How many of us know what is the differences between Braising and Stew?
you may click on the words above to read more on what is in wikipedia, however, I would like to shorten it as they are both similar where you need to boiled it over time to soften and let the flavor sip in the meat, or vegetables. Braising has lesser gravy as Stew has more! This would be the reason why Bak Kut Teh (BKT) will be my 1st Stew Exploration...
Check out more history of BKT yourself here!
Since dear and his family is a huge fan of BKT, counting me in too, here I am cooking all these up similar style as served and always ordered when we head into any BKT restaurants.
Of cause when cooking for plenty of people you love you need to satisfy their craving type of parts and meats. that is why there is Big Bone (大骨), Pork Belly (三层肉), & Pork Ribs (排骨).
1 Big Bone (大骨)
500g of Pork Belly (三层肉)
500g of Pork Ribs (排骨)
50g of Dry Chinese Mushrooms (花菇)
Bean Curd Sheets (腐皮)
2 sachets of A1 brand or Eu Yan Sang Bak Kut Teh Herbs
1 whole Garlic
3 tablespoons of Oyster Sauce
6 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons of Dark Soy Sauce
Enough water to cover all the Big Bone and Pork
Boil hot water and soak all the Mushrooms for 30mins. Drain all the water, cut away all the stems as they are tough! Second round soaking for 20mins~ Keep this round mushroom water to use as part of the soup.
Bean Curd Sheets
soak them in normal filter water for 1-2hours. You may soak them early when you're preparing the mushrooms and drain them when we need them.
Big Bone (大骨) & Pork Ribs (排骨) - Put the Big Bone in Boiling Filtered Water. Let it boil for 30mins, then add only add in the Pork Ribs, and let it boil for another 30mins. When done rescue Big Bone and Pork Ribs and set it aside. Pour away all the foggy pork water.
Special for Pork Belly (三层肉) - to avoid the fatty layer to be firmer. Take a non-stick pan heat it up to medium-low heat, place the Pork Belly in and cook for 1min for each side. When done set it aside.
The reason this Pork Preparation is important is because we will not want our BKT soup to have blood batches floating around which will make an unclear BKT stew.
Now for wholesome Bak Kut Teh steps
Fill the pot with Water + Mushroom Water and bring it to boil. Put in whole garlic (don't forget to give it a light rub shower under the tap) and 2 sachets of Bak Kut Teh ready packed herbs. Letting them boil for 15mins.
Add in all the Pork and Chinese Mushrooms and let it boil for 1 hour.
Put Oyster Sauce, Soy Sauce, Dark Soy Sauce. Stir it and do take a taste test to see if all this are enough for yours and your guest taste add more if needed. Let it simmer for another 15mins.
Add in Bean Curd Sheets (腐皮) and another 15mins of simmering. BKT can be served~~!
Remember any BKT without You Zha Gui/ 油炸鬼 / Deep Fried Twisted Dough Sticks /Oil Fried Ghost is definitely not fulfilling as this plays a very important role to absorb the BKT soup in it and yumssssssssss! Never leave this out... My You Zha Gui recipe is here! This will cost you less then RM1.50 and only takes you 30mins (from end to end) to do it of cause adding 3-8hours puffing time for the dough.
This is the You Mak (Chinese Lettuce) with Fried Onions, blanch by me. How did I learn this? I didn't just reverse engineer when eating them from the BKT restaurants I have been too. Dear says i'm gifted. I think I still need so much more practice and tons more to learn...
I'll be sharing this recipe shortly! BKT recipe for this time~
ADDED on 8 May 2011 --> Here is the recipe!
Click here for our blog page Cooking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~