The dining table is the heart of a home

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Garlic Rice ( Yau Fan)

I made Bak Kut Teh for dinner yesterday night. For my readers who don't know what Bak Kut Teh is, it's basically a soupy pork dish where we usually use premade herbal packet to cook cubed pork meat and add in some mushrooms or fried tofu puffs. Bak Kut Teh basically means "pork bone tea" if you translate it directly from hokkian to english. Why is it called bak kut teh? I'm not sure myself. Probably should do a bit of research around it, but one of my friends told me it's because pork is usually a little bit oily, so after having this dish the perfect accompaniment is to have a cup of hot chinese tea to wash the oiliness down. It does make sense to me. Maybe that's why they always serve jasmine tea at Bak Kut Teh stall in Malaysia? =).....But if you know why the dish is called Bak kut Teh, do share it with me. I'm curious to know as well.

It's a popular dish in Asia, especially Malaysia and Singapore. I'm not going to share the recipe for Bak Kut Teh today as it is pretty easy to prepare with the premade packet, which you can get in any asian groceries. There's no rocket science to it, just put some meat and the herbal packet with a pot of water and let it simmer for 1-2 hours. You can add mushrooms ( usually shitake or enoki) and fried tofu puffs. My favourite brand is Seah's Singapore Bak Kut Teh mix.

What I'm going to share today though, is the perfect accompaniment to Bak Kut Teh. The garlic rice or we call it in cantonese " yau fan". This rice is perfect to have with bak kut teh or hainanese chicken rice as well. It's simple to make and it's one of my family's favourite. I can eat bowls of it if I want...ahahha...but I have to watch my waistline I suppose.

Garlic Ginger Rice ' Yau Fan '

  • 3 cups uncooked rice. Washed and drained well

  • 2.5 cups low salt chicken stock or if you want to use chicken stock powder, use 1 tablespoon chicken stock powder with 2.5 cups water

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

  • 1/2 cup fried shallots ( I told you I love fried shallots....;)..)

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil, extra for frying garlic paste

Garlic Ginger paste:

  • 10 cloves garlic

  • Two 5 cm knob of ginger

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable/cooking oil


  1. Process the ingredients for garlic-ginger paste in food processor or mortar and pestle until smooth.

  2. Heat up the extra 1 tablespoon cooking oil in wok or frying pan over low-medium heat. Add in the garlic ginger paste and fry over low heat until slightly browned and thickened.

  3. Once the paste is ready, add the uncooked rice into the wok/frying pan and mix well.

  4. Put the rice into your rice cooker. Add in stock, sugar and salt.

  5. Cook rice in the rice cooker as per manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Once the rice is ready, add in fried shallots.

  7. Adjust seasoning. The rice is meant to be a little bit on sweet side. So you might want to add a little bit more sugar/salt if you want

  8. Serve with bak kut teh or chicken rice


  • You can make extra garlic-ginger paste and keep in the fridge or freezer so that it's ready to use anytime you want to cook this rice. You can use the paste to steam fish or chicken as well. Just add a bit of salt and chicken stock powder to the paste and layer on top of the fish/chicken. Add a bit of shao tsing wine and steam. Awesome dish to serve with rice.

  • Be careful of the type of chicken stock you use. If you use normal chicken stock liquid ( not low salt ones), then i will suggest to add the salt after the rice is cooked. Just so that it's not overly salty. At least you can adjust the seasoning after it's done.


j3ss kitch3n said...

leny you are tempting me with rice early in the morning! haha this is my fav! looks so yummy thanks for sharing!

dinewithleny said...

hahaha...thanks jess. Yea you should try making it. It's simple and nice. I think I can just eat the rice without having anything else...=)

ann low said...

Hi Leny, This sounds so flavorful with garlic in the rice. Looks so yummy :)

lena said...

initially i wanted to cook "yau fan" for dinner today but something came up and i didnt have to cook dinner tonite. I dont really have a proper recipe for yau fan, i just asked one of my relatives how does she cook her 'yau fan' cos i want to cook that too, thanks for sharing this too!

Abt the story of bak kut teh, i remember reading that long time ago..from the internet..dont know which site already, it says that Bak Kut Teh was originated from Malaysia and started by a trader by the name of Teh. Since he was selling 'pork rib bones soup , the hokkien just called him bak kut 'TEH'..not sure how true is that..ha!

dinewithleny said...

@Anncoo: Thank you. Hope you like it if you get to try the recipe.

@lena: That's really interesting about Bak Kut Teh. I shall do some research to find out. Im curious now. Hope you like the recipe too if you get to try it.

Smoky Wok (formerly Tastes of Home) said...

You know what, I never really found out why bak kut teh is called bkt either haha..

your yau fan is making me hungry!

Little Corner of Mine said...

This looks great, like my kind of rice. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Can you tell me where in VAncouver can I buy Seah's Singapore Bak Kut Teh? Thanks,

Bali Tour said...

This is great article
Thank you for the recipe
I will try to cook

Krishna Bali Tours said...

This is a good post. This post give truly quality information. I am definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much for sharing and keep it up the good work.

Bali Cheapest Tours said...

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Unknown said...

Simple yet FANTASTIC !!!! Made it in 15 mins n scoffed it down in half d time ...thnx buddy

Anonymous said...

Leny... surely you must mean 3 teaspoons of sugar rather than 3 tablespoons of sugar? I followed your recipe and thought I was having a rice dessert rather than Yau Fan.

citra said...

good idea, its look like my rice in Bali but defferent name with your country. thank you for sharing useful info. keep good work

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