Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bak kut teh (Hokkien: 肉骨茶) is a Chinese soup popularly served in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Taiwan (where there is a predominant Hoklo and Teochew community) and also, cities of neighbouring countries like Batam of Indonesia and Hat Yai of Thailand. The name literally translates as "meat bone tea", and, at its simplest. It is a complex broth of herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dang gui, fennel seeds and garlic) for hours.[1] However, additional ingredients may include offal, varieties of mushroom, choy sum, and pieces of dried tofu or fried tofu puffs. Additional Chinese herbs may include yu zhu (rhizome of Solomon's Seal) and ju zhi (buckthorn fruit), which give the soup a sweeter, slightly stronger flavor. Light and dark soy sauce are also added to the soup during cooking, with varying amounts depending on the variant. Garnishing include chopped coriander or green onions and a sprinkling of fried shallots.
Bak kut teh was believed to have been introduced to Malaya in the 19th century by Chinese workers from either Canton, Chaoshan or Fujian[1][2].
Bak kut teh is usually eaten with rice or noodles (sometimes as a noodle soup), and often served with youtiao (strips of fried dough) for dipping into the soup. Soy sauce (usually light soy sauce, but dark soy sauce is also offered sometimes) is preferred as a condiment, with which chopped chilli padi and minced garlic is taken together. Chinese tea of various kinds (the Tieguanyin variety is especially popular in the Klang Valley area of Malaysia) is also usually served in the belief that it dilutes or dissolves the copious amount of fat consumed in this pork-laden dish. Bak kut teh is typically a famous morning meal. The Hokkien and Teochew are traditionally tea-drinking cultures and this aspect runs deep in their cuisines.

The meaning of Bak Kut Teh is loosely translated as bak = meat, kut = bone, teh = soup which really mean ribcage soup! All meat are bak except poultry. So you can eat rabbit bak or deer bak, the name in chinese would be different though, for Cow it is gu bak or yio bak for goat's meat. Here traditionally Bak Kut Teh is Pork Rib Soup, to me it is tradition that confine the bak to mean pork just like traditionally to the Malays Kari Daging means Cow/Bufallo Curry instead of using the longish and right languge by saying kari Daging Lembu. To a language purist Daging means meat but to Malays it means lembu not even kambing although it is halal to eat kambing. therefore can Bak Kut Teh be halal yes, is it wrong to use halal Bak Kut Teh depends. To me personally no because although Jakim says that the word is not halal making it into a laughing stock but basically their fear that the Malays would not able to distinguish it with traditional bak is real but unfounded.
If Civic classes were emphasis in school maybe they would understand many chinese being buddhist do not eat beef thus Bak Kut Teh would be cook with pork. Another thing they should realise by now many malays would not eat at a chinese shop frequented by non malays so for the Malays to suddenly have a passion for Bak Kut Teh is a fantasy of right winger jock like Dr Ma'mor who insults the intelligence of his race but then Dr Ma'mor is a mamak thus his race is questionable.

To me using halal bak kut teh in promotions is ok as long as it brings economic benefit to Malaysia and Malaysians. So please read the article below and my comments above which again was not publish

My Comment

Yes you are right Rohani, it is not worth debating! For me Bak Kut Teh if it is halal so be it why make a fuss on the language. But Dr Ma'mor, a mamak who has already to me done a cardinal sin by saying IKEA cafateria as non halal making them suffer monetary losses by closing and subjected the area to'samak' procedures then later found out they have all along serve halal food never even apologies for his tirade! He is a GOOD MUSLIM and it also applies to JAKIM who insist the syariah law as revealed law but not inspired law base on the quran and the sunnah is mind boggling and stupid. Tell me where in the Quran tells you how to Samak accept in the hadiths which we know illuminates the idea found in the quran by Mohammad. Mohammad insist many times his word should not be recorded and let men of knowledge find the right path by following the quran and the sunnah, not hadiths, as retold during his last sermon during haj.

So where is it in the quran that says about Bak Kut Teh and why are we taught to hate God creatures for pigs are also his creatures and thus was made for a purporse. They are najis but are not evil or bad. So why are we crusading in demonising the innocent pig, tell me is it not wrong to do evil to god creatures or are pig an exception if so, please show it in the Quran. Languages evolve,usage evolve so what's wrong in halal bak kut teh!

Halal bak kut teh a boiling issue

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — Beef bacon, turkey ham, halal champagne. These are names that have become part of the Muslim food lexicon in Malaysia.

But the Islamic authorities have drawn the line at halal bak kut teh.

The Malaysian Department of Islamic Development said it would not allow the dish to be certified as halal (permissible to Muslims) if it continues to be called bak kut teh.

Its deputy director Lokman Abdul Rahman told Utusan Malaysia that Muslims might mistakenly believe that the dish in general is now halal as Malaysians know bak kut teh as a herbal soup made with pork ribs.

“My suggestion is that the name be changed to another one, and not be continued to be called bak kut teh for the halal version,” he said.

Halal bak kut teh was introduced for the first time at a food festival co-organised by the Tourism Ministry last weekend.

It was prepared by a Malay hotel chef.

It used chicken, seafood and vegetables as substitutes for pork. It was cooked in the traditional way with Chinese herbs.

The food fest was held soon after the Tourism Ministry launched its food website to promote nasi lemak, laksa and bak kut teh, which it referred to as “meat bone tea”, a direct English translation.

The website makes no reference to pork; it merely described bak kut teh as “meaty ribs simmered in a complex broth of herbs for hours”.

This trivial complaint over a herbal soup reflects the underlying complexities of Malaysia's ethnic relations.

Issues like the consumption of pork and pig farms have become enmeshed with issues of political dominance and cultural purity.

Muslims regard pigs as unclean, and this has become so deeply embedded that even the Malay word for pig — babi — is rarely used in polite company any more. Pork is sold in separate sections in supermarkets, and most non-Malays in Malaysia would not eat pork in the presence of Muslims.

Ma'mor Osman, secretary-general of the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association, said any move to attach the word “halal” to a product synonymous with pork might cause Muslims to become less wary of it.

“It could confuse Muslims, and it is better to use another name like meat soup, for instance, for halal bak kut teh,” he told The Straits Times.

He said the association had also earlier protested against the inclusion of halal beer — a non-alcoholic malt drink — at the International Halal exhibition in May.

He added that the description of foods like beef bacon should be disallowed.

“Why call it bacon? You can just call it beef,” he said.

But food author Rohani Jelani, who runs a cooking school, said such petty issues should not even warrant a public debate.

“Let's view things in perspective, and not feel threatened by petty things. Malaysians adapt dishes all the time,” she told The Straits Times.

She does it herself. She has adapted bacon-laden Italian recipes to omit pork, and also traditional Malay dishes like mee rebus (a noodle dish in gravy) to omit beef when she runs cooking classes for Buddhists or Hindus.

She said that at one time, many Malays did not eat Chinese food because they were unfamiliar with it and cautious about it.

But as more halal Chinese restaurants open, Chinese food has become very popular with the Malays.

“We should try each other's cuisine; it's one of the best ways to integrate. Food should not divide us,” she said. — The Straits Times


Sometime if you are lucky you could see Dr Ma'mor eating Big Mac Hamburger and maybe have a sip of A & W Root Beer. Go to him and say you are eating pork and drinking Beer Shame on you! (him!)



Blogger CS said...

Just discovered your bak kut teh post. Bakmi and Bakso have Hakka and Hokkien origins. The Bak refers to pork also.

Dr. Ma'mor, wonder what doctorate is that? His good friend, Dr. Zainol another mamak is taking good malay muslims to the cleaners with his super halal organic chickens bought from a chinaman in Simpang Renggam in Johor.

Ibrahim Ali another one taking Malays up the garden path.

Oh me oh my, when will folks wake up?

8:31 PM  

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