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Bak Kut Teh Recipe

Bak Kut Teh and Cuttlefish Bak Kut Teh
Bak Kut Teh and Cuttlefish Bak Kut Teh pictures (8 of 8)

During my last trip back to Malaysia, I stopped by Kluang, a city in the state of Johore. It’s always great to go places, enjoy great eats, new cooking, and the trip did just that for me. Kluang is famed for its Bak Kut Teh (Pork Bone Tea Soup) so I had many meals of it. I also discovered a brand new kind of Bak Kut Teh using a totally unexpected and remotely distant ingredient: cuttlefish.

If you are a Bak Kut Teh connoisseur, I am sure you are skeptical, very skeptical. I don’t blame you, that was exactly my initial reaction when I heard of it. Cuttlefish in a herb-infused pork bone soup?! That doesn’t sound too appetizing.

But a kopitiam (a Malaysian slang for coffee shop) packed full with throngs of patrons for this specialty couldn’t be that wrong. The shop specializes in traditional servings of Bak Kut Teh with pork ribs, intestines, etc., but the cuttlefish one is what drives fans coming back and begging for more. At the very first taste of the piping hot cuttlefish Bak Kut Teh (served in a clay pot) , I was converted right there and then. Never mind the skeptics and nay-sayers, you just don’t know what you’re missing out…

Over the weekend, I had a sudden craving for it so I made a huge pot with all my favorites: pork ribs, tofu puffs, mushrooms, bean curd skin, and of course, cuttlefish.

Click to get my Bak Kut Teh recipe. To make a side serving of cuttlefish Bak Kut Teh, please follow the steps below.

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56 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Tummythoz

    Ate those with dried cuttlefish infused soup but had not tried this fresh version. Hmm.. throw in a few more vareity, can turn it into seafood bkt-hor.

  2. tigerfish

    I never tried BKT with cuttlefish before leh! And I know I’m missing out on something. :(

    Geez..there is a good combinations of textures here – the “spongy” tofu puffs that has “soaked” up all the BKT’s “teh”, and tender pork ribs (yours already fell off the bones), and the “crunchy” cuttlefish…the nearest place I can eat this now is at your place. How?

  3. The Expedited Writer

    Oohh…what a good idea, I’m going to have to try it sometime. I still have BKT spices from Malaysia sent by my dear parents! :)

  4. Mandy

    we have a seafood version in Sabah, where seafoods are abundant. But they didn’t use cuttlefish! This is really intriguing and worth trying, since I have brought some BKT mix back from Malaysia.Thanks for the recipe!

  5. "Joe" who is constantly craving

    actually the one at imbi sells seafood bkt..but how to resist the original pork version!..maybe next time i ask if they can add cuttlefish..

  6. UnkaLeong

    Wah…Not Fishy meh? Hmm..Must get Chia to try to cook this for me. hahahah :P Chia, are you reading this?

  7. sc

    RM, i’m from kluang and i’ve not even tried it! *blushes* the norm i could get in kluang is pork BKT served with yam rice. what’s the name of the shop/ whereabouts in kluang?

  8. Claude-Olivier

    Salut, I make an exchange with you: A glass of my sweet dessert wine and you give me one of your delicious dish ? ;-) Is it ok ;-) Have you seen my email?


  9. C2

    Yet again you read my mind. We’re hitting winter down in the southern hemisphere and it’s a bit nippy at the the foothills. I was a bit nervous when I first offered it to my caucasian guests for lack of an acquired taste for BKT but they couldn’t get enough of it.
    Don’t know if it’s just me but it seems that when you have BKT at the stalls, often there’s more KUT than there is BAK. Perhaps I misread the menu and ordered KUT TEH instead:-)As for the cuttle fish, I will shortly conduct an experiment and advise on the outcome:-).

  10. WokandSpoon

    Thanks for the hint to use baking soda to get rid of the fishy smell! I love seafood but I’m not big on the fishy smell!

  11. Oh for the love of food!

    oooooooh! Bak Kut Teh is just the thing to hit the spot in winter! Your BKT looks scrumptious, RM. I have never heard of cuttlefish used as an ingredient in BKT, but I guess whatever works, goes, right? Love your pics! YUM!!

  12. team BSG

    You are right ! Kluang has some strange but potent specialities , & one of their exports to KL called Kluang Station is doing well in 1 Utama , PJ. That aside Johore has strange BKTs with all kinds of fishy things but like u say why not !

  13. Kenny Mah

    Strange that you are blogging about this since I’ve been dying for BKT since last weekend and I’m not a big BKT person. Can go years without eating it… Now where can I get my fix? ;)

  14. teckiee

    This reminds me of something my colleague told me. He went for a fishing trip in Sandakan and he ate fresh fish BKT.

  15. audreycooks

    Hmmm, I have never tried this version of BKT but nevertheless looks interesting enough to eat. I like all the greens in the BKT too, makes it so much more refreshing.

  16. lucia

    bak kut teh with cuttlefish? never come across it. well… at least i can eat the cuttlefish as i never like to eat the bak kut. :)
    (i only like the soup)

  17. Mina

    I’m actually planning on making BKT this week. If I can find fresh cuttlefish, I’ll add to it to. I love the texture of the cuttlefish. :)

  18. elmomonster

    I haven’t heard of this dish, so cuttlefish actually sounds great. Does Belacan in Redondo have this? You make it sound so enticing.

  19. The Cooking Ninja

    Too late. Immediately I saw the Bak Kut Teh, I drool over my keyboard already.

    Sorry my little daughter loves my mouse and click it before I could stop her.

  20. veron

    I was just coming back to this site to look at your original bak-kuh-teh recipe and this is what I see. I have never had bak-kuh-teh but after seeing it on Chubby Hubby’s site I looked far and wide for the Malaysian version. It is my mission this year to make this dish… as soon as I find the herbs that is.

  21. Rasa Malaysia

    Jal – thank you.

    Tummythoz – wah, got dried cuttlefish-infused soup? I love seafood, but seafood BKT just seems wrong. But this cuttlefish ones is good. :)

    Tiga – easy lah…just come to my house…I cook two pots for you. LOL!

    Expedited Writer – yes, try it. You will be surprised!

    Mandy – yes, try it, it’s good. :)

    Joe – of course there is no way to resist the traditional ones, but this make a great side serving.

    Unka – not fishy at all…good lah…you know the texture of this kind of cuttlefish is crunchy crunchy one…you will like.

    SC – the shop is in Kluang Baru…the only BKT restaurant there…just ask around, they are famous.

    Claude – yes, I saw your email and replied already. I will take the exchange. :)

    Anh – please do, you will like this Malaysian classic.

    C2 – good luck, the key is to soak in baking soda to rid of any possible fishy smell, and then slit the body of the cuttlefish so they curl. Other than that, a lot of tofu puffs, button mushrooms, and all those good stuff and you will be in BKT heaven. Do let me know the outcome. :)

    Wok and Spoon – yes, the fishy smell will totally kill the taste of BKT.

    For the love of food – quick quick boil up a big pot of hearty BKT for your winter.

    TeamBSG – yes, you are right, the Kluang Station franchise. Went to the real Kluang Station but it was close. :(

    Kenny – just go to Klang and ask them for cuttlefish one. LOL.

    Teckiee – fresh fish BKT doesn’t sound that great lah. This one the texture is crunchy one.

    Audrey – it’s like Chinese steamboat with cuttlefish, but with BKT broth, actually it works!

    Lucia – me too, I only like the soup, now I have something to eat. LOL.

    Cynthia – rich intense flavor…yes, you are totally right. One must really try this to truly understand how great BKT is. Malaysians are too lucky, we are blessed with the best foods ever!

    WMW – now you will have to find one in KL that serves this.

    Mina – yes, me too, the texture is sooo great. Not so much about the taste.

    Elmo – I can’t remember if Belacan Grill has BKT…but you can call and ask!

    Budding Cook – no leftover, next time I bring some for you to taste. :)

    The Cooking Ninja – no worries. :)

    Veron – the herb is only available in Malaysia, I really should start picking my own BKT herbs and sell them online…I might become rich selling them. LOL!

  22. Ming_the_Merciless

    Wow! I guess it makes sense since the tea flavor is so light. I haven’t had real bak kut teah in soooo long.

    Am going to Malaysia & Singapore in three weeks. Can’t wait to get some real food.

  23. jamie anne

    forgive the ignorance, but what are tofu PUFFS? i love tofu but what are the puffs? and bean curd skin?

  24. Keropok Man

    I did not know Kluang had that!
    Next time must go try it.

    Kluang’s famous for its coffee at the KTM Train Station :-)

  25. bayi

    I have never tried this before but I am game. Looks interesting.

    BTW, have u tried the dry version of BKT? Small bits of ctttle fish and dry chili in the formula make the finished dish really yummy!

  26. IronEaters

    Interesting! cuttlefish with bak kut teh…I never tried this (or heard of it actually =D)before but would definitely try it when i got the chance.

    great pics btw..

  27. Rasa Malaysia

    Ming – that’s exciting that you are going back to Malaysia…remember to eat on my behalf.

    Jamie Ann – this is tofu puffs (top right corner). They are basically fried tofu pockets.

    Veron – thanks! I will have to start taking orders now. Seriously, next time I come back and have an extra pack, I will send it to you. :)

    Mei Yen – I am sure you will like it. :)

    SC – cool, good luck. And make sure you ask them to add the “foo chuk” into your cuttlefish BKT…so good. :)

    Jackson – ;)

    Keropok Man – yes, went to the KTM place but it was closed.

    Bayi – no, I haven’t tried the dried version…hmmm, dried cuttlefish bits…I am sure I will like it. :)

    Chloe – Yeah, that was what I thought until I had it. It’s worth it to try, if you don’t like it, there is always the traditional BKT. :)

    Ironeaters – thanks for your compliment about the pictures.

  28. Nate 2.0

    Wow. Wow!

    I haven’t had BKT in a while and was planning on making some soon. Wonder if we can toss some cuttlefish in…

  29. SteamyKitchen

    I love the cuttlefish photo…simply beautiful!

    My mom made BKT for me for dinner the other night – it was my first time having it! She also put in Yao Tiew. It was SOOOOOO good.

  30. Big Boys Oven

    Woah! I have a huge crave of BKT. I alway visit to the happy garden BKT, at old klang road also taman cannaught. Now I have a huge crave of your BKT. :)

  31. Mark

    wow! Sotong Bak Kut Teh… Once I had fish and prawn BKT in Sandakan I thought it was very nice… until I saw your picture…

  32. Stupe

    my mum uses cuttlefish in her BKT.
    :) Crunchy but unfortunately cuttlefish don’t soak up the herby taste of the soup.

    :) coming to ur blog is like putting on 10 lbs per visit.

  33. Mallika

    I love reading your blog and discovering little titbits. My fav Malaysian restaurant In London’s called malaysian Kopithiam. Now I know what it means!!

  34. Chloe

    Klang has the BEST Bak kut Teh!!! Wrong spelling leh! Klang is near Port Klang. Look it up! Sorry the klangnite spirit in me is speaking. There people start having bak kut Teh at 8am! Cos by 10am it’s all gone!!

    • Kat

      Klang bah kut teh you can find 24/7. Klang is BKT town. A few really nice you can find it in Pandamaran, Taman Eng Ann, ChiLiung and in Taman Rashna. Try out the dry version of Bah Kut Teh, taste like heaven. :)

  35. Silvia

    Thank you for posting.
    by the way do you know how to make original Bak Kut Teh? not with cuttlefish?
    I’ve never tried it before but I’d like to know how to make it.
    I’m going to go Malaysia but before I go there I just want to make it in my country.
    If you know the recipe please send it to me.=)

  36. RC

    Bee, I m not a fan of cuttle fish, but love your clay pot. Did you get it in USA? Where can I find it? Found some online, but were expensive.

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