Lei Cha (擂茶) is a traditional Hakka rice dish served with nutritious condiments accompanying with a special green tea soup.
Lei Cha means “grounded tea” and it is also known as “thunder tea rice” because of the sound to pound all the ingredients together to make the soup resembles thunder.
Being a Japanese, i would instantly relate this dish to “ochazuke,” which is a traditional instant meal that you pour tea on top of rice with simple seasoning, and the dark green soup to green tea maccha.
However, although the concept is similar, the moment you taste Lei Cha, you will be in a shock to find how flavourful it is. It took me a second to overcome the surprise and then finally started enjoying the harmony of this gratifying bowl.
Each condiments have different texture, diced vegetables are fresh and crunchy, some are fried or marinated with oil, salt, or garlic, and the roasted nuts adds the crispiness. Preserved radish and firm tofu, again chopped into small pieces, adds savouriness to it. All of these are placed on a layer of either regular rice, puffed rice, or even without any rice of your choice.
The bowl is served together with a hot green soup, made of variety kinds of herbs, such as mint and basil, and pounded together with nuts and grains. It does not have saltiness to the soup itself but instead you will find the freshness of the mint and slight bitterness as aftertaste.
This dish does not stand alone but must be eaten all mixed together including the soup and thats how the magic happens. You will appreciate each bite as a source of energy and it gives you a detoxified feeling. Definitely a must try food in Melaka.
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