SunMon TueWed ThuFri Sat
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

fertility.jpg
fertility dance
kayes

[ Butterflies, Birds & All Things Beautiful ]
ipohbw204.jpg
Anderson Road
kayes

[ My Favourite Photos of Ipoh ]
onwatch8.jpg
on watch
kayes

[ Butterflies, Birds & All Things Beautiful ]
yukchoy.jpg
Hugh Low Street - Yu
kayes

[ New Town ]
DSCF0372.jpg
Canning
kayes

[ Elsewhere in/near Ipoh ]
IMG_4599.JPG
Heritage Hotel, Tana
kayes

[ Cameron Highlands ]
· more ·

 
more
DSCF2153.jpg
DSCF2156.jpg
DSCF2159.jpg
DSCF2092.jpg
DSCF2107.jpg
more

DSCF2159
Jalan Ali Pitchay

kayes



Registered: July 2008
Location: Penang Malaysia
Posts: 4,824
users gallery
Pic taken during my 12th/13th September 2008 trip to Ipoh.
· Date: September 13, 2008 · Views: 26017 ·
Print View


blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
July 1, 2012 5:36am

Hi Kayes


There is one road, although a short one, that you seem to have left out completely - Jalan Che Tak. The road is just behind this row of shops and it also connects Hugh Low Street to Jalan Yang Kalsom. I was there recently to eat Hakka Looi Cha. My friend took us to a shop, along Jalan Che Tak, that sells 'Economy rice' and Looi Cha. I know most men do not like Looi Cha as it is made up of only vegetables and rice in green soup!! I have pics for you that I will send later.


Another very well known eatery along Jalan Che Tak is Chee Wah. This place is opened only at night and they are famous for claypot Loh Shu Fun cooked over char coal fire and fried chicken wings. It is an old style coffee shop with tables also on the five-foot way and road in front.
Ken Chan

Registered: July 2008
Location: Chicago. IL, USA
Posts: 1,170
July 1, 2012 8:22am

Hi Blue Grass,
What exactly is Hakka Looi Cha? Is it something new on the food radar that was introduced after I left Ipoh in 1984? Sounds like a vegetarian dish to me and I can't think of anything that remotely fits your description of this intriguing delicacy.
blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
July 1, 2012 10:34pm

Hi Ken
Hakka Looi Cha is not new but dates back decades in China. I had thought it was peasant food - food that farmers and miners took along to workplace but I may be wrong. All they had to do when they wanted to eat was to pour boiling water on the green paste, stir it into a soup and pour over the cooked rice and vegetables. Warm food all ready to be eaten!
Let me tell you what goes into the food - finely cut vegetables like long/french beans, choy sum, leeks, big onions, pickled radish, peanuts, bean curd - all vegetables are fried till soft.
The Looi Cha paste is made up of finely grounded sesame seeds, coriander leaves, peanuts, mint leaves, sweet basil leaves and Chinese tea leaves. All these ingredients used to be pounded but I believe they are now blended. This is the green paste that is essential to Looi Cha. All it needs is water and boiled into a soup.
Cooked rice is placed in bowl and topped with all the vegetable. Hot green soup is then poured over it giving you a wholesome meal. The soup is usually served separately in a bowl and some people instead of pouring it on rice, drink it as soup.


Not many people take to this dish Ken. My family find the green soup rather off putting!! Looi Cha is a lot of work and takes hours of preparation......all the cutting and pounding. I think you will be hard put to find this traditional Hakka food outside Asia as not many places in Ipoh sell it too.
I will send pics of Looi Cha to Kayes and perhaps you can see what I have tried to describe to you.
Ken Chan

Registered: July 2008
Location: Chicago. IL, USA
Posts: 1,170
July 2, 2012 3:06am

Thanks Blue Grass, for the detailed explanation. Food is indeed a very important aspect of culture that has strong socio-economic implications. 'Looi Cha' fits this description aptly. Regrettably, I did not have the opportunity to savor it when I was in Ipoh.
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
July 2, 2012 7:20am

Looi Cha may date back to decades in China, but it gains popularity here only during recent years. 'Looi' comes from the words 'Looi Kung' (thunder). In fact, the word 'Looi' is 'thunder'. 'Kung' (grandfather) is added to the word Looi - perhaps it is for children to respect thunder. It is believed that whoever doesn't respect his or her parents - "Looi Kung Pek" ('Pek' means 'strikes' or will be struck by lightning). 'Looi' is also a Chinese surname but there are not many people with this surname. Not sure why 'Looi Cha' is so called. Perhaps Blue Grass can tell us more about the origin of 'Looi Cha'.


Many vegetables are needed in making 'Looi Cha'. Some of them can't be found in the wet market. So, many 'Looi Cha' makers grow them in their own house compound. These vegetables are pounded together with various types of beans in huge pestle & mortal - initially. Just as Blue Grass told us, they are now probably blended together using electric blender.
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
July 2, 2012 4:39pm

Oops! Pestle & Mortar ..... 'Batu Tumbuk'. Sorry for the typo!
Ken Chan

Registered: July 2008
Location: Chicago. IL, USA
Posts: 1,170
July 2, 2012 7:25pm

Hi Orange,
You are probably right. Have not come across the term 'Looi Cha' in all those years when I was living in Malaysia. Is the word 'cha' synonymous with tea when written as a Chinese character? If it is, then 'looi cha' would mean 'thunder tea.' Like you, I could not fathom why this dish is given such an unusual name.
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
July 3, 2012 1:09am

Hi Ken,


It's the same character.
blue grass

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 995
July 3, 2012 2:03am

Hi Orange & Ken


I am told that Looi Cha is Ho Poh hakka food, Ho Poh being a sub-group of the Hakka people. Looi Cha was served at a friend's house some years ago and that was my first encounter with 'Thunder Tea' or 'Pound Tea' with the strange green soup!
I am beginning to think that Looi Cha is traditionally cooked at home and this is why Ken, you have not heard of it before while still living in Malaysia. It is not the usual 'restaurant' food as such and thus difficult to find. The very first place I found selling Looi Cha was in Chinese village called Kampung Tawas, along Tasik Road. And even then it was not sold in a shop but from a house where tables were placed in the porch. Looks like it could be typical village fare then!
I do not know the origin/history of Looi Cha. Perhaps Orange can find out for us as she is the one knows Chinese culture better than any of us. I am going away for just a short break and I hope to come back to an interesting read. Right Orange?!
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
July 3, 2012 7:49am

Midway between Teluk Bahang and Balik Pulau, there is one single-storey house with big compound sells 'Looi Cha'. I have seen a link-house somewhere in a housing estate in Selayang sells 'Looi Cha' in front of the house. Just as Blue Grass said, tables are placed in the porch. It looks like 'Looi Cha' is not everyone's cup of tea. That's why it is difficult to find it in restaurant.
Ken Chan

Registered: July 2008
Location: Chicago. IL, USA
Posts: 1,170
July 4, 2012 12:26pm

Hi Blue Grass and Orange,
Mystified by the term 'looi cha' which is totally new to me, I did some fact-finding online and gleaned some noteworthy information about this interesting subject. According to what I read, the earliest origin of 'looi cha' dated back to the era of the 'Three Kingdoms' in feudal China (220 - 265 AD). Many of General Liu Be's troops were stricken with a strange illness in Hunan but they subsequently recovered after the local peasants fed them with 'looi cha'. The Hakkas were migratory clans (Hak means guest and ka means family) and they were considered as guest families whenever they settled in a new district. That was why they were so-named. It was the Ho Poh Hakkas who brought this dish to southern China and as we all know, many of our early ancestors migrated from there to other parts of Asia. Hence 'looi cha' was included as part of Hakka cuisine in Malaysia. The Hakkas believed in the medicinal value of this meal and it is also known to have a detoxification effect. Furthermore, it is suppose to boost metabolism too. In the years gone by, it was a tradition to serve 'looi cha' with seven types of vegetables on the 7th day of Chinese New Year as a healthy beginning to another year, just like the way we usher in the new year with 'Yue Sung'.


There are many variations in the types of ingredients used. These days, green tea is the ingredient of choice but there are also others who prefer to go with black tea. Apart from leafy vegetables, peanuts and sesame seeds, different types of beans like long beans, four angle beans are also popularly used. Herbs like basil, mint, coriander and 'san ngai' are also commonly added into the concoction for pounding or blending. To enhance its taste, dried shrimps (prawns) are mixed in and tofu is also included to make the meal more substantial.


In Taiwan, Chinese is taught in schools in the vernacular dialect. Hokkien is the dominant dialect, and Hakka is next in importance. In some of the schools, the preparation of 'looi cha' is taught during home science class. As you both have mentioned, 'looi cha' is not everyone's cup of tea. It is an acquired taste and that is why 'looi cha' has not gained mainstream acceptance by foodies in general. We learn something new everyday and in this context, I have to credit Ipohtalk and Blue Grass for enlightening me about this unique food.
Orange

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 3,163
July 4, 2012 10:02pm

Thanks Ken for the info. Tea contains antioxidants. We can get this health benefit just by drinking tea. The process of crushing tea leaves increases the antioxidant benefit. Perhaps this helps General Liu Be's troops to recover quickly from sickness.


Hakka ("guest family") make good hosts when entertaining their guests. Just drop by any Hakka family without any prior arrangement or notification, chances are you would be warmly welcomed and asked to stay for lunch or dinner. They are not 'kedekut' at all!



Photo Sharing Gallery by PhotoPost
Copyright © 2007 All Enthusiast, Inc.