>> Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Not everyone is aware of such a dish & here in Kuantan, "lei cha" is not widely available. I was thrilled to discover this place after having so much meat the night before I got to taste this aunty's "lei cha".
What is "lei cha", you may wonder. Judging from the looks in the images below, those who don't fancy green vegetables will start running far, far away before the dish gets to them! Lei cha (Chinese: 擂茶; pinyin: léi chá; literally "pounded tea") or ground tea is a traditional Southern Chinese tea-based beverage or gruel. The custom of Lei cha began in the Three Kingdoms period or even Han Dynasty. It is very prevalent among Hakka people in Hakka regions of Taiwan. It is brought by Hakka people to Taiwan, Malaysia, and any locales with a substantial Hakka diaspora population. ~ Wikipedia
Here in Malaysia, this 'savory green tea' is accompanied by a bowl of warm rice + vegetables. Some shops/stalls serve brown rice, while some just serve the normal white rice with a variety of stir-fried green vegetables, beans, pickled vegetables & fragrant-roasted groundnuts.
This 'stall' that AP told me to visit is actually situated inside a mini market! The aunty sells her "lei cha" only on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays at RM5.00/packet (only for take-aways). Ah, such a gem to discover...hidden! For the locals who live around this area, I guess it's nothing new to them, but hey, I found it 'exciting' to discover a 'new' place for lunch :D
Some people like to have their "lei cha" mixed with the rice, but I prefer to have my rice on its own & the "lei cha" like a soup to accompany the rice. It's like having a 'Chinese salad with rice' that keeps your tummy satisfied 'til the next meal.
If you haven't tried "lei cha" before, why not give it a try...at least once? The tea/soup may be slightly bitter to some due to the herbs used, but I loved it. It felt refreshing & 'cleansing'...hahaha...