Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just for health kicks

I'm back in Singapore and the first thing I've noticed is that my diet here isn't as healthy as it is (or should be) when compared to my lifestyle in Australia. The in your face availability of guilty pleasures propositioning you at every corner in this gastronomic island makes a salad lunch sound like a ridiculous option.

Thankfully for dishes like Lei Cha Fan (literally "Thunder Tea Rice") available at some hawker centres, there's hope yet for weak willed eaters like myself. Basically a Hakka specialty, it derives its name from the preparation of the accompanying tea soup which requires heavy pounding of various herbs and nuts. The dish itself consists of brown rice and an assortment of vegetables, tofu, peanuts and crispy anchovies as toppings. This is a vego's dream - the different textures and flavours more than making up for the lack of meat in this dish.

I love this dish because it tastes and feels like a hawker's detox remedy - but I know that one man's meat may be another man's poison. The accompanying soup is not everyone's cup of tea (literally) and may take some adjusting to. The relatively bland vegetables may also be boring to some... but if you're in desperate need to tear yourself away from the indulgence of the abundance of greasy temptations - Lei Cha Fan may just be the perfect antidote.
(click for locations)


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