Hearty, healthy Hakka dish

Law took years to perfect the dish, during which he took comments from customers as he says watching them enjoy the lei cha rice gives him great satisfaction.

EATING more greens with the objective of adopting a healthy lifestyle is a trend that has been picking up in recent years.

For the health conscious, a plate of low fat and low cholesterol Hakka lei cha rice, which literally translate as “thunder rice tea” in English, is definitely one of the best options for brunch.

It is certainly a breath of fresh air after feasting on lip-smacking Chinese New Year indulgences.

There are many stalls selling this dish in the Klang Valley but I chose to visit this particular one, which was recommended by my mother and several friends.

Situated in Fat 1 Kopitiam in Taman Serdang Raya, Seri Kembangan, the Hakka lei cha rice stall has been operated by Law Song Wee, 40, and his family for the past two years.

The stall serves up a generous portion of the dish plus a a bowl of savoury soup for only RM6.50.

The bowl of Hakka lei cha rice loaded with different greens and peanuts, topped with white sesame.
The bowl of Hakka lei cha rice loaded with different greens and peanuts, topped with white sesame.

The rice in garnished with white sesame and in the big white bowl are also tiny bits of vegetables including preserved mustard greens, long beans, leek, kailan, black-eyed peas, as well as some peanuts and tofu gan.

Though slightly salty, the combination of the ingredients was perfect and every mouthful was filled with healthy greens.

Law said customers could choose add other vegetables such as like celery and sayur manis (sweet vegetable) with an extra cost.

“Customers can also select the type of rice they want- white rice, brown rice or no rice at all at the cost of RM6.50, RM6.80, and RM6, respectively,” he added.

While some hawkers may add too much mint to the soup, this bowl of greenish minty lei cha soup was less herbal, yet incredibly piquant and rich in flavour as well as dense in consistency.

This was a pleasant surprise to me as I usually avoid the soup due to my dislike of the herbal taste.

“The main highlights of this soup are the basil leaves and peanuts, which are the most important ingredients in making the soup and enhancing its flavour.

“I also add other herbs and vegetables that are good for health such as ku li xin, coriander and peppermint,” Law said, adding that it took him at least two hours each day to prepare the soup.

However, Law said there was no shortcut to success as it took him some time to master the dish.

“During that time of trial and error, I took comments and suggestions from customers to constantly improve myself and strive for the best.

“I believe it is very important to make a dish that caters to the taste of the customers and getting the right ratio of the ingredients to use.

“Watching my customers enjoy the Hakka lei cha rice definitely gives me a great sense of satisfaction,” he shared.

The Hakka lei cha rice stall is open daily, from 7.30am until the dish sold out. The stall closes every alternate Wednesdays.

Fat 1 Kopitiam is located at 7, Jalan SR 7/7, Taman Serdang Raya, Seri Kembangan.

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