Bak kut teh fortified with pig’s heart

Bah Kut Teh Recipe #3: Bak kut teh soup with pig’s heart

pig heart

A proper bak kut teh dish MUST have pork in it. It doesn’t matter what cut of pork (or offal) but the oink must be in the soup at some point.

pigs heart

This is the third and final installment of a three-step cooking process with my bak kut teh recipe. The first one is Chik kut teh with oily chicken rice and the second is the simple Bak kut teh ramen with drumstick and egg.

pig heart blood

Here comes the final dish of the series (sorry for the delay) where the bak kut teh soup has been stewed through all those two recipes, absorbing all the tastes and flavors in the process. The soup is delicious. It’s orgasmic. It just needs:

pig heart vein

A bleeding heart! *cue “We have a bleeder!”

pig heart prep

Well, a pig’s heart anyway. These things are pretty cheap, you can get a whole pig’s heart for about RM 4. I’ve cooked with pig’s heart before and can attest to the taste and texture of this wonderful organ in the portfolio of porcine delights.

pig heart slices

Start by slicing the pig heart into manageable pieces…

bkt pig heart

…before dumping it into the soup. There’s a lot of clotted blood inside the poor pink animal’s heart and you might want to remove that or just cook it as clotted blood. It really doesn’t make much of a difference as long as you wash it first. :)

bak kut teh pig heart

Let the pig’s heart simmer for about 30 minutes and you’ll end your bak kut teh adventures on a high note. The broth is hearty and the pig’s heart is chewy and absorbs all the flavors, producing a delectable slice of <3.

Bak kut teh ramen with drumstick and egg

Bah Kut Teh Recipe #2: Bak kut teh ramen with chicken drumstick and egg

bak-kut-teh-ramen

This is the second meal that we usually have after a bak kut teh cooking session. Remember the first recipe of chik kut teh with oily chicken rice? You’ll still have a lot of leftover BKT soup after that so here’s a quick and easy meal for breakfast!

drumstick

Take a chicken drumstick out of the fridge and dump it straight into the leftover soup. I didn’t defrost it so as you can see, the intense change from freezing cold to boiling hot warped the bone of the chicken. Heh! You just need to boil this on high heat for 3 minutes for the chicken to cook.

egg

Next, transfer the cooked chicken drumstick and a bit of bak kut teh soup into a smaller cooking pan. I do this to avoid stray bits of noodles from going into the main BKT pot. Crack an egg into the new pan of soup for a more complete ramen meal. It’s probably wise to use low heat now if you like your eggs to be firm and yet have a runny yolk.

ramen

The final step is to open a packet of ramen and put the brick of instant noodles into the soup. The best thing about this is that the BKT soup is more than tasty enough to stand on its own and as a bonus, you have extra ramen flavor sachets which you can use in the future. I love eating 3 packets of instant noodles with 4 packets worth of flavor sachets. :D

chik-kut-teh-ramen

Let it cook for about 3 minutes and you’ll have a healthier version of ramen – a hearty bak kut teh broth ramen with chicken drumsticks and an egg. You can also try adding crab sticks if you like your breakfast ramen with more condiments. It’s delicious! :)

Chik kut teh with oily chicken rice

Bah Kut Teh Recipe #1: Chicken bak kut teh with oily chicken rice

chick-kut-teh

Bak kut teh or pork bone soup is a hearty herbal delight that’s very versatile and delicious. We’ve come across a routine that can make the same BKT soup last for 3 meals with three very different recipes. However, I hear you asking – Why chick kut teh?

Well, for one thing, pork is damn expensive in KL. It’s really cheap in Sarawak. However, the main reason is coz this is fast and easy to cook without compromising on taste!

I remember when I was a kid, there was this huge Nipah scare and everyone stopped consuming pork. Chik-kut-teh outlets practically sprouted like mushrooms overnight! There were even dedicated chick-kut-teh restaurants when people started saying that it tasted just as good as pork. However, they were all gone within a year and people went back to eating real pork bak kut teh when the outbreak was over. Heh!

Note that this recipe is still not halal since we found the BKT package in the non-halal section of the hypermarket.

You will need:

chicken drumsticks

  • Yew Chian Haw Bah Kut Teh herbal mix
  • OXO cubes chicken stock
  • Quintessence Garlic & Parsley infused oil
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Garlic
  • Salt

bak-kut-teh herbal mix

This was actually inspired by the photo on the BKT package. You can use any brand you like but we found that this is the best tasting one we’ve come across so far. Yew Chian Haw BKT mix can be located hanging beside the open meat refrigerated shelves in the non-halal section. The ingredients are fresh and the bak kut teh package has to be put in the fridge (crisper section) so it won’t go bad, unlike regular ones which can be stored at room temperature. It serves 4-6 people and that’s how we managed to extend this into three meals.

water

It’s the second time we’ve cooked this. Drumsticks are the best cut of chicken that you can use – BKT soup requires a bone based meat for flavor. The trick is in the marrow that leaches out after boiling. :)

bak kut teh soup

First off, bring about 3 liters of water to boil and dump in the contents of the bak kut teh package. Put in two whole bulbs of garlic and add 2 heaped tablespoons of salt to the pot. The garlic tastes great when eaten like that. Unfortunately, we only had about 3/4 of a bulb left so we put in the cloves of garlic instead.

chik-kut-teh soup

It’s important to note that you should not peel the garlic or it’ll disintegrate during the boiling process.

bak kut teh chicken

Let the soup boil for about an hour on high heat and turn off the stove. Add in the chicken drumsticks and continue to let it simmer for another half hour on low heat. You can put in as many chicken drumsticks as you want – we put in 5. I usually eat 3 drumsticks and my girlfriend eats two.

oxo chicken cubes

While all that is happening, prepare the oily chicken rice by dissolving an OXO chicken cube into some water and adding it to the rice. We use 1 chicken stock cube for every two cups of rice.

garlic parsley oil

Pour about a teaspoon of oil into the rice and chicken stock mixture and turn on the rice cooker.

oily chicken rice

The garlic infused oil makes the rice taste richer and the bits of parsley lends a bit of much needed color into the entire shebang.

chicken bak kut teh

Scoop out the chicken drumsticks after the 1 1/2 hours of boiling is up and serve it with the oily chicken rice. You can chuck the BKT stock in the fridge for future use – it’s only going to get better each time as it absorbs the essence of each meal. :)

chik-kut-teh-century-egg

The garlic and parsley infused chicken rice goes very well with the piping hot chik kut teh. The drumsticks have absorbed the herbal notes of the BKT soup and it’s delicious! The meaty herbal soup complements the oily chicken rice and it’s great for those rare cold nights.

chik-kut-teh dinner

It’s a simple but rich treat that easy to make and delicious to boot!

Easy no-marinade caramelized garlic chicken leg

whole chicken leg

I used to nuke a lot of “Asian marinated drumsticks” when I was in high school in Christchurch, NZ. It’s sold at Countdown (one of the largest hypermarket chain) and I just put it in the microwave when I felt like a snack. I set it for 1 minute on high for each drumstick and it tasted really good…well, as far as microwave food can taste.

Now, I got thinking about that good ol’ comfort food that helped me through the cold winters and I decided to make my own version. The “Asian marinate” is nothing more than soy sauce and I reckon I could make a far better version. I managed to come out with a delectable dish – it’s so good I’m drooling as I write this. :D

You will need:
Whole chicken leg
Dark sweet soy sauce
Light salty soy sauce
Garlic
Sugar (a lot of it)

chicken leg

Chicken legs are an excellent cut for this dish. It has just enough of the fattier bits of the chicken for a whole meal. Now, when we cooked this for the first time we were both very hungry and didn’t feel like taking the time to marinate the chicken. That turned out to be an excellent decision. The no-marinade caramelized garlic chicken leg was born and here’s how it goes! :)

First, put the chicken leg inside the cooking pot and dump in the dark and light soy sauce. Add your 4 tablespoons (not teaspoons – tablespoons) of sugar and let the heat caramelize it for a bit.

garlic

Next, peel at least an entire bulb of garlic and put the cloves in whole. You need the entire chicken leg to be covered so add a bit of water if you need to. Let the chicken simmer in the pot for about 30 minutes.

simmering chicken leg

It’s now ready to serve! Just take out the chicken leg and pour a bit of the sauce on top of it. Remember to spoon out all the garlic, it tastes heavenly with it.

This method of cooking the chicken tastes even better than marinating it. The slow simmering process tenderizes and allows all the flavors to be absorbed into the chicken. It’s absolutely fabulous – sweet and garlicky. It goes really well with steamed rice and the sauce is to die for.

caramelized garlic chicken

Garlic fans would LOVE this. I can eat plates of rice with just the caramelized sauce and melt-in-your-mouth garlic cloves.

Just remember your breath mints after having this for dinner. smirk

Garlic stuffed ikan bulus (silver whiting)

bulus

Bulus is a fish that has become a staple in our kitchen. It’s commonly called silver whiting (sillago sihama) and it’s a wee little fish. The largest ones are not much bigger than a sausage. It’s easy to cook (always a plus point) but relatively expensive at RM 19.90 per kg.

Damn, I’m starting to sound domesticated aren’t I? Prices of fish indeed…

ikan bulus

Anyway, I say relatively because there are a lot of other species of fish like catfish, kerisi, gelama etc which comes in under the RM 10 price point and this is double that. It comes up to about RM 1 per (small) fish. However, what bulus (silver whiting) has in its favor is that most of its weight is fish meat – there’s no large head or bones to take up excess weight.

silver whiting

The flesh of ikan bulus is also sweet and has an almost silky texture so it’s worth the price premium. :)

whiting

Silver whiting is best served marinated and deep fried with corn flour. It’s also wise to ask the hypermarket people to descale and gut the fish so you don’t have to do it yourself.

Our marinate sauce:
Light soy sauce
McCormick Season-All salt
Heinz brown sauce

bulus marinate

Just marinate the bulus using the ingredients above (or change it depending on what you have in your kitchen cabinet) and sprinkle some finely chopped raw garlic on top. Leave this for about 30 minutes.

Anyway, have you noticed that all the garlic has disappeared in the photo below? No, we didn’t discard it, there’s a trick here that we use to make it taste better.

bulus corn flour

Stuff the raw chopped garlic into the (gutted) fish’s stomach right before you spoon the corn flour over the silver whiting. It’s a simple but neat touch that gives you a tasty surprise when you bite into it. :)

We use Brown & Polson corn flour (the ones that come in a rusty hued can) to coat the bulus. This is a product that goes back ages. I remember seeing cans of this in my grandma’s kitchen. Heh!

frying fish

Slide the garlic stuffed fish into hot boiling oil and flip it once in a while. It only takes 3 minutes to cook due to the size and with that amount of cooking time, it’ll be crunchy enough to eat whole – bones, head and tail.

garlic stuffed ikan bulus

It’s delicious!

Gooey lady’s fingers with surimi

gooey ladyfingers with surimi

This is a recipe I remember eating a lot of during my first real relationship. My ex-girlfriend’s mother cooked this all the time and with a bit of effort I managed to replicate her recipe. I don’t eat a lot of vegetables but I like certain ones and this one is a hit. :)

okra

Ladyfingers or okra is quite easy to work with – my parents usually just dunk it in hot water for a couple of minutes and eat it just like that. It’s very healthy.

However, this is a better tasting version that I picked up from an ex-girlfriend’s mom (who’s a great cook). It requires:

ladyfingers surimi

Lady’s fingers (okra)
Surimi (crab sticks)
Tomato sauce
Dark soy sauce
Brown sugar

sauce

What makes this slightly different is all in the sauce. This sauce is very delicious when used with lady’s fingers. You’ll want to mix tomato sauce and dark soy sauce in a 1:1 ratio. Pour another measure of brown sugar (2:1 to the existing sauce mix) on top to sweeten the entire thing.

Surimi is meant to be the “treasure” beneath the bed of ladyfingers. Put it into boiling water and take it out after a few seconds. Surimi (crab sticks) cooks really fast so get ready to fish it out when it floats to the top (to me this means that it’s cooked, I could be mistaken). ;)

cooking surimi ladyfingers

Put the lady fingers into the boiling pot after that and wait for about 2 minutes. A spatula would be useful in speed cooking – just press the okra down into the hot water. Ladyfingers also doesn’t take long to cook – you want this to be slightly firm and crunchy on the outside.

While the ladyfingers are cooking, put a bit of hot water into the sauce mixture to melt the brown sugar. I just used the closest available one – straight from the pot. You just need a TINY (a bit of an oxymoron to use caps to emphasize moderation) amount so just sprinkle a little from the spatula you use for the lady fingers.

slice ladyfingers

Take the lady fingers out, chop off the head, and slice it vertically using a very sharp knife – two slices down each one is optimal but if you come across a particularly small finger, just once slice would do. This releases the Gooey Stuff (TM) that’s so good about okra.

sumiri

Just arrange the sliced lady fingers on top of the bed of surimi and pour the sauce over it. It’s now ready to eat! :D

arrange ladyfingers

This dish cools really fast so it’s best if you cook it last.

gooey ladyfingers

Serve immediately and savor the texture and tastes of the messy goo mixed with sauce and surimi and the occasional crunch of lady’s fingers. :)

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