Thunder rice tea recipe: Pounded Tea Rice/Thunder Tea Rice (Hakka Lei Cha Rice)

Pounded Tea Rice/Thunder Tea Rice (Hakka Lei Cha Rice)

Rice is topped with various vegetables and toppings and served with tea soup made of tea leaves, nuts, seeds, and herbs. My simplified version of the traditional Hakka Lei Cha Rice.

Thunder Tea Rice (Hakka Lei Cha Rice)

WHAT IS POUNDED TEA RICE/THUNDER TEA RICE?

The name thunder tea rice is actually not the right translation for this Hakka lei cha rice. Quoting from one of the readers who shared this: “The name “thunder tea rice” is actually misleading. The Chinese characters of “thunder” (雷)and “pounding”(擂) are two different words, and yes, in this case, it is “pounding”, before the appearance of a blender, that’s how people made it——by pounding/grinding it. “Thunder Tea” is really the lazy mistranslation of some Malaysians“. So it should be Pounded Tea Rice instead of Thunder tea rice 🙂

Lei Cha is a traditional rice dish accompanied by several sides of vegetables, toppings like nuts, tofu, etc. The whole thing is then drenched in tea soup.
The special thing about this is, at least to me, the tea soup. I’m sure many Hakka families have slightly different recipes to prepare the lei cha concoction. This recipe uses basil leaves, mugwort leaves (ai cao ye), mint leaves, coriander leaves, peanuts, sesame seeds, peppercorns, tea leaves, and salt. I can’t find mugwort leaves here in the U.S., so, I omitted that from the recipe and used the rest of the ingredients to prepare the lei cha.

MY FIRST ENCOUNTER

I never knew of thunder tea rice until many years ago, a Malaysian friend introduced me to this dish. I thought it was weird at first, but I couldn’t say I didn’t like it either. The color of the tea soup was not a particularly attractive sight either. The family prepared it from scratch and there were at least 6-7 vegetable side dishes to go with the rice. The more I ate it the more I grew to like it, especially when I drenched the rice and everything else in that tea soup. Then I found it at the Food Republic in Singapore and it made it into my weekly thing for dinner 🙂

TASTE

Healthy eating never tastes so good! To me at least! But I think you either like it or not kinda thing! There are slight bitterness, sweetness, and savouriness in this dish coming from veggies, toppings, and the tea soup. It’s definitely an acquired taste.

THE HIGHLIGHT OF THUNDER TEA RICE IS THE TEA SOUP

Yes, despite all the vegetables and toppings, what makes lei cha rice special is the tea soup. Lei Cha literally translated to pounded tea. Traditionally, the tea paste is made by pounding all the ingredients in a huge mortar and pestle. In these modern days, people use blender or food processor to get the job done 🙂
The tea paste is made with basil leaves, mint leaves, coriander leaves, mugwort leaves (ai cao ye), peanuts, sesame seeds, tea leaves, ginger, and salt. The recipe might differ slightly from family to family, or even from region to region.

MY VERSION OF LEI CHA IS LESS ELABORATE (SIMPLIFIED)

I didn’t have 10-12 vegetable side dish and toppings to go with the rice.
I only used 3 kinds of veggies: green beans, choy sum, mustard greens. In the video I used: green beans, kale, cabbage. All of the veggies are usually chopped up into little pieces. The toppings I used are: roasted peanuts, extra firm tofu (tau kwa), preserved radish (chye poh), and dried shrimp (omit for vegan and vegetarian).

WHAT KIND OF TEA LEAVES TO USE?

I used loose green tea leaves. But you can use Chinese tea leaves like oolong can be used. They might taste a bit bitter if you don’t mind it.

HOW DO YOU SERVE LEI CHA RICE?

The dish is usually served with some rice (can be brown rice or regular rice) in a bowl together with all the different sides of vegetable, toppings and then drenched with the tea soup. Here’s how in a nutshell:
1. Pour about 1 cup (or more) of boiling water into the tea paste you prepare. Pour more water if you want it more diluted.
2. Portion out rice in a deep plate or bowl. Arrange vegetables and toppings on top of the rice
3. Just before serving, pour the tea soup over the rice
4. Stir everything up and tuck in. It may look like a mess of things, but this is really my thing! I love things mixed up like this 🙂 All the flavors and textures combined! THE BEST! Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I like thunder tea rice a lot!

THUNDER TEA RICE CAN BE MADE INTO VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN-FRIENDLY

For Vegan: just omit the dried shrimp
For Vegetarian: omit dried shrimp and garlic

THE TEA PASTE CAN BE MADE IN BIG BATCH AND FREEZE

The tea paste can be portion out into smaller serving portions and freeze up to 6 months and then just thaw in the refrigerator before serving. That makes it more convenient to have lei cha rice anytime you want 🙂

This recipe was originally published in 2012 and now updated in 2020 with videos, new photos, and to improve recipe instructions.

Thunder Tea Rice (Hakka Lei Cha Rice)

Prep Time 30 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 50 mins

Servings 4 -6 servings

Cook ModePrevent your screen from going dark

Ingredients 

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  • Cooked white or brown rice enough to feed 4-6 people
Vegetables:
  • 300 gr Chye sim chop into little pieces
  • 300 gr mustard greens chopped into little pieces
  • 300 gr long beans /green beans (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 300 gr Mani Cai (sweet leaf bush pick the leaves. omit if you can’t find
  • 3 cloves garlic (divided) finely minced
  • 4 Tbsp cooking oil divided
Seasonings for veggies:
  • Vegetarian oyster sauce to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste
Toppings:
  • 50 gr dried shrimp soaked until soft and drain off water, omit for vegetarian
  • 100 gr chopped preserved radish (chai po) (wash with water to get rid of some of the saltiness)
  • 200 gr Extra firm tofu (tau kwa) (cut into small cubes)
  • 100 gr roasted peanuts
Tea Soup Ingredients:
  • 50 gr basil leaves or 25 gr dried basil leaves
  • 10 gr mugwort leaves (ai cao ye) omit if you can’t find
  • 20 gr mint leaves
  • 50 gr coriander leaves
  • 80 gr roasted peanuts
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp green tea leaves
  • ½ tsp Salt or more to taste

Instructions 

Press the tofu:
  • I use extra-firm tofu and still there are quite a bit of liquid in there. Place the tofu on a cutting board lined with absorbent paper towel. Cover with another paper towel on top of the tofu and then place a heavy object on top and let it sit for 15 minutes

  • Remove the heavy object and be surprised by how much liquid is soaked by the paper towel. Repeat this one more time for another 15 minutes. Then cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes

Cook the vegetables:
  • Heat about 1 Tbsp of oil in a wok. Add chye sim and 1/3 of the garlic and stir fry until soft but not mushy. Season with salt to your taste. Remove from the wok. In the same wok, add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add long beans and stir fry until the beans are soft. Season with seasonings to your taste. Remove from the wok. Last but not least, add another 1 Tbsp of oil. Add mani chye (if using) and stir fry until they are soft. The same thing for mustard greens. Season with salt to your taste. Set aside

Cook the toppings:
  • In the same wok, add another 1 tsp of oil. Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add dried shrimp (if using) and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Set aside

  • Add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add chai po and season with a bit of sugar. Stir fry for about 5 minutes and then remove from the wok

Serving:
  • For each serving, scoop out about 2-3 Tbsp of the tea paste and pour about 3-4 Tbsp of hot boiling water and then stir and let it sit for 15 minutes

  • Portion rice in a deep platter or bowl. Arrange all the veggies and toppings. Just before serving pour the soup over the rice and serve immediately

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 480kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 18gFat: 18gSodium: 43mg

 

 

Thunder tea rice (Lei Cha Rice)

Following up on the thunder tea rice on the glocal page, I decided to try my hand at making this wholesome bowl of plant goodness at home.  And why not? It is clean eating, has fiber and protein and best of all, is totally customizable. Make your own bowl with endless varieties of veggies, pulses and greens.

Basically, this is another recipe just like handvo and muthia which I can call it fridge friendly. A quick stir fry of any veggie you have in your fridge; half a carrot or some zucchini, maybe some lettuce and even an eggplant. And even pulses of your choosing – chickpeas, black eyed beans or even rajma (kidney beans). It will taste delicious any which way you prefer to go.

I am a huge fan of Korean bibimbap, for its flavours, use of vegetables and that scrumptious gochujang sauce it is served with. And if you are anything like me, you would love this one as well. It is similar to bibimbap or for that matter a buddha bowl for its serving style and use of vegetables. In a thunder tea rice, fresh as well as preserved/pickled vegetables are used to create textures and for that intense kick of salty and sweet flavour. It is indeed a labour intensive recipe as the veggies need to be chopped finely but the cooking is mostly all a quick stir fry. Regular white rice can be used but I would definitely recommend brown or a mix blend of rice for this recipe as it adds another layer of texture to the dish.

And now let’s talk about the heart of the dish – the tea soup. As I mentioned earlier, I found the tea soup slightly bitter and herbaceous for my taste so in my recipe, I have modified it using broccoli. The original tea soup calls for tea leaves that are pounded with some nuts and herbs into a thin watery soup. Keeping that in mind, I added coriander, mint and basil to a broccoli +melon seeds puree and then thinning it all down with a concoction of green tea leaves. It is surely not the original tea soup but, in my family, we preferred a slightly mellow version of the tea soup and the broccoli-tea soup fitted the bill.

Thunder tea rice (Lei Cha Rice)

Do try this amazing bowl of goodness and don’t forget to rate the recipe.

Some other recipes you may like:

  1. Pumpkin and pear soup
  2. Vegetarian Protein frankie
  3. Vegetarian thukpa 
  4. 10 minute bajra jowar dosa
  5. Fada ni khichdi

Annielicious Food: Thunder Tea Rice (河婆擂茶)

Thunder Tea Rice 擂茶 is a traditional dish among the Hor Poh 河婆 clan which is part of the Hakka’s 客家. This dish bound to have mixed responses. If you don’t like it, you’d rather settle your meal with a pack of instant noodle. But if you are the person who know how to appreciate this dish, you will get hooked on it and started to tell others how wonderful this dish is.

Lower cholesterol, detoxify the body, aid digestion, lose weight, clear complexion and the list goes on. My maternal grandma 外婆 always told me about the goodness of eating Thunder Tea Rice. Lose weight is something that she always highlight to me. Haha..

I grew up  Hor Poh Family. My mother is Hor Poh 河婆, and now, my husband’s family too.

That’s when my parents working overseas to make a living, I was taken care by grandma since young. My grandma used to cook this often. This is how my knowledge of Thunder Tea Rice comes from.

My grandma has 12 childrens (5 sons and 7 daughters). All my uncle and aunts will gather at my grandma’s house and cook this dish together. The last time was during my teenage time, should be somewhere around 13 years old I guess. And that was the last time. I suddenly miss my grandma so much. Sigh!

People don’t make this at home anymore. Because they think this dish is too troublesome. Too much ingredients to buy, and youngsters don’t really appreciate such traditional food as we do. Another reason why this dish is being slowly forgotten is probably due to the complexity of preparations. Modern people tends to measure the amount of ingredients purchased and prepared vs the amount of people gathered at home to enjoy this dish. Small families? It’s just not worth the effort of preparing. That’s sad.

3 years ago, because I missed my grandma so much, I walked to Lau Pa Sat (Singapore Festival Market) and bought a bowl of Thunder Tea Rice that cost me S$5.00. Look at the bowl of rice that they served me, it’s like…. prison food? Well, perhaps it looked more like hospital food.
After my grandma’s passing, the more I knew I won’t have the opportunity to eat this anymore. Well, we can still get it outside, but it’s just taste different lah. There’s still hope in Malaysia, as Malaysia’s shop-bought thunder tea rice definitely taste better than Singapore’s one. I’m pretty sure.
Traditionally, this dish calls for 7 types of vegetables and 5 condiment. Those shop-bought one’s won’t give you the complete traditional ingredients! The most, shop-bought one’s gives 4 types of dishes (combination of vegetables and condiments). 5 if you are lucky. Sigh!

制作河婆擂茶的擂钵和擂棍

Other than me, no one in my maternal grandma’s family bother to learn this dish. No one.
During my trip back to our hometown (Ipoh / Kampar), I’ve got this ultimate traditional equipment to make the tea soup for this dish. When I saw it, I was like “Whoaaaa~!!! Precious~!!!“. Mad happy! Hahaha… Well, this is inherit by my Father-In-Law’s grandma. And since I’m the Daughter-In-Law, I’m now the owner of the 4th generation. I wonder if my future child will appreciate this thing if I were to pass it down next time.

I’ve written this recipe according to the combination info from Max’s eldest aunt (大姑妈) and my mom’s.  大姑妈 happened to come to Singapore for a few days, and stayed over at my place. So, I grab this opportunity to squeeze her time to teach me this. I did a comparison between 大姑妈’s recipe with my grandma’s recipe, which I ask my mom for my grandma’s recipe over the phone. They are almost 90% the same. Except my grandma’s version do not have fried anchovies for the soup. I hope my mom didn’t remember wrongly.
This dish is basically plain rice, topped with veggies, condiments and drenched with tea soup. This recipe is only 99% complete. Not 100%. Because I couldn’t get the herb called ‘Fu Lit Sum’  (苦列心) in Singapore. I don’t know what is it called in English. Probably they have, but I just no luck on it. If you are making it at home, try to hunt for it.
This ingredient will be separated into 3 part. The tea soup, 7 types of vegetables and the 5 condiments.

INGREDIENTS

The Tea Soup

  • 8gm ‘Luk Bou‘ Chinese Tea Leaves 六宝茶-茶叶
  • 10gm Toasted Sesame 烤芝麻
  • 100gm Toasted Peanut 烤花生
  • 80gm Old Ginger, skin removed, cut into small piece 老姜, 消皮, 切小块
  • 30gm Fried Anchovies 炸江鱼仔
  • 50gm Thai Basil 九层塔
  • 50gm Mint Leaves 香花菜 / 薄荷叶
  • 50gm Manicai 树仔菜
  • 30gm ‘Fu Lit Sum’ 苦列心 I don’t know what is it called in English.  (If you could find them)

*At first, I thought ‘Fu Lit Sum’ was Yomogi. But luckily Wendy told me that it is not. Please let me know if you know what is the english name of this herb. Ok?

The 7 Vegetables

  • 300gm Choy Sum / Chye Sim 菜心
  • 350gm Romaine Lettuce, aka You Mai 油麦
  • 400gm Manicai 树仔菜
  • 300gm Kai Lan 芥兰
  • 200gm Thai Basil 九层塔
  • 200gm Mint Leaves 香花菜
  • 250gm French Beans 四季豆 + 15gm Dried Shrimps 虾米, but dried shrimps is optional.

*Usually, Long Bean 长豆 is used. But we prefer the crunchiness of french beans instead. So, it’s fine if you wants to use either French Beans or Long Beans. 
The Condiments

  • 200gm Black-Eyed Pea 眉豆 + 30gm Dried Shrimps 虾米
  • 150gm Preserved Sweet White Radish 甜菜圃
  • 80gm Dried Shrimps 虾米
  • 1 block Pressed Tofu 豆腐干
  • 250gm Toasted Peanut 烤花生, or more if you want.

Lots of things to prepare eh? Indeed. But well, if you are feeding a family of 5 or more, this is worth the effort. I really encourage you to do it. Stay cool, follow the flow, and you won’t go wrong.
Preparation

  1. Soak black-eyed pea in water – This need to be soaked the night before. 
  2. Rinse vegetables, separately. And cut them into small piece if needed. Set aside.
  3. Rinse preserved sweet radish and dried shrimps, separately. Drained. Set aside.

  4. Fry anchovies. Drain it on a kitchen towel, so that it could absorb excess oil. Set aside.

  5. Cube the tofu for later pan fry use.

METHOD


First of all, cook a pot of white rice – good for about 5 to 6 person. But I’m sure you could feed about 7, or even more. 

Okay…

Now let’s make the tea soup first. Usually people won’t have the ultimate traditional equipment to make the tea soup anymore. So, please just use your food processor or blender if you don’t have it.


The tea soup :

  1. Blend in the tea soup ingredient, adding in item by item in the order as follows : Luk Bou‘ Chinese Tea Leaves, Toasted Sesame, Toasted Peanut. Blend it coarsely first. And then, add in Old Ginger and Fried Anchovies. Give it another blend. And finally, add in Thai Basil, Mint Leaves, Manicai and ‘Fu Lit Sum’ (If you could find them). Blend them into a paste. Set aside for later use. 
  2. Boil a kettle of water. Once it is boiled, pour it on the tea paste. Give it a good stir. And this is the hot tea soup! Do this only when all the rice, condiment and veggies are ready to eat. Otherwise, the soup will turned cold. 

Note : You might need to add abit of hot water while you blend the tea soup paste if you are using blender instead of food processor. Food processor tends to be more powerful, I don’t think they have problem. I didn’t use blender to do the work, so I don’t know. Well, you just have to eyeball it yourself.

Someone did shared with me that there’s a difference in color of the tea soup if you are making it in different ways. If the tea soup paste is prepared by grinding the ingredients traditionally in the Thunder Tea Rice pot, it will yield a darker brownish green color. If the tea soup paste is prepared in a modern way by using food processor or blender, it will yield brighter green color.

The condiment :

  1. For the toasted peanuts – I did it the night before because I know I won’t have enough time for that. So, pan-fry raw peanuts under low heat, until the peanut skin turn slightly charred, check and try it. If peanut turned crunchy and fragrant, then you are there. Remove from pan, set aside to cool down abit. Rub and remove the peanut skin. Once the peanut is completely cooled, keep it in air-tight container for next day use.
  2. For the black-eyed pea – Soak the peas overnight. The next day, wash and drain the peas. In a saucepot, add in half tbsp oil, and dried shrimps, fry till fragrant, and add in the beans and a pinch of salt, fry for awhile. Add in 400ml (or more) water, bring to a boil. Reduce to low fire, let it slowly simmer until the beans are soft to eat and dry.
  3. For the pressed tofu – Pan-fry diced tofu under medium low heat until golden brown. Set aside.

  4. For the dried shrimps – Fry dried shrimps until fragrant and crispy (but not burnt), drained the excess oil using kitchen towel.

  5. For preserved sweet white radish – Heat up half tbsp oil, pan-fry Preserved Sweet White Radish until fragrant and dry. And maybe slightly charred. Dish up and set aside.

Note : Cooking black eye peas takes me about 35 to 40mins using normal stainless steel stock pot. So, cook the peas first while you could do other stuffs. If you are using those ultimate pressure pot, the cooking time will be reduced. Do check the water level often. Add water if necessary. Once it’s cooked, dish up, set aside for later use. Or if you could, do cook this ahead of time, probably the day before, and then heat up on the next day. It works!
 

The 7 vegetables :

  1. For the French bean – In a pan, add half tbsp oil and dried shrimps, fry till fragrant. Add in diced French beans and a pinch of salt, fry until cooked.
  2. For Choy Sum, Romaine Lettuce, Manicai, Kai Lan – Cook them individually. In a pan, add half tbsp of oil, add in the vegetables, add a pinch of salt, fry until the veggies just wilted.
  3. For Mint leaves and Thai Basil – Combine both together. In a pan, add half tbsp of oil, add in the vegetables, add a pinch of salt, fry until the veggies just wilted.

The ingredient for tea soup. Manicai and ‘Fu Lit Sum’ supposed to be in the in the picture.

This is the particular 六宝茶 ‘Luk Bou‘ Chinese Tea Leaves meant for Thunder Tea Rice. Do not attempt to use other tea leaves like Tie Guan Yin 铁观音 or Pu Er 谱耳 or OoLong 乌龙 and other high quality tea leaves. Because these expensive tea leaves gives you bitter taste, whereby this cheap Chinese Tea Leaves ‘Luk Bou‘ taste milder and did not gives bitter taste.

The 7 vegetables… 

Keep grinding. This is alot of hard work here.. seriously!

This is the tea soup paste is ready to use. I know, modern people use food processor or blender instead. Save all such hard work doing such grinding work manually. It’s tiring. But the “feel” of the entire cooking process is just different lah. It’s simply nostalgic!

The Tea Soup and the Condiments. Done!

1. The tea soup
2. Pan fried pressed tofu.
3. Toasted peanut
4. Braised black-eyed pea with dried shrimps
5. Fried dried shrimps
6. Pan fried preserved sweet white radish

The 7 Vegetables. Done too!

1. Manicai
2. Romaine Lettuce, aka You Mai
3. Choy Sum / Chye Sim
4. Kai Lan
5. French Bean with Dried Shrimps
6. Combination of Mint Leaves and Thai Basil
Once rice, vegetables and condiments are ready to eat, pour boiling hot water onto the tea soup paste. This gives you really hot tea soup. And you’re gonna drench the rice later 🙂

The ‘master chef‘ is preparing the tea soup. She warned me not to post her photo online. LOL!

This is the final assembly. Scoop some white rice, and then topped with all the veggies and condiments.

Pour a bowl of tea soup, mix, and tuck in!

I can eat two bowls of this.. easily.

You call this messy! No. I call this characteristic! Wuahahahaha!

Ok, I know the appearance of this mixed rice dish might looks not appealing to some people. But I have to assure you that it wasn’t that bad. Peanuts, radishes, dried shrimps and other condiments goes very well with the rice. The overall fragrance of the tea soup is simply indescribable!


You must try this AT LEAST once in your life! 

Thunder tea rice with sardines and numbing flavour | Rice recipes

To cook the yumepirika rice, place the rice in a pan and cover well with cold water. Wash the rice well by agitating the grains in the pan, then drain the starchy, cloudy water, being careful not to lose any of the rice grains. Repeat the washing process 3 or 4 times or until the water runs mostly clear. Place the washed rice in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to come about 3 cm above the top of the rice. Bring to a simmer over high heat and simmer uncovered until the water reaches the top of the rice. Small holes in the surface of the rice will appear where steam escapes. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook for 12-15 minutes without removing the lid. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to stand for a further 5 minutes without removing the lid. Uncover the rice and with a cutting motion of a spatula, fluff the rice grains.

Meanwhile, to make the tea dashi, place the kombu into a saucepan. Add 2 litres of cold water and bring to a simmer. Remove the kombu and bring the water to the boil, then add the bonito flakes and tea leaves. Remove from heat and allow to settle for 10 minutes. Strain, discard the solids and keep warm.

To make the thunder tea, place the pine nuts and matcha in a mortar and pestle and grind until fine. Add about 125 ml (½ cup) of the tea dashi and grind until milky. Add enough of the remaining tea dashi to achieve the consistency of thin cream. Strain through a piece of muslin and discard any solids, then season the tea with lemon juice, salt and a dash of Sichuan oil.

To make the Sichuan salt, place the Sichuan peppercorns and salt in a small dry frying pan and shake over low heat until fragrant. Grind to a coarse powder.

Heat the grapeseed oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the dried baby sardines and cook until crisp but not browned. Drain on paper towel and season lightly.

Heat 30 ml of tea dashi in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic chives and spinach and toss until just wilted.

To assemble, divide the hot rice among 10 bowls. Top with the tofu, greens, toasted pine nuts and fried sardines, then lightly season with Sichuan salt. Place the “tea” in a warmed pot, then pour into the bowls just before serving.

 

Note:

• Sichuan pepper oil is also known as prickly ash oil and is available from Asian supermarkets.

 

Image by Tan Zexun.

Destination Flavour Singapore airs Thursdays at 8pm on SBS. Visit the program page for more details, recipes and guides.

Leicha-zuke (Chinese Tea Soup, Made Japanese) — Jun & Tonic

If you’ve read and tried a few recipes from this blog, you’ll realise that authentic or not, it’s really this spirit of culture fluidity which I love drawing inspiration from. The way I see it, it’s not so much a question of authenticity as it is about the appreciation of the many cultural threads that make up each dish.

This week’s recipe is no different. It’s a combination of two soupy rice dishes, originating from two countries that have historically butted heads with each other on many issues.

The first—leicha. It is a Hakka Chinese dish of rice, condiments (mostly bits of stir-fried vegetables and roasted nuts and grains), and most crucially, a green soup made of basil, tea leaves, herbs and nuts blended together. To eat it, you pour the soup over the rice and condiments, and mix everything together into a gloopy green gruel that tastes a whole lot better than you’d think.

(Fun fact: Leicha is often mis-translated to ‘thunder tea’. But as much as I want it to sounds like something Chun Li would eat, the ‘lei’ here does not mean thunder.)

The second—ochazuke, is a Japanese dish mostly made using leftover rice, and whatever other bits and pieces you can scavenge off your fridge (bits of flaked fish, pickled vegetables, anything vaguely Japanese, really). It’s then served altogether in a steamy soup made with a green tea or dashi base.

The recipe below is pretty much a classic lei cha, except for a few Japanese-y twangs. First, I fortified the leicha soup base with some matcha (green tea) powder and kombu stock to give it some extra sweetness from the tea and seaweed savouriness. As for the rice, I topped it with some furikake and salted kombu, which adds yet more nutty depth to the typical leicha.

It’s one of the tamer combinations I’ve made, and while it might not solve the Sino-Japanese conflict, maybe, just maybe, some conservative Chinese cook out there will realise the aromatic sweetness matcha brings when mixed into leicha, and love Japan a little bit more. And perhaps a Japanese hardhead out there will add some nuts and blended herbs into his weeknight ochazuke, bringing him that bit closer to Chinese culture.

Ah, what wishful thinking, eh?

Cook up a Hakka masterpiece with this thunder tea rice recipe

Thunder Tea Rice (Hakka Lei Cha Rice) is a Malaysian dish that brings hints of bitterness, sweetness and saltiness to every mouthful and it certainly makes an extremely healthy addition to anyone’s diet. Originating in Malaysia, it’s basically rice cooked in a special tea soup or Lei Cha that usually contains basil, mint, tea leaves, coriander, peanuts, sesame seeds and salt. Thunder Tea Rice is served with up to 12 vegetables, such as green beans chopped into small pieces, and crunchy toppings that include roasted peanuts or dried shrimp. While our Thunder Tea Rice recipe makes enough for four to six servings, it’s easy to multiply up if you’re having a party.

Ingredients for Thunder Tea Rice

  1. Cooked rice for 6 people
  2. 900g of mixed green vegetables (chopped)
  3. 300g Mani Cai sweet leaf bush
  4. 3 garlic cloves
  5. Oil
  6. Toppings – dried shrimp, preserved radish, chopped peanuts
  7. (The following ingredients are for the tea soup) 50g basil leaves
  8. 20g mint leaves
  9. 50g coriander leaves
  10. 80g roasted peanuts
  11. 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  12. 1 tsp tea leaves
  13. Salt to taste
  14. 1 and 1/2 cups boiling water

Preparation method

Heat 1tsp oil in a wok and add the garlic, stir-frying until mushy. Season and remove from the wok. In another 1 tsp oil stir fry the green vegetables, seasoning as you go. Set aside.

Add 1 tsp oil to the same wok. Return the garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds before adding the dried shrimp. Cook for 1 minute then remove. In a little oil, stir fry the remaining ingredients for about 5 minutes.

Blend soup ingredients into a paste using a food processor. Place the paste in a large bowl and pour on 1 cup of hot water, stirring well. Taste and season. Add the rest of the water, stir and let it sit for 15 minutes. Portion the cooked rice into deep individual bowls. Arrange the veg and toppings on top and, immediately before serving, pour over the tea soup.

Rice dishes in Singapore

If making your own Thunder Tea Soup sounds a little daunting but you want to treat your taste buds to some Malaysian flavours, then don’t worry – foodpanda can help. Check out Malaysian restaurants in Singapore such as Penang Culture and Guang Hoe Soo.

Healthy Travel Find: Thunder Tea Rice


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Thunder Tea Rice (aka Lei Cha Fan)

Not only is this awesome dish loaded with the health benefits of tons of herbs, veggies and even tea, it also has what I think is the coolest name for a dish ever. Thunder Tea Rice! It makes it sound kinda dark and dangerous and extreme! The dish is traditionally prepared by pounding the tea and the name comes from the thunderous noise that is created by the pounding.

There are seven traditional vegetables served with this meal (!) and it is all loaded into a sauce made of tea, mint and basil and then served over rice. Check out more on the history, and find out why there are seven vegetables served with the meal HERE.

Farina’s Healthy and Flavorful Thunder Tea Rice from Farina’s Asian Pantry

Even though we don’t have to pound the tea by hand anymore (yay for food processors!) this dish still requires a bit of prep. But, it is definitely worth it- not only is it a super healthy dish (hello- veggies and tea?!) but it has an awesome, unique flavor profile!

Of course, there are variations based on seasonality, region and personal preference, as usual, but here are some of the most common ingredients that can be found in the US.

Thai Basil– Basil is high in Vitamin K- an important factor in helping blood clot after a cut or scrape and helps build strong bones. It is high in antioxidants and antimicrobial elements and its aroma can help you beat fatigue (when you get tired of chopping all the veggies for your Thunder Tea Rice, take a big ol’ whiff of basil to keep you going!)

Mint– Used by the Greeks and the Romans to reduce pain and alleviate indigestion. It may even help decrease allergy symptoms (yay!) thanks to its high Rosmarinic content. Read more about it HERE.

Tea Leaves– Tea is a source of caffeine which helps keep you firing on all cylinders by keeping you mentally alert. It may also help prevent ovarian cancer and improve eczema, lower blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure. Like you needed another reason to drink tea!

Sesame Seeds– Sesame seeds are a source of the trace mineral copper, an important mineral in the synthesis of red blood cells and collagen (the stuff that keeps your skin and joints looking and feeling young!).

Peanuts– Peanuts contain folic acid, an important nutrient that may help lower the risk of colon cancer. The fatty acid profile of peanuts can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol which can help lower the risk of heart disease.

Cabbage– Packed with nutrients, cabbage helps just about every part of you stay healthy. It is a valuable source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. It is also brimming with vitamin C and glycosinolates- powerful antioxidants that are showing a promising ability to kill cancerous cells.

Snow Peas–  These add a pleasant, sweet, crunch and offer a low glycemic index. They are also high in vitamin C- which boosts collagen production and the immune system as well as helping with wound healing. They are also a good source of iron which helps fight fatigue and fiber which can help lower cholesterol.

Long (French) Beans– May help prevent depression, thanks to their folic acid content. They are also high in chlorophyll which helps mop of free radicals produced from grilling foods, chemical carcinogens and reduces the damage done by radiation.
 
Kai Lan– Also known as gai lan, Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale this cruciferous veggie (from the same family as cabbage and broccoli) is worth getting to know. With a flavor somewhere between kale and broccoli, it is great for stir fries and grows easily on balconies or in container gardens.

Romaine– Low in calories, romaine adds crunch, fiber, vitamin K and lutein (an important antioxidant for eye health) and the versatile antioxidant, vitamin C.

White Radish– That hot flavor in radishes may do more than bring a tear to your eye, radishes are thought to stimulate digestive juice and bile production which can help with digestive issues. It may also help fight bacteria in the body as it has exhibited antibacterial properties.

Tofu– Made from soybeans, tofu is a great source of protein. It may help protect against heart disease and cancer. It is also a source of isoflavones which may help prevent breast cancer and help with the symptoms of menopause

Black Eyed Peas– High in fiber and protein (combine them with rice like in Thunder Tea Rice and you have all the essential amino acids- a complete protein!) these tasty and healthy little beans are thought to bring good luck when eaten on New Year’s day. Whether they bring you luck or not their potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate and fiber content will help bring you good health!

If you want to experience a truly unique and amazing meal, roll up your sleeves, start pounding (or food processing) and check out these Thunder Tea Rice recipes to get inspired:

 

90,000 Baba is … What is Baba?

  • Rum baba – Neapolitan Rum baba Rum baba is a confection of Slavic origin, a kind of cake made from … Wikipedia

  • Rum baba – 2 – Type of dish: Category: Cooking recipe … Encyclopedia of culinary recipes

  • Baba – Dissolve yeast in one glass of warm milk, add 3 cups of flour and knead the thick dough, roll it into a ball, make 5 6 shallow cuts on one side and lower the dough into a saucepan with warm water (2 2 1 / 2 l), cover with a lid and … … A book about tasty and healthy food

  • Rum Baba – A genus of cylindrical cake soaked in rum or wine … Vocabulary of many expressions

  • BABA – 1.Baba, women, women. 1. In the mouths of masters (formerly) and in peasant life, a married peasant woman; ant. wench. “For a long time he could not recognize what gender the figure of a woman or a man was.” Gogol. All the women and girls were herded to corvee. “Nearby breathes a frightened … … Explanatory Dictionary of Ushakov

  • baba – BABA, s, wives. 1. A married peasant woman, as well as a common woman in general (simple). 2. Generally about a woman (sometimes with a disdainful or joking tinge) (simple). 3. The same as the wife (in 1 meaning.) (simple and obl.). 4. The same as grandmother (in 2 digits) (simple … Ozhegov’s Explanatory Dictionary

  • BABA 3 – BABA 3, s, f .: Rum baba is a kind of cake of a cylindrical or conical shape, soaked in rum, wine. Ozhegov’s Explanatory Dictionary. S.I. Ozhegov, N.Yu. Shvedova. 1949 1992 … Ozhegov’s Explanatory Dictionary

  • baba – I. BABA I not. and s, f. baba m. & Lt; gender. Cookies of Polish invention, spread throughout Europe thanks to the French cuisine of the Polish king Stanislaw Leszczynski.Brock. Easter cake baked in a tall cylindrical shape. ALS 2. Pie so … Historical Dictionary of Russian Gallicisms

  • Baba (cooking) – This term has other meanings, see Baba. Baba, sprinkled with powdered sugar Baba in cooking is a sweet pastry made from yeast dough characteristic of … Wikipedia

  • Baba – There is an article “baba” in Wiktionary … Wikipedia

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    90,000 Chinese about Chinese tea (part 1)

    Useful properties of Chinese tea

    Traditional Chinese medicine considers the taste of tea bitter, sweet and cool, adds life-giving moisture, quenches thirst, aids in food digestion, removes toxins, heals diarrhea, cleanses the heart and invigorates the spirit and other properties.

    Tea leaves are considered medicine. There are early records in ancient medical books that many recipes use tea leaves as a medicine. An effective medicine made from tea, made in the form of powders, medicinal decoctions or pills, cures headaches, colds, dysentery, colds, asthmatic cough, sore throat, bloody stools, eye diseases, etc.

    The latest research has shown that tea leaves contain caffeine, catechins, vitamins, which are directly related to human health,

    trace elements, amino acids and many other useful substances.

    Tea leaves contain vitamins C and P, which lower blood cholesterol levels and thin capillary blood, improve blood flow in blood vessels, prevent arterial sclerosis and hypertension. Tea leaves contain many alkaline components that enhance the digestive process and metabolism, eliminate excess fat in the body.

    With prolonged use of tea, obesity decreases, an increase in insulin secretion is possible, and the symptoms of diabetes mellitus are alleviated.

    Drinking tea removes toxins from smoking and alcohol abuse.

    Wonderful drink of the atomic age

    Japanese scientists found that tea increases the body’s resistance to aging, due to the increased content of vitamin E.because they are less affected by radiation. Due to the content of catechins with anti-radiation effect in tea leaves, the decay and removal of some radioactive elements is possible. It is for this reason that some foreigners call tea the wonderful drink of the atomic age.

    Ancient Legends and Poetry about Chinese Tea

    In the “Chronology” of the Five Dynasties of Wang Wensi it is written: in ancient times, one old monk was sick, he was treated for a long time, but did not recover.One day another monk told him that tea was growing on the peak of Mengshan Mountain. Before and after the vernal equinox, when thunder rumbles, it appears. You need to wait nearby, and have time to disrupt it in these three days. On the first rain, rinse and toast Meng Shan tea (from Sichuan) and take as medicine. With the second rain for life you will be free from all kinds of diseases. With the third rain, you will be completely transformed, you will change your appearance. With the fourth rain, you will become immortal. The old monk followed the advice, collected two measures of tea, drank a decoction of tea leaves, without even drinking half, he got rid of the disease, his eyebrows and beard turned from white to the color of a black wing, to the extent that acquaintances who met him did not recognize him …..

    In the Old Books of the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Xuanzong Ji stated: “A monk more than 130 years old came to Luoyang (the capital of China in the Tang Dynasty). Surprised by the age of the monk, Emperor Xuanzong Ji asked him, “What medicine should I take for longevity?” The monk replied: “A monk’s cup knows no medicine, except for a drink made from aromatic tea leaves, for existence – this is the only thing that helps us.”

    This is what the Chinese philosopher Zhangzai described in verse in verse during the Western Jin era (265-316 BC).):

    “The aroma of tea has six pure peaks, the taste overwhelms nine regions of China (all of China), human life is filled with peace and happiness, the whole earth can be in joy.”

    In the Celestial Empire, he was called the first poet to sing the praises of tea.

    The Tang poet Lu Qin also wrote a poem that became famous:

    One cup is a kiss to the larynx

    two cups flutter longing,

    three cups explore the insides,

    four cups make you sweat

    five cups of muscle and bone make clear,

    six cups lead to an immortal spirit,

    seven cups eliminate the need for food,

    wings grow under the armpits,

    the breeze blows easily.

    Chinese poets described the enjoyment of tea lightly and naturally, using sound combinations and color reproduction. You can read in the famous catchwords from the works of the classics.

    This is, for example, the famous collection of ancient stories “Seven Cups of Lu Qin”.

    Song Dynasty poet Su Dongpu writes in his verse:

    “Why, why does the Wei Emperor need pills,

    Lu Qin only makes seven cups of tea.

    The Wei emperor is sailing to the western mountains,

    to take pills from the immortals

    it serves to support his body,

    it is a secret of secrets.

    Only hope for the gift of the celestials,

    better like Lu Qing

    brewed fried tea buds,

    seven cups of tea will pour in

    and wings will grow, the wind will blow,

    and this is really a reality.”

    Po Weng explains that for longevity you do not need to ask for the gift of the immortals, it is better to drink tea.

    Mr. Sun Yat-sen praised the role of tea in fighting aging and in prolonging life,


    extolling it as “the best drink for maintaining the health and beauty of the human race.

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