High Stock (高湯)

Stir fry Rice Noodles (Bee Hoon) tasted especially delicious tonight. The reason is I used “high stock” to cook it.

“High Stock” is a direct translation from Mandarin language. To make “high stock”, start with fresh bones. Cook the bones with enough water to cover the bones, a couple slices of ginger and a little cooking wine. Once the water boils, turn it to low and cook it for a whole day. I use my electric slow cooker for cooking bones.

After a whole day of slow cooking, the bones will become soft and all the minerals will go into the soup.

At this time, soup is carefully drawn from the pot and passed through a filter to ensure its purity, and then is put through the process of skimming all visible fats from its surface.

Fat can be easily removed if the temperature of the soup goes down below a certain level. There is a threshold where fat can be easily removed from the soup and that threshold is hard to describe in writing. You can experiment it yourself by checking up on your cooled stock. Once you notice a fatty solid substance floating on top of your soup and your soup is still in liquid form, it is time to skim the fat.

If your stock turns into jelly-like substance, you know you have made “High Stock”.

Stir-fry Rice Noodles (米粉)

My friends love my Rice Noodles. I have revealed the first secret, and that is using “High Stock”.

My second secret lies in the type of dry Rice Noodles that I use, and that is the Hsin Chu brand. Hsin Chu is a city in Taiwan and they are famous for their Rice Noodles. I like this brand because if I soak it a little too long, it doesn’t break or melt. Also, this brand of Rice Noodles has a yellow tint to it which I think is healthier to our body because little or no bleach is used while making it. Detailed recipe is posted Taiwanese Food Page.


Often, I make this delicious soup in bulk and freeze it in separate containers. If there is a dish that calls for High Stock, I pull one container out from the freezer and use it for my dish.

One such dish is Bah Kut Teh. My Mom said Grandpa‘s secret to his famous Bah Kut Teh was a good “High Stock”.


Filed under Hip Tips, Malaysian Food, Taiwanese Food

30 responses to “High Stock (高湯)

  1. alice

    I use instant spice from Hup Loong or A1 brand. Do you have the recipe for bak kut teh stock? If it’s a family secret, it’s all right.

  2. Wah, looking at the food presentation, you must invest quite a bit of time when you cook.

    High stock? Is that word directly translated from some chinese slang?

  3. V

    I like that name – high stock. So fancy! 🙂 And thanks for the noodle brand.

  4. The bah kut teh looks lovely. Thanks for the tip for the noodle brand! I’ll have to look for it. Usually I just grab anything off the shelf!

  5. Marvellous, MrsHBT! You’re so diligent in stocking up on high stock for your cooking needs. ^_^
    Do you use a bak kut teh teabag in addition to the high stock? What is the Pin Yin (romanised Mandarin) for ‘high stock’? Is it like superior stock?

  6. The bee hoon looks so healthy! I like using slow cooker to make soup too, and it makes the soup extra delicious!

  7. Lee Ping, great post. I love Klang Bah Kut Teh. There seem to be so many Bah Kut Teh places in Klang these days.
    By the way, any chances of sharing your high stock recipe? 🙂

  8. Dear Alice,
    I cannot remember if I used the brands you mentioned. However, as long as the spice packet is not expired, High Stock and fresh meat is used, a good pot of Bah Kut Teh is guaranteed. 🙂

    The link to my Mom’s Bah Kut Teh recipe is in my Malaysia Food page.

    Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions regarding the recipe. If I cannot answer, I can ask my Mom as well.

    You are right. Since I moved to Oregon five years ago, I found a passion in cooking. When one loves something, their natural tendency is to spend more time in that thing. So, I do invest quite a bit of time in cooking. Lately, I have also been spending more and more time on food presentation and photographing.

    Yes, you are right, “High Stock” is a direct translation from Mandarin Slang.

    Dear V,
    I thought the name “High Stock” is fancy as well. I think you will be pleased with the noodles.

    Dear WokandSpoon,
    Thanks for the compliments. I used to grab anything off the shelf as well. Actually, I used to grab whatever that was on sale until I learned the tip from a Taiwanese Food Critic.

    Dear Argus,
    Thanks. Stocking up stock actually saves future cooking time. Yes, I do use Bah Kut Teh teabag or spice bag in addition to the High Stock.

    The pin yin for High Stock is Gao Tang. “Gao” is tall or high and “tang” is soup. Is it superior like royal highness? Perhaps, because this stock is fit for a king.

    p/s I have shared in more details on how I cook my Bah Kut Teh in my Malaysia Food page.

    Dear Priscilla,
    I am glad that you noticed my Bee Hoon was healthy. I used very little oil to stir fry the dried shrimp and mushroom. The Bee Hoon looks moist not from oil but from the High Stock. You also make High Stock in slow cooker? What ingredients do you include in your soup?

    Dear Judy,
    Yes, in my food blogger link, Jackson Kah posted articles on Bah Kut Teh shops. I even asked my family if those shops belonged to our family. They said no. So, if I ever go back to Klang, I will need to photograph the shops and post them on my blog. Almost all of the sons in the family opened up a Bah Kut Teh shop. And Mom’s side of the family is big. I think there was 7 sons.

    The Bah Kut Teh stock that I cook is actually quite simple. It is just the High Stock (as described in this article) and a packet of the Bah Kut Teh spice mix. The details are in my Malaysia Food page.

    Please feel free to ask me questions, if you have any. My Mom will be visiting us soon and she loves to share her recipes as well. If there are any questions that I cannot answer, I am sure, Mom can.

  9. I want to eat your rice noodle with bak kut teh! Good tips on using stock for bak kut teh. I always thought using water is good enough….

  10. Using high stock for Bak kut teh, wow I can imagine how tasty and sweet your bak kut teh is. Good idea!

  11. wmw

    When it comes to vermicelli, I love Mee Siam! As for BKT, I like pork in small bites so usually just end up eating everything else but pork. :o) Keep on cooking!

  12. MrsHBT, ‘gao tang’also reminds me of the gao in ‘lin gao’ (Chinese New Year sticky cake). Could it also refer to the ‘gao’ in the jelly-like substance the stock turns into, you think? I’m just hazarding a guess as I don’t know the Chinese characters for ‘high’ and ‘cake’.

    Thanks for the bak kut teh tips. Wow, you’ve a chefs’ legacy, no wonder! I will certainly make it from your recipe the next time I get the tea bags. 🙂
    Have you ever tried the Balestier Road bak kut teh in Singapore? Their kidney in the mild soup is nice textured and delicious. The dining room is full of photos the owner has taken with HK/Taiwan movie stars who patronise the small restaurant.

  13. I find Hsin Chu 米粉 too fine. I prefer the “thicker” 米粉. But I like the way you cook your 米粉, bet it has absorbed all the flavors of the stock. 🙂

  14. Dear Mandy,
    I will trade my Rice Noodles and Bah Kut Teh with your Pavlova. If your stock is made from bones, it not only give your Bah Kut Teh the rich taste, it is also a good source for calcium and woman needs lots of calcium… 🙂

    Dear Little Corner of Mine,
    You are right, with a good High Stock, Bah Kut Teh tastes sweet naturally and not from any sugar.

    Dear WMW,
    I don’t think I have ever had Mee Siam. I need to see a photo of it. I got the hint. My pork ribs looks a little large, right? I bought the pork ribs from an American store, Costco, the warehouse. I wonder if the butcher can help me cut it into smaller pieces? I like small ribs as well. 🙂

    Dear Argus,
    I will attempt to give you a little Chinese lesson. Since my Chinese is not all that good, I will only write what I know. Chinese New Year Sticky Cake is actually Nian Gao (in Mandarin). Nin Go (in Cantonese). Although the high or tall is “Gao” and cake is also “Gao”, they are different words. The characters look different but they sound the same.
    So, you like internal organs (kidney) in your BKT. I have not tried the Balestier Road Bah Kut Teh in Singapore. Sounds like a hip restaurant but perhaps pricey, since movie stars visit that place?

    Dear Tigerfish,
    I have a friend who is from Singapore and she buys thick rice noodles. She makes one of the best Laksa Lemak with her thick rice noodles.

  15. ilene ong

    Ahya …. shouldn’t have open this blog prior to having my lunch!

    Lee Ping, I know where your relative’s bak kut teh shop is but have yet to try it out. One day lah then I’ll let you know how it goes.

    So nice to have your mum with you hor? Hope you and your mum will have a wonderful time together and treasure those precious moments as there’s no turning back. Enjoy yourselves to the fullest! Hugs & kisses!

  16. Dear Ilene,
    It is so nice of you to come by. I wonder which relative BKT shop you are familiar with. Do try out my relatives BKT and let me know. You can even tell them that you know me through blogging. My nickname is PingPing, YiKo’s daughter. Yiko is in Hokkein Language; Yi means round, Ko means Auntie, I think. My Mom is the second daughter of the late Lee Boon Teh.

    Mom (and Dad) will be staying with us for 2 months and I plan to treasure every moment with them. You are right, “…precious moments as there’s no turning back”.

  17. Ah, thanks for the Chinese lesson, MrsHBT. Yes, I needed to know if ‘high’ and ‘cake’ in Chinese were different characters even though they sound the same and have the same intonation.
    The Balestier Road restaurant is small and simple, not pricey. A good meal for two including drinks is only about S$22. A bit of kidney is nice because of its unique texture. The ‘sang cheong’ (some kind of intestines) and liver I find quite tasty but I feel a bit squeamish eating it (a tad unhealthy probably), so I’d only munch one or two pieces of it.
    My other half likes the ribs with meat so I share a bowl of it with him — besides the ‘sam chung’ slices of pork. Oh, and I love the ‘yau char kwai’ (krulls?), fried long dough, which goes so well with the aromatic soup.

  18. Now thats what i call pure and high stock! Takes so long to make them but I guess its worth it. No preservative and you actually know whats in it. Some chicken or beef stock uses all the insides … something I wont want to know.

  19. wmw

    Should be doing a post with a pic of mee siam soon. Stay tuned! ;o)

  20. My mom made Bah Kut Teh for me when I was just in California last week. It was my first time having it and I really enjoyed all of the earthy flavors.

  21. Dear Argus,
    My friend’s husband works in Singapore. I need to tell her about the Balestier Road restaurant.

    I love intestines and liver as well. They taste especially good in Bah Kut Teh. I need to learn how to clean intestines from my Mom the next time she visits. The ‘cheong’ you mentioned, is perhaps the hollow intestines that I like. It is called ‘Fen Chang’ in Mandarin. I think ‘cheong’ is Cantonese for intestine.

    I have not had too much success making fried long cruellers but Auntie Lily has recipes to make Yau Char Kwai from scratch! Hot Steamy Jaden has a short cut recipe to make Yau Char Kway, in case you decide to make some to go with your Bah Kut Teh. 🙂

    Dear Teckiee,
    “Some chicken or beef stock uses all the insides …” Eew! In the US, we are able to buy chicken stock that has no preservatives but when I need pork stock, I always make my own.

    Dear WMW,
    I look forward to reading and drooling over your Mee Siam article.

  22. Dear SteamyKitchen,
    Perhaps, you can get Bah Kut Teh recipe from your Mom, improvise it and post it on your blog?

    p/s Thanks for linking all 4 of my recipes on your blog. With 4 recipes, my chance of winning in the random drawing is high! Don’t worry about sending my prize to me. Linking my recipes on your award winning blog, is already my prize.

    If anyone is reading this, head on over to SteamyKitchen, send in your favorite recipe link and you will be qualified to win a bag of Szechuan Peppercorn, shipping included.

  23. I just found your blog through Autism Diva. Wonderful food and nice blog, too. I will ask my wife (the cook in the family) to view it.

  24. Lee Ping, I learnt about the high stock from my late FIL. He taught me to put a whole chicken, slices of ginger and garlic into the stock. Then slow boil for a few hours. He usually uses the stock for making chicken sweet corn soup, or we would use a bit of the stock when we are stir frying vegetables, or even when we braised some chicken.

  25. James Chen,
    Welcome to my blog. I had a burden recently to help a good friend of mine. We had been friends since we moved to Oregon five years ago. She is a kind woman who has shared her cooking experiences and life tips with me. Unfortunately, her two children have been diagnosed with autism. I have been visiting her almost daily this week. This afternoon, along with another sister from Church, we prayed for her and her family.

    After reading a few of your articles, I can tell you are a good father to your boys. I look forward to reading your articles on your family.

    Dear Priscilla,
    Sounds like your FIL is a good cook. He surely knows what he is talking about. My Mom also make stock with chicken, except she uses chicken bones. I make chicken stock when I boil chicken for Hai Nan Chicken Rice.

    p/s I just came back from your blog. Your son is very smart. At 3 1/2 years old, he surely have tons of imagination and very good at expressing himself. He also has the same Australian accent as my sisters and brother.

    Perhaps talking helps him to relax while he is doing his business. When my daughter does her business, we stay out because the smell is unbearable. 🙂

  26. Kenny Mah

    Dear Mrs. HBT
    Secret family BKT recipe? I’m intrigued… but I don’t even have a kitchen to cook with so I shall just look at the pretty pics and drool…

    Speaking of pretty, your photos and food-styling skills are getting better all the time! Soon you will be a professional at this! 😉

    P.S. I caught your comments about downloading my book. Was about to email you the book but you managed to download it after all. Check back at the blog entry for my caveats about reading it, haha…

    P.P.S. Hope to get some rest time this weekend after a very hectic last weekend. Catch up with you soon…

  27. Kenny,

    Mom said Grandpa only gave his sons the “secret recipe”. Mom tried to replicate it and I simplified Mom’s recipe for busy Moms.

    God has given you several gifts, work around your gifts and interest. Soon you will have your own kitchen.

    p/s I did read the blog entry and I was careful when I was turning the pages. I was a little surprised that it was not rated PG.

    p/p/s Rest well.

  28. Kenny Mah

    Ahh, I’m the only son and I’m pretty sure I got no “secret recipes”… in fact my elder (and only) sister got most of the recipes from my Mom by virtue of her being a mother herself to my nephew and nieces… This way I have not one, but TWO sources of great eating… my Mom and my Sis! 😀

    I think I’ve never seen my gifts for what they are till now, and it’s a good time since I’m finally mature enough to be grateful for God’s blessings on me. I will work hard and make most of what I have. To help myself and give back to my family and friends who have given me their love and support all this while.

    Thank you, to you too, my dear. You are a gem among a beach of pebbles.

    P.S. Hehe, at least you weren’t too shocked by them. 🙂

    P.P.S. Have been doing that all of today, resting I mean. Almost forgot what it feels like! 😆

  29. Your BKT sure looks delicious. Yum Yum.

  30. Hi Poh Heng,
    Thanks for your comment.

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