Bak Kut Teh (which translates to meat bone tea) is a famous Chinese dish that you've no doubt heard your non-Muslim friends rave about. Given that it's often made with pork, it's predominantly known as a non-halal dish, though you'll sometimes find eateries that make halal versions of bak kut teh using beef or lamb. And if you go a step further, it's actually pretty doable to make this dish for yourself right at home, especially if you have the right mix of spices to get that flavourful broth. Recently, Denise Deanna (founder of the popular Deanna's Kitchen hawker stalls in Singapore and a Chinese-Muslim revert) shared a halal bak kut teh recipe using lamb ribs which we're definitely excited about. Not only does it look absolutely delicious, but it's also super easy to make thanks to the bak kut teh spice mix that's sold by The Meatery, a Muslim-owned gourmet butcher based in Singapore!
The spice mix (cutely named Baaa Kut Teh) was made in collaboration with local spice specialist Anthony The Spice Maker. Given that The Meatery also sells lamb ribs, you can pick up both the spice mix and the lamb you'll need for this dish. Add a few more simple ingredients and you'll be all set to make your very own lamb kut teh!
For our Malaysian readers, you can also find local brands of bak kut teh spice mix that are halal-certified, such as the popular A1 brand. It's also interesting to note that bak kut teh in Malaysia tends to follow the Hokkien style, with broth that's darker in colour thanks to the addition of dark soy sauce, while the Teochew style of bak kut teh is more prevalent in Singapore, with a lighter-coloured broth and notes of white pepper and garlic. For our recipe below, we'll be focusing on this latter style ?
Lamb Kut Teh Recipe by Denise Deanna
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1kg of lamb ribs (available for sale in Singapore at The Meatery. Deanna highly recommends this for the best results, as The Meatery's ribs are naturally not that gamey and the cut is really beautifully suited for the dish!)
- Half a pack (i.e. 40g) of bak kut teh spice mix (Deanna used the Baaa Kut Teh spice mix available for sale in Singapore at The Meatery)
- 3 chunks of old ginger, sliced
- 15 cloves of garlic, peeled
- Small bunch of spring onion stems (i.e. the white part) - do be sure not to skip this as it's important to help remove the gaminess of the lamb!
- White pepper, soy sauce and sugar (to taste)
- Place the ribs in a pot of water (enough to cover all the ribs). Bring it a boil - the fat and scum will start floating to the top. Remove the lamb ribs and discard the water.
- Add fresh water to the pot (enough to cover all the ribs), add the lamb ribs, spice mix, ginger, garlic, and spring onions stems. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 1.5 hours.
- Season with salt and white pepper (according to your preference). Add a bit of soy sauce and sugar to taste.
- Serve hot, along with rice and sliced bird's eye chilies and dark soy sauce on the side.
Deanna has given her stamp of approval for the flavours of the dish made with the Baaa Kut Teh spice mix, so you know you'll be getting an authentic taste with this halal lamb kut teh recipe! So if you've ever want to try bak kut teh, love the taste of lamb, or are just looking for a hearty, comforting new dish to make, this will be sure to hit the spot.