BAK KUT TEH (Singapore)
One of many stories of the invention of Bak Kut Teh (Meat Bone Tea or Pork Ribs Soup) is that during the olden days of Singapore, a poor, starving beggar came by a roadside pork noodle store to beg for food. The stall owner was in poverty, but wanted to help him.
He boiled some of the leftover pork bones and added whatever cheap spices he had to flavour the soup, including star anise and pepper which created a soup tha resembled tea in terms of colour. Thus, pork bone tea was born. Another story claims that it was a tonic invented to 'reinvigorate' the Chinese coolies who worked in the Clark Quay are.
Bak Kut Teh has been around in Singapore since we were still a developing country and deserves its recognition as a simple, humble dish. Choose pork rib meat in your soup for a more tender bite. The other variant would be the Klang Bak Kut Teh, a dark and highly flavoured herbal soup originating from Malaysia.