This freshly prepared Hakka-style thunder tea rice is both comforting and delicious.
Lei cha fan or Hakka-style thunder tea rice is one dish that is hard to come by at hawker centres. So, whenever I see a stall offering the traditional rice dish that is topped with various types of vegetables and other condiments served with a bowl of green-hued soup, I usually make a beeline for it.
I first tried this dish at a friend’s home many years ago and, since then, I’ve been hooked on this heap of green goodness. Not only does it tick the box for eating clean, it also makes for a perfect Meatless Monday meal.
Each family’s recipe for thunder tea rice is different. The condiments can vary. And some make their tea, which is enjoyed as a soup, with sharper mugwort leaves while others include more mint, basil and coriander. Some versions also have a stronger sesame flavour.
The Traditional Hakka Tea Rice stall at Berseh Food Centre in Jalan Besar serves a home-style version that is both comforting and delicious. You can opt for lei cha with white rice ($4.50) or brown rice ($5). Go for brown rice as it has a low glycemic index. It will leave you feeling less lethargic after your meal.