Vegetarian Bak-Kut-Teh 斋肉骨茶
Recipe source : Adapted from Amy Beh
I wanted to cook this ever since my daughter ordered a vegetarian bak kut teh in an organic food outlet. It smelled wonderful and we could drink the wonderfully fragrant soup without feeling guilty about the fat content. However, it was months later before I came across Amy Beh's recipe which renewed my interest to cook this dish.
There were mixed reaction when I served this. My youngest son loves to eat the real bak kut teh. He could recognise the aroma of bak kut teh spices as it was stewing in the pot and the fragrance had permeated the air in my house! I guessed he was anticipating his favourite meaty treat. Boy!, was he disappointed when he discovered that there were no meat at all in the entire pot!
The final verdict ? All the men in the family preferred the real thing. Only the ladies accepted this vegetarian version gracefully!
8 dried mushrooms
80g dried bean curd sticks, cut into sections of 4 cm and soaked until soft
100g Inoki mushrooms
1 piece tofu
20g black fungus, soaked until soft and cut into pieces
1 packet bak kut teh spices
1 star anise
1 piece cinnamon bark ( about 3 cm)
1/2 tsp white peppercorns, slightly crushed
2 big bulbs garlic, slightly smashed with the back of a cleaver.
1.5 litres water
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp rock sugar
1 small bunch of Chinese parsley
Top left : White peppercorns. Top right : Star anise
Bottom : Cinnamon bark
A packet bak kut teh spices. There are two packets inside this package.
I used only one packet which was sufficient for this recipe.
Top : Softened bean curd sticks
Bottom left : Softened black fungus. Bottom right : Mushrooms
Tofu and inoki mushrooms
1. Bring 1.5 litres of water to a boil. Add in one small packet of bak kut teh spices, garlic bulbs, star anise, cinnamon bark and crushed white peppercorns.
2. Add in black soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce and rock sugar.
3. When it comes to a boil again, add in the tofu pieces, mushrooms, black fungus and bean curd sticks.
4. Allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. Add in inoki mushrooms and continue to boil for another 5 minutes.
5. Add salt to taste.
6. Lastly add in chopped Chinese parsley and stir to mix well.
7. Serve hot with rice.
Don't expect this vegetarian version to be like the real thing.