep the soup clear.
  8. Then add in the Chinese mushrooms and simmer for another 50 minutes.
  9. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, you can scoop some soup into another small pot to cook the fried bean curd and enoki. Add the wolfberries into the big pot of soup.
  10. Serve the Bak Kut Teh with chunks of you tiao and a few Iceberg lettuce leaves, if you like. To spice up this dish, you can make a dip with some chopped garlic, chilli, light & dark soya sauce, and sesame oil.

Mummy's Kitchen

Hi! My name is Josephine Go. I blog at in a segment called Mummy’s Kitchen. I love to use fresh and natural ingredients in my cooking to promote healthy eating. Some of my recipes may not be in line with the traditional methods of cooking to the extent that some of the ingredients are different, but hopefully new recipes are being created in my style. I certainly hope that what I do will help guide kitchen first-timers on how to cook their first meal as well as further equip kitchen veterans with new recipes. My loving husband and two wonderful children are my best guinea pigs and critics. They have enjoyed (or endured) the food that has been served to them for all these years. Mind you, I did not know how to cook or ever knew that I could cook till I got married. So there is hope for everyone. If I can cook, you can cook. You will not know how good or talented you are until you put your hand in the plough.

2 thoughts on “Recipe: Herbal Pork Ribs Soup (Klang Bak Kut Teh/药材肉骨茶)

  1. Jamie Chew says:

    I love the recipe, do you know how to cook the beancurd that goes with the bak kut teh?

    1. Hi Jamie, we’re glad you love the recipe! You can find the instructions for that at Step 12 of the recipe. Hope this helps! 🙂

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