Talk:Bak kut teh

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My difficulty in using doughnut is that it invariably conjures up images of a torus-shaped pastry i.e. dough in the shape of a nut. Irrespective of familiarity, Cruller is actually more accurate, as it refers to a specific variety of doughnut, and besides, that's why it's linked if people are not familiar with the term. Nobody would describe yao zha gwei (which is the Chinese variety used for bak kut teh) as a doughnut in Singapore, for example. --khaosworks 22:19, May 6, 2005 (UTC)

The trouble is that the cruller article says little more than that they're a kind of doughnut, usually sweet, and often twisted and unraised. Could the things just be described, rather than being given an alien name by analogy? Do they have a name? Are they always twisted in shape? Are they made of plain dough, or seasoned? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:52, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
If cruller can simply be described as a twisted doughnut, then we wont have needed a seperate page for it. I concur with Khaosworks's view that it is quite misleading to refer to yao zha gwei as a doughnut, especially in the context of places whereby yao zha gwei is served.--Huaiwei 10:23, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Fine, but the text as it stood clearly didn't succeed in describing the things, because it led me to think that they were savoury doughnuts. The name yao zha gwei doesn't get any hits on Google, but an alternative transliteration. you char kueh, gets lots. The photographs I found don't look like doughnuts, but then they don't look like the description of crullers either. I've changed the text to include this information; does it look OK now? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 12:06, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

It looks much better now, thanks. you char kueh/yao zha gwei/Zha you tiou is indeed strips of fried dough...and certainly not anything close to doughnuts or cruller (strange why the term cruller was used at all, so good call)!. :D --Huaiwei 12:18, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
Ah, thanks — I thought that they looked like strips of dough, but the photographs weren't perfect. I've added that to the article. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:11, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
Just realised in the Youtiao article, they called it a doughnut! Oh doughnut such a universal term? ;)--Huaiwei 13:16, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, yes... but I've changed that article in line with this one ("bread stick" was even more misleading). Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 13:51, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Just woke up and found progress has been made. Excellent - it reads much better now! :) --khaosworks 13:53, May 7, 2005 (UTC)

Relationship with phở[edit]

The ingredients in the broth seem similar to phở. Is there any relationship between the two dishes? Badagnani (talk) 00:14, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

I've eaten both but of course I can only state things from a Singaporean viewpoint -- the taste is rather different! Chensiyuan (talk) 01:02, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks--I think the "fingerprint" of the broth is so similar: garlic, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and bones boiled for hours (though bak kut teh uses pork rather than beef) seems unusual that there wouldn't be a relationship. Badagnani (talk) 01:03, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Even if the main ingredients are the same, the taste of the food will be different due to the different proportion of each herbs. It is well known that the indian also uses the some of the traditional chinese five spices in their cooking. But you would never taste an indian food with strong medicine-like taste (at least I haven't yet) mainly because of the different blend of spices/herbs used. The fact that vietnamese cuisine is strongly influenced by the chinese cooking would more or less result in the some cuisine prepared with some of the same spices but in different proportion - based on the cook's own choice of which taste to emphasise.

Anon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:17, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Muslim variation[edit]

I have never seen a muslim variation of the cuisine before (I myself am from Klang). Would you enlighten me on where it is sold? As far as I am concerned, most 'restaurant'/hawkers prepare one variant i.e. one, in which the broth is cooked with pork/chicken/seafood - in a pot. To prepare more does not only increase work required but also reduce profitability. The Malay/Muslim have always stayed away from chinese food. Unless there are some muslim/halal 'Bah kut teh' seller, I cannot imagine any proper Muslim eating it.

There is a muslim version sold in hawker food courts around KL, typically by Muslims as well. Needless to say, its not exactly very popular, however it does still have a loyal albeit small following. (talk) 16:39, 13 April 2010 (UTC)J60.50.103.214 (talk) 16:39, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Uncommented change[edit]

See [1]. Badagnani (talk) 20:30, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

This seems more likely since the term is Hokkien after all. However, the lack of citation is a bit regrettable. Sjschen (talk) 05:02, 26 October 2008 (UTC)


The History section needs improvement. In particular: "Bak kut teh was introduced to Malaya (most likely Singapore as it was the most common port Chinese coolies disembark in Malaya) in the 19th century by Chinese coolies and workers from either Canton, Chaoshan or Fujian"

The claim of the origins of the dish are need some evidence. If the dish did indeed originate from Canton, Chaoshan or Fujian, then there should be some similar meat broth dishes in these regions that have similarities in ingredients, cooking methods and spices. These should be added to the section.

How can it be deduced that because because most Chinese coolies first disembarked there in Singapore, therefore is the most likely origin of the dish? If this were true than all South East Asian Chinese diaspora dishes would have originated in Singapore & this clearly is not the case.

Disruptive Editing by IP Editor[edit] keeps removing "Singapore" from the "Country" field, even though the article's history already explained that the dis was introduced to Malaya, which consists of both Malaysia and Singapore. From his edit history, he seems to be interested only in going to various Asean food pages and modifying the articles to point at a purely Malaysia origin, even though he never gives any collaborating references for the changes, and has been warned by me and another editor on his Talk page to no avail. If you are reading this, IP editor, and you should, please provide verifiable reference for your edits. Zhanzhao (talk) 13:59, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Disruptive Editing by Limjanzen[edit]

Limjanzen (talk) is behaving like an WP:SPA with an apparent nationalistic agenda as the account is being used to misrepresent regional foods as being purely of Malaysian origin, without giving sources to justify the edits, or skewing them towards Malaysia [[2]][[3]][[4]]. Its even to the extent that the editor was removing references that showed the foods had shared origins, such as the removal of this source from the Malaysian Tourism board.[[5]]. I've tried to communicate to the editor about this behaviour without any improvement in the situation. Zhanzhao (talk) 22:59, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Disruption by IP 60.48.48.XX/[edit]

Article clearly gives a clear writeup and references of the dish having been brought over from China, with references to support. Even the IP's repeated reverts uses a source that is explicitly worded to say the dish was "brought over" from China. Yet the IP insists on changing the writeup to argue that it was originated in Klang, Malaysia in spite of historical evidence. Please discuss here. This in spite of more than one regular editor warning the IP about his behaviour. If more reverts occur, and I am reporting this to Page-protect this article to force a discussion. Zhanzhao (talk) 00:35, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Agreed, we should write this piece in neutral tone and presented it the best way we could without any possible POV pushing, or siding with one claimant. Or we might descends into another Malaysia vs Singapore "food war". I've tried to persuade the user to address this issue wisely and neutrally, presented the whole arguments (that Fujian or Klang things), but he seems to be hellbent to push forward his position, and has breached WP:3RR. Btw, I think the unidentified users with multiple IPs might be a single person, based in Malaysia, which uses several computers' IPs. Gunkarta  talk  03:26, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
This is to address one IP editor's claim that "never see china people claim that they have those culture and cuisine" [[6]]. The problem with that argument is apparently the IP editor is only running the search in English. If he had run a search for "肉骨地的由來" or "肉骨茶的起源", (Literally "Bak Kut Teh's Source" / "Bak Kut Teh's Origin", he would have come up quite a number of hits. Zhanzhao (talk) 06:29, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
It should be noted that the claim of Bak Kut Teh 肉骨茶 was originally 肉骨地 does not make sense linguistically. The teh of 茶 is pronounced differently from the teh of 地 because they have different tones. In Klang Hokkien, the tone of teh of 茶 is pronounced similar to the second tone of Mandarin, while the tone of teh 地 is similar to the 3rd tone of Mandarin. It seems like folk etymology invented in recent years because the English spelling of Bak Kut Teh which does not indicate tones is now common. Hzh (talk) 11:39, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately is hard to really trace the origin of the name now. We are approximating our understanding of the Penang/Klang region hokkien as it is now, but the dialect itself has a few variations, and they themselves have evolved over the decades, definitely from the period when the dish was first named, up til now. (I.e. see the discussion here Any Klang region Hokkien speaker going to Fujian to speak to the elderly will stand out, and vice versa. Zhanzhao (talk) 14:40, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
I've been told that the Klang variety of Hokkien comes from Kinmen, how true that is I don't know (others say that many of Klang's Hokkien people came from Yongchun). Nevertheless it shouldn't be too difficult to check with the different dialect variants and see if those actually say 茶 and 地 using the same tone. According to the Klang native speaker of Hokkien I talked to, the 茶 and 地 pronunciations in Klang haven't changed in the last fifty years. Hzh (talk) 16:38, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
Considering one of the claims go all the way back to the 1930s, one would have to prove that the pronunciations have not changed over 80 years, not 50, if we were to reference linguistic-based etymology. Zhanzhao (talk) 15:07, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The claim about use of the name 地 said that it started in the 1940s, and if it is true, you can also assume that its change to 茶 happened later, therefore it could be as late as the 1950s or even 1960s. It shouldn't be too difficult to find people who remember the 1950s. I would guess that any change to the pronunciation would have happened due to influences from different Hokkien dialects in use in Klang, rather than something new, therefore it is a simple matter of checking the different Hokkien dialects (I'd guess at most 3) on how they pronounced these words. Hzh (talk) 02:09, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Lets not forget that we still require some reliable source/referencing for this point. Else its as "good" as WP:original research. Zhanzhao (talk) 03:11, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. The problem here is that there is really no research in this at all, newspapers are just repeating unreliable information, and passing it off as facts. (Very common practice for Malaysian newspapers which spread the story elsewehere.) I'm simply stating the glaring problem in the story knowing a little about Klang and Hokkien. Even with the story about the 地 person, I have heard at least 3 different versions, one of them is that the recipe was given to him by a friend who wasn't from Klang, therefore the dish is not his (or his relatives) or even from Klang in this version of story. I think it is safe to say that the origin of the dish is uncertain. Hzh (talk) 11:50, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
The existing version of the page clearly points out that there are different origin stories, and the infobox also states its either China or Malaysia, so the uncertainty of the origin is obvious. Zhanzhao (talk) 12:52, 5 January 2017 (UTC)