The Original Jeram Lui Cha Rice – Of All Things Green, Lean & MeanDecember 19, 2010 | 2,155 views
Of all things healthy and wise; Jeram’s Lui Cha Rice has a following everywhere, and I wonder if this small town near to Kampar in Perak was the first to ‘patent’ this creation gone viral …
This bowl of rice, usually vegetarian (just ask them to omit the dried shrimps and onions and you’re good to go) in nature, is a good example of a hate-it-or-love-it Hakka dish. Many used to lament about the extremely ‘green’ taste (a somewhat pungent, and slightly unpleasant fresh taste from the chlorophyll-laden greens, especially those blended into the accompanying soup), while others stay away from the protein-shy ensemble.
But to imagine munching on crunchy bits of roasted peanuts, sweet; almost caramelized onions, bits of soft beancurd strips, sometimes julienned omelette, and an eye-popping plethora of finely-chopped vegetables; paired with white rice (sometimes cooked with onions and garlic to perfume the rice) then paired with an awkwardly light green concoction resembling an ogre’s snot.
Okay, not that gross, but if you’ve ever bought the thick, undiluted lui cha soup from the Jeram morning market, you’ll notice why I was making such a comparison. Read on to find out more about this healthy dish; from the famous Jeram market …..
I did dip my chopsticks in and had a taste of the viscous concoction; it was a very creamy and surprisingly palatable accompaniment to the rice and greens.
Still remember there was once when an ex-classmate of ours whom used to stay in Chemor of Perak (dunwan to reveal names here, but LLK if you’re reading this … I wanna thank your Mum!), invited a few of us over to sample her mother’s homemade Lui Cha Rice.
Back then, I was not much of a fan. And you don’t get to see stalls bearing the name “Jeram Lui Cha Rice” everywhere in the coffee shops like now. That’s a good one decade ago, by the way. And Motormouth was half the size of what he is now.
Don’t worry, you’re supposed to DILUTE the stock with hot water before consumption, this shot was before this loggerhead had a clear mind on what he was onto …
And that experience changed my perception towards Lui Cha Rice immensely. So rich, so robust and full of flavours and different textures, as well as a smooth and pleasant green broth that sat well with even the most carnivorous of us. That would be KYT, I suppose …..
And since then, I have always been tempted to try Lui Cha Rice whenever I laid my eyes on a stall serving such. Nowadays in Ipoh, you can find the stalls bearing the same green signboard everywhere. Most notably, I prefer the stall at GT Kopitiam in Greentown Business Centre. Here’s a very amateur-ish review I did way back in 2008 (don’t laugh) – Jeram Lui Cha Rice @ GT Kopitiam.
The other stalls did not register instantly on my mind; another so-so one being in Ipoh Garden South; at a corner coffee shop same row with Mi Cong Yin (that serves great pork noodles), and that same coffee shop (Chor Kee’s the name, if my grey matters still serve me right) also houses a very good Penang Char Kuey Teow stall, in case you’re wondering.
Delicious, Healthy & Cheap. What more could you ask for?
Compared to this one taken away from the morning market in Jeram; the rest somehow pale in comparison. Maybe it’s the placebo effect, or maybe there IS some truth in behind the JERAM’s banner of marketing. You never taste the same white coffee brew like the ones in old town of Ipoh; no matter how hard they try to emulate the real deal. Right?
Sometimes in life, originality pays. So let’s not go for second best, when a short journey away you can actually discover something so much more authentic, delicious, and REAL.
JERAM LUI CHA RICE @ Jeram Morning Market
From early morning until early afternoon.
Best to take away and enjoy in the comfort of one’s home.
*To get to Jeram, you have to use the old trunk road from Ipoh towards Kampar. After passing by Gopeng and the exit on your right towards Gua Tempurung, go straight and you’ll see the entrance to Jeram town on your LEFT. Turn in and look for the morning market. If you’re lost, just ask the locals.
GPS Coordinates : E101 9′ 17.8″ N4 23′ 19.3″
(Lui Cha Rice is also known as Thunder Tea Rice, though the word ‘Lui’ actually refers to the action of grinding the vegetables and tea leaves while making the green broth)