Pork ribs slow-braised in chinese herbs & goji berries

Pork ribs slow-braised in chinese herbs & goji berries

Bak kut teh

By
From
Street Food Asia
Serves
4–6 As part o f a shared me al
Photographer
Alan Benson

Klang is a small Hokkien town near Kuala Lumpur and it’s home to my favourite place for eating bak kut teh – a heavily flavoured soupy stew rich with meaty, spicy and herbal elements that I just can’t get enough of. Bak kut teh translates as ‘meat bone tea’ and a few regions claim it, each giving the dish a slightly different twist. Klang bak kut teh (and many claim Klang to be its true home) has a dark brown broth that’s deeply scented, complex and intense in flavour. The one I eat at Sei Ngan Chai, a home-style restaurant with fabulously old-school decor, contains big chunks of pork still on the bone and, if you fancy them, pieces of offal and tofu puffs as well. Bak kut teh isn’t difficult to make but the spices used here, which include medicinal ingredients such as angelica root, solomon’s seal, Sichuan lovage and Chinese licorice as well as regular spices like cassia bark, star anise and pepper, can be tricky to find individually. To save time and hassle, just pick up a packet of the spice mix from a Chinese grocer.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 x 60g bak kut teh spice packet
1 whole garlic bulb
1kg pork ribs, separated and chopped into 6 cm lengths
1 tablespoon white peppercorns
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon goji berries
sea salt
2 spring onions, sliced, to garnish
steamed jasmine rice, to serve
Chinese doughnuts, sliced, to serve

Chilli, garlic & soy dipping sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 green bird’s eye chillies, sliced
2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
3 garlic cloves, diced
3 tablespoons kecap manis, (see glossary)

Method

  1. Mix the dipping sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Rinse the dried spices, then add them to a 40 cm square of muslin, tie with kitchen string to secure and set aside.
  3. Bring 2.5 litres water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and the spice bag and boil for 10 minutes, then add the pork ribs, return to the boil and cook for a further 10 minutes, skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface.
  4. Add the white peppercorns, oyster sauce and soy sauces to the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 50 minutes, or until the rib meat is tender and almost falling off the bone. Add the goji berries and cook for a final 10 minutes (any longer and the berries will go slightly bitter), then season with salt to taste.
  5. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with the spring onion and serve with the dipping sauce, steamed rice and sliced Chinese doughnuts.
Tags:
South-East Asian
Asian
Street Food
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