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White Pepper Bak Kut Teh with Watercress Recipe ( 西洋菜白胡椒肉骨茶 )

teochew white pepper bak kut teh watercress soup
Popular in both Malaysia and Singapore, Bak Kut Teh ( 肉骨茶 ) is a fragrant Chinese Pork Rib Soup available in a black or white broth, basically herbal or peppery.

The Hokkien version is simmered in a broth of herbs and spices with dark soy sauce added, hence the darker colour and a stronger taste, while the Teochew version uses garlic and white pepper or even Star Anise, and has a lighter colour.

ya hua bak kut teh recipe
Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh ( 亚华肉骨茶 )
Personally, I prefer the clear soup with a peppery taste while most of my Malaysian friends tend to go for the Hokkien herbal soup. One of my favourite Bak Kut Teh eateries is Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh ( 亚华肉骨茶 ). They serve many side dishes such as Braised Beancurd and Peanuts, Taupok, and different varieties of vegetables. Inspired by Ya Hua’s version of Slice Fish with Watercress in Pork Rib Soup, I came up with my very own Mouth-watering White Pepper Bak Kut Teh with Watercress ( 西洋菜白胡椒肉骨茶 ).

singapore white pepper watercress pork rib soup
Although I enjoy drinking the Cantonese Watercress Soup where the veg is cooked till mushy, I also like Ya Hua’s version where the veg still retains its green and crunch. Let’s try cooking, shall we?

google teochew white pepper bak kut teh recipes
250g Spare Pork Ribs
200g Watercress
2 Garlic Bulbs
1 tbsp White Peppercorns
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1.2 litre Water

    ntuc white peppercorn tea bag
  • Put peppercorns into a soup bag or one of those disposable tea bags so you won’t bite into the peppercorns when drinking the soup.
  • ntuc fairprice porkee spare ribs recipe
  • Blanch pork and drain. Transfer pork into pot with boiling water, and throw in the bag of peppercorns.
  • how to cook white pepper bak kut teh
  • Break up the garlic bulbs, rinse and lightly smash the garlic. Do not remove the skin. Add garlic to pot, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or when pork turn soft.
  • teochew white pepper watercress spare rib soup recipe
  • Rinse watercress and add into soup. Turn up heat and boil for about 2-3 minutes. Leave it longer if you prefer the soft and mushy watercress.
  • singapore white pepper bak kut teh watercress soup
  • Serve your Mouth-watering White Pepper Bak Kut Teh with Watercress ( 西洋菜白胡椒肉骨茶 ) piping hot!


  1. Your soup is unique using water cress.

  2. Wow, nice to have this recipe. I usually use ready make Bak ku teh's pack to prepare, haha... cheating eh... lol! Also love how you add in vegetables to add on the balance nutrition.

  3. My all time fav, anytime please. Nothing is more satisfying than this bkt.

  4. Interesting recipe, I must to try it :-)

  5. Looks good, Shirley! I definitely prefer the vege to still look green and appetizing.

  6. This is great recipe. I love watercress.

  7. This soup is a wonder for people who love pepper soup. I just love the watercress. Tasty!

  8. It's a chilly morning and your soup would be a lovely (and delicious!) way to warm up!

  9. This dish looks yummy, I need to try it.

  10. you always share the best recipes!

  11. Never had this soup before. So going to have to give it a try.

  12. Cantonese Watercress Soup is one of my favorites! I need to try this.

  13. A very interesting and unusual recipe; I thinkI've never taste nothing like this!

  14. Nice recipe... seems pretty simple even for me to cook it at home. Although I'm not a fan of white pepper bkt but I might try this at home. Thanks for sharing! :)

  15. Your recipes are always so delicious!
    Kisses, Paola.


  16. Oh this looks perfect for a cold day

  17. Haven't tried watercress with pepper before, normally I put in red dates instead.. .thanks for sharing the idea of peppercorns... :)

  18. Looks delicious!

  19. Shirley, your soup sounds really good! I love garlic and pepper and your recipe has intriguing amounts of both. (The pork looks incredibly tender, too.) You've invented another winner for dinner! xo

  20. Hello!
    Yummy..looks so tasty!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  21. Same as you, I prefer the white peppery BKT soup, first time I saw watercress in BKT soup but I like as I like watercress too

  22. I dont eat pork but this looks yummy


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