Another recent food first for me was trying thunder tea rice I'd never heard of it before I was invited by a Singaporean friend to experience it. To sample this dish we met at the Thunder Tea Rice restaurant on Joo Chiat Road which luckily is walkable from our condo.
|The Thunder Tea Rice restaurant on Joo Chiat Road|
Thunder tea rice is a traditional Hakka dish which I gather is often eaten during celebrations for Chinese New Year (very apt that I got to try it in the build up) is full of good ingredients and was far more delicious then I could have imagined. It is called thunder tea rice because of the bowl of green tea that you get with it (though I'm not sure where the thunder part comes from). It is a rice based dish and you can have either white or brown rice, I had brown rice as this is meant to be more healthy. The rice is served with a variety of vegetables including green beans, spring onions, cabbage, spinach and tofu, peanuts and dried fish. The dish is then served with a separate bowl of green tea which also contains mint, basil and parsley and yes it is bright green in colour! Thunder tea rice is renowned as a food to eat if you are looking for the healthy option. Although, many I am sure, are put off by the colour of the tea which you pour over the rice and mix in before eating.
Having done a bit of research into the health benefits associated with thunder tea rice, the green tea is regarded as a powerful anti-oxidant and helps in lowering cholesterol. The basil and mint are regarded as being good for relieving stress, the dish also contains fuliksum (which despite my best efforts I have been unable to find out exactly what that is - perhaps it is just as well)!!! However whatever it is it's regarded as being good for removing body toxins and fluid wastes and generally strengthens the immune system. The parsley and coriander are good for easing digestion, combating flu and headaches. The ginger and ngal (again I haven't been able to identify what this is) good for expelling body winds and gas (nice)! The sesame good for maintaining youth and enhancing beauty and the peanuts good as they are high in protein.
The meal was accompanied by side orders of omelette and fried bean curd topped with minced meat. The bean curd was something else I've not previously tried and once again I was pleasantly surprised. It did not look a huge meal but was certainly more filling than I anticipated and I struggled to finish it in the end.
I think it is something you'll either like or not a bit like marmite (I'm in the dislike camp there) and if you are not keen on mint you'll certainly not like it but I enjoyed it. It was full of goodness and given the germs I've currently got I clearly need to eat more of it!