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Singapore — I’ve been to Singapore once before. Last year I visited a friend who was working here for a 6 month project and she toured me to her favorite food stalls. One spot I remembered and wanted to return to was the Thunder Tea Rice stall at Lau Pa Sat (stall 12). The customer service leaves a lot to be desired but the simplicity of the dish though complex in texture deserves my return.
Thunder Tea Rice (擂茶饭, léi cháfàn) is from Hakka cuisine and may be one of the more health conscious choices on the hawker center menus. The tea or green gruel that gives this dish its name is mix of tea leaves and herbs that are ground or pounded together with various roasted nuts, seeds, and grains. The tea is poured over what could be called a Hakka chopped salad if we’re struggling to relate it to something familiar.
Cut green beans, cabbage, diced tofu, dried anchovies, peanuts, chopped kale, chopped string beans, pickled daikon, red bean and brown rice make up the variety of flavor and texture in the Thunder Tea Rice. Even after I know I’m quite full, I keep spooning mouthfuls of the crunch into my mouth. You can guess why I believe this is a bowl of healthy!
The green tea, basil, and mint soup is poured over the medley of crunch then tossed.
I ordered my Thunder Tea Rice with brown rice for extra healthy belief.
I imagine one could create their own version of Thunder Tea Rice. Start with some of the ingredients here and go wild.