Fragrant Yam Rice: The Perfect Sidekick For Bak Kut Teh

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Bak kut teh, the beloved Malaysian pork rib soup, is a symphony of flavors. But what truly elevates the experience is the perfect accompaniment: yam rice. Fluffy, savory, and studded with tender yam pieces, yam rice soaks up the rich broth, creating a delightful textural and taste contrast. This recipe will guide you through creating the ideal yam rice to complement your next pot of bak kut teh.


How to make Yam Rice for Bak Kut Teh.
How to make Yam Rice for Bak Kut Teh.

3 cups rinsed white rice

  • 200 grams peeled and diced yam (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or water)

  • Directions:

    1. Prepare the Yam: Wash and peel the yam. Cut it into bite-sized cubes, roughly 1/2 inch each.
    2. Sauté the Aromatics: Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and shallots. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    3. Introduce the Yam: Add the diced yam to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened.
    4. Seasoning Symphony: Pour in the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to coat the yam evenly.
    5. Incorporate the Rice: Add the rinsed white rice to the pan and stir to combine with the seasoned yam and aromatics.
    6. Transfer to the Pot: Scrape the entire contents of the pan into your rice cooker pot.
    7. Broth Time: Pour in the chicken broth (or water) and stir gently. The liquid should just barely cover the rice and yam mixture.
    8. Cook and Fluff: Cook the rice according to your rice cooker’s instructions. Once cooked, fluff the rice gently with a fork to separate the grains and incorporate the cooked yam pieces.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    This recipe yields approximately 4 servings. Here’s a breakdown of the estimated nutritional content per serving:

    Calories: 350

  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 50 grams
  • Protein: 10 grams
  • Sodium: 800 mg (depending on the sodium content of the soy sauce)

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional value. The actual content may vary depending on the specific ingredients used and their brands.


    Yam rice is a simple yet incredibly satisfying dish that complements the richness of bak kut teh perfectly. The fluffy rice, savory sauce, and tender yam pieces create a delightful contrast to the flavorful soup. With this recipe, you can easily recreate this restaurant-worthy side dish in your own kitchen and elevate your bak kut teh experience to new heights.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    1. Can I substitute the yam with another ingredient?

    Yes! While yam is the traditional choice, you can certainly experiment with other root vegetables. Diced sweet potato, pumpkin, or even carrots would work well.

    2. I don’t have chicken broth. What can I use instead?

    Water is a perfectly acceptable substitute. However, for a richer flavor, you could use vegetable broth instead.

    3. My yam rice turned out mushy. What went wrong?

    There could be a couple of reasons. First, ensure you rinsed the rice thoroughly before cooking. Excess starch can contribute to a mushy texture. Second, double-check the amount of liquid used. The rice and yam should be just barely covered with the broth or water.

    4. How can I make this recipe vegetarian?

    Simply omit the chicken broth and use vegetable broth instead. Additionally, you can replace the light soy sauce with a vegetarian version.

    5. Can I cook the yam rice directly in the pot with the bak kut teh?