Lui Cha: Finally, super healthy hawker fare

Let’s face it – hawker food isn’t exactly the most healthy to eat. Usually high in oil and carbs, and containing very little in the way of vegetables, it’s not something you should be eating on a daily basis if you want to keep healthy.

Unless you’re having some Lui Cha – arguably the most healthy hawker food around.

Brown rice, nuts, tofu, and lots of vegetable.

Lui Cha literally means pounded tea in Cantonese, which describes the way the soup is made – by pounding a mixture of tea leaves and possibly mint to a very minty green tea-like liquid.

The soup accompanies a bowl of brown rice topped with plenty of nuts (or roast soy beans), chopped long beans, tofu, and a sprinkling of pickled as well as fresh vegetables.

You can now find quite a number of kopitiam and hawker centres selling this traditional Hakka dish.

Lui Cha

If you’d like to give it a go, head to New Yew Sang kopitiam in Kelana Jaya or Ho Weng Kee at SS2. If you chicken out at the last minute, have their Wantan Mee instead – it’s rather nice.

For some, it does take a while to warm up to the idea of trying out a bowl of purely vegetarian Lui Cha, but after you’ve plucked up the courage, you will find that it’s rather tasty.

The brown rice is quite sweet, and the combination of nuts and vegetables gives a rather fresh and crunchy texture to the dish.

The pickled vegetables adds an extra dimension to the flavour because of its saltiness.

Each serving of Lui Cha comes with its signature bowl of soup and it’s entirely up to the individual whether to mix the soup with the brown rice, or enjoy it on its own.

New Yee Sang Kopitiam

Jalan SS6/8

Kelana Jaya

GPS: 3.106717, 101.598178

Trying to influence your cravings since 2005, Kar Yeong was Guest Judge on Versus 1001 Rasa Baba’s 2018, R.AGE Food Fight Judge 2015 and NTV7 Foodie Blogger 2014. To read more about Kar Yeong’s food journeys, visit his blog at