Kevin and I were on a quest to try as many different foods while in Singapore as possible. Our friend Anthony gave us a recommendation to try Thunder Tea Rice at Food Republic in Vivo City, which just so happened to be across the street from our hotel. Vivo City is a mega-mall and has 3 separate food courts as well as a perimeter lined with restaurants. We had been to two of the food courts and they were ho-hum. Food Republic was something else – it was gorgeous, all of the food stalls had a simple and straight-forward presentation, and the atmosphere was much nicer. Why hadn’t we found it before?!
A little bit of history: Thunder Tea Rice is a Hakka dish, created in China during the Qin dynasty (221-207AD). Apparently this nutritious dish helped Chinese soldiers ward off the plague and energised them enough to go on to fight war victoriously! Their website claims it is especially effective in treating ‘colds, flu, cough, joint pain and removing stomach wind and gas’.
Ingredients: a bowl of cooked rice (either white or brown), chopped vegetables such as green beans, celery and radish, tofu, peanuts, and dried shrimp or ikan bilis (dried anchovies) on top. It is served alongside a bowl of a green liquid made from green tea, made from a mix of green tea, basil, mint, and an herb called Yomogi. The traditional way to eat it is to pour the liquid over the top of the rice and eat it as a meal.
Based on a few blogs I’ve read while researching this edible, thunder rice is now seen as food for women – I’m not entirely sure why, but I’m guessing because it’s low in calories. Nonetheless, I thought it was delicious. Kevin and I both took bites of the ingredients separately, and then jumbled everything together and dove in. Neither of us could finish our meals so we agreed that if we ordered it again, we were going to split one.
In short, if you’re in Singapore, make sure you try thunder tea rice.
Nutrition-wise, Thunder Tea Rice is:
- low in calories and fat, particularly saturated fat
- high in fibre, especially if you choose brown rice
- can contribute 1-2 serves of your fruit and vegetables group (remember we are aiming for a minimum of 5 serves)
- a good source of folate, magnesium, vitamins K and C, potassium and manganese