Bak kut teh recognised as heritage dish, along with mee kolok, burasak and nasi ambeng

KUALA LUMPUR: Bak kut teh, a traditional Chinese pork rib soup boiled with herbs and spices, has been officially recognised as a national heritage dish.

This was announced by the Commissioner of Heritage Mohamad Muda Bahadin in the Government Gazette today.

Other foods have also been listed along with this meaty soup, including mee kolok and nasi ambeng, besides traditional desserts like burasak, dodol kukus tahi minyak, kuih lapis, kuih karas and uthappam. Others included an appetiser called jeruk tuhau and the air katira drink.

Muda said the food items were gazetted as heritage dishes in an exercise of the powers conferred by subsection 49(1) of the National Heritage Act 2005 (Act 645).

In June 7 last year, there was an uproar in the Dewan Rakyat after a member of parliament (MP) questioned the appropriateness of listing bak kut teh as a national heritage dish.

Datuk Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah (PN-Langkawi) had questioned whether bak kut teh should be included as it was not featured in Malaysia's 10 most popular traditional food.

Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan added that if a food was to be included in the heritage dish list, it should be able to be eaten by everybody.

Mee Kolok is one of Sarawak's iconic dishes. It can be served dry with beef or shredded chicken, topped with shallots and fragrant fried onion, and soup made of beef or chicken stock.

Burasak is a traditional Malay dessert from Johor made of glutinous rice (pulut) cooked in coconut milk and palm sugar.

Nasi Ambeng is a Javanese rice dish that is served in a round tray with side dishes of fish, coconut floss (serunding), stir-fried vegetables, potato cutlet (bergedil), prawn crackers, tempe or tofu sambal, salted fish, salted egg, chilli brinjal and pickled carrots and cabbage (acar).

Dodol is a chewy caramel-like Malay sweet treat, while kuih lapis is a sweet Peranakan layered delicacy.

Kuih Karas is a crispy fried snack of caramelised sugar flour, and Uthappam is a savoury South Indian crepe.

Jeruk tuhau is pickled wild ginger mostly eaten by the people of Sabah and air katira is a milk-based drink made of the katira gum originating from West Asia. It is a south Indian drink that is mostly consumed in Ramadan.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories