I made Bak Kut Teh for dinner yesterday night. For my readers who don't know what Bak Kut Teh is, it's basically a soupy pork dish where we usually use premade herbal packet to cook cubed pork meat and add in some mushrooms or fried tofu puffs. Bak Kut Teh basically means "pork bone tea" if you translate it directly from hokkian to english. Why is it called bak kut teh? I'm not sure myself. Probably should do a bit of research around it, but one of my friends told me it's because pork is usually a little bit oily, so after having this dish the perfect accompaniment is to have a cup of hot chinese tea to wash the oiliness down. It does make sense to me. Maybe that's why they always serve jasmine tea at Bak Kut Teh stall in Malaysia? =).....But if you know why the dish is called Bak kut Teh, do share it with me. I'm curious to know as well.
It's a popular dish in Asia, especially Malaysia and Singapore. I'm not going to share the recipe for Bak Kut Teh today as it is pretty easy to prepare with the premade packet, which you can get in any asian groceries. There's no rocket science to it, just put some meat and the herbal packet with a pot of water and let it simmer for 1-2 hours. You can add mushrooms ( usually shitake or enoki) and fried tofu puffs. My favourite brand is Seah's Singapore Bak Kut Teh mix.
What I'm going to share today though, is the perfect accompaniment to Bak Kut Teh. The garlic rice or we call it in cantonese " yau fan". This rice is perfect to have with bak kut teh or hainanese chicken rice as well. It's simple to make and it's one of my family's favourite. I can eat bowls of it if I want...ahahha...but I have to watch my waistline I suppose.
Garlic Ginger Rice ' Yau Fan '
- 3 cups uncooked rice. Washed and drained well
- 2.5 cups low salt chicken stock or if you want to use chicken stock powder, use 1 tablespoon chicken stock powder with 2.5 cups water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup fried shallots ( I told you I love fried shallots....;)..)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil, extra for frying garlic paste
Garlic Ginger paste:
- 10 cloves garlic
- Two 5 cm knob of ginger
- 2 tablespoons vegetable/cooking oil
- Process the ingredients for garlic-ginger paste in food processor or mortar and pestle until smooth.
- Heat up the extra 1 tablespoon cooking oil in wok or frying pan over low-medium heat. Add in the garlic ginger paste and fry over low heat until slightly browned and thickened.
- Once the paste is ready, add the uncooked rice into the wok/frying pan and mix well.
- Put the rice into your rice cooker. Add in stock, sugar and salt.
- Cook rice in the rice cooker as per manufacturer's instructions.
- Once the rice is ready, add in fried shallots.
- Adjust seasoning. The rice is meant to be a little bit on sweet side. So you might want to add a little bit more sugar/salt if you want
- Serve with bak kut teh or chicken rice
- You can make extra garlic-ginger paste and keep in the fridge or freezer so that it's ready to use anytime you want to cook this rice. You can use the paste to steam fish or chicken as well. Just add a bit of salt and chicken stock powder to the paste and layer on top of the fish/chicken. Add a bit of shao tsing wine and steam. Awesome dish to serve with rice.
- Be careful of the type of chicken stock you use. If you use normal chicken stock liquid ( not low salt ones), then i will suggest to add the salt after the rice is cooked. Just so that it's not overly salty. At least you can adjust the seasoning after it's done.