Monday, January 21, 2008
Bak Kut Tea, according to Lisa
I have to share this fantastic soup that I made for our massive 13-course dinner. It's originally a Singaporean soup, according to Lisa Förare Winbladh who was kind enough to let me share this recipe with you. It's from her latest cookbook, and you can find it in Swedish at Lisa's site Taffel.
She says that it can be totally improvised, but for once, I followed her recipe almost to the letter. And I was extremely happy with the results.
I sieved my soup, but you don't have to - it looks nice with the spices floating around in it too, but you need to be a bit cautious when you eat in that case. I also picked all the meat from the bones, as I felt it was easier to serve. Do as you like.
It does have some exotic ingredients - red dates was actually the only thing I didn't have at home (well, that and the meat) but I found some at an Asian supermarket. Goji berries are also known as wolfberries, and you can learn more here. My local health food store has them.
Bak Kut Tea
Serves at least 6-8
1 kilo thin pork spareribs
500 g thick pork spareribs
50 ml light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 star anise
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large cinnamon stick
6 jujube-dates (also known as red dates, sold dried)
1 tbsp concentrated veal stock
1 tsp sichuan peppercorns
1 tbsp brown sugar
neutral oil for frying
zest of one tangerine
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp goji berries
2 tbsp light soy sauce
black pepper or chilli flakes, to taste
Cut the ribs into smaller pieces - I still kept them quite large as I planned to strip the meat off them anyway. Let them marinate in the light soy sauce for at least two hours.
Fry the ribs on the oil until they're well browned all over.
Bring two liters of water to boil in a large pot, with all of the other ingredients for the soup, except for the ribs. Add the ribs when it's boiling, lower the heat and let simmer, covered, for at least two hours. The meat should pretty much be falling off the bones, and be very tender. Add more water if you need to.
Remove the ribs, and pick off all the meat. Sieve the soup into a clean pot, and discard the spices. Put the meat back in the soup.
When you're ready to serve, add the zest of a tangerine, and a whole garlic clove to the pot. You can score the garlic clove beforehand, but don't cut all the way through as you want to be able to remove it. Bring the whole thing to a boil, add a few splashes of light soy sauce and add black pepper or chilli flakes if you want more heat. Fish out the whole garlic clove again before serving.