Malaysiakini Letter

'Halal' bak kut teh has been around for ages

Farouq Omaro  |  Published:  |  Modified:

I would like to refer the media report recently that for the first time, a favourite Chinese delicacy will be prepared the ‘halal’ way and can be enjoyed at the ‘Fabulous Food 1Malaysia’ festival at the Putra World Trade Centre beginning Dec 18.

I would like to make a correction here. First of all, the dish in question, ‘bak kut teh’ is not a favourite among the Chinese alone. It is a Malaysian favourite just like nasi lemak, roti canai, char koay teow, laksa and curry puff.

When someone goes to a ‘bak kut teh’ restaurant in Malaysia, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, he or she would not be surprised to see the Chinese enjoying ‘bak kut teh’ together with the Ibans, Kadazandusuns, Muruts, Filipinos and Indonesians.

Even in many ‘bak hut teh outlets in Kuala Lumpur, there are patrons of non-Chinese ethnicity such as Indians and the Eurasians. Therefore to say that the ‘bak kut teh; is only a Chinese favourite is incorrect. ‘Bak kut teh’ is a Malaysian favourite.

Secondly, this is not the first time a ‘halal bak kut teh’ is being made. There are many ‘halal’ versions available, at least in Sabah. Non-Muslims who partook in ‘bak kut the’ dishes would like to continue eating it after converting to Islam. Therefore a ‘halal’ version of the dish appeared, known as ‘chi kut teh’.

So the impression that ‘bak kut teh’ is only enjoyed by the Chinese is wrong. Secondly, a ‘halal’ version has been around for a long time.

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