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There is no greater enjoyment than to sit down with a steaming hot bowl of ba kut teh (肉骨茶) to invigorate your lunch time or to relax after a hard day's work.
In the early days of the Singapore River, when traders came to Clarke Quay to unload their wares and trade for other goods, the "coolies" were the back bone keeping things going. Manual hard labour was the norm as these hardy men carried heavy sacks of rice, beans, dried foods and many other goods.
After a hard day work, with their meagre income, they would boil spare ribs, spiced with pepper, ginger and other spices. These nutritious soup supplemented their rice staple and gave them energy.
Today, bak kut teh is enjoy be many in Singapore and Malaysia as the goodness of this simple soup continues to be treasured.