This meatless Hakka dish is tasty, full of crunch, and provides a quick detox. YIN NGEK MEE shares her family recipe.
200g raw peanuts
9 tbsp vegetable oil
1 handful jiu ceng ta leaves*
tbsp Chinese tea leaves
100g ikan bilis
5 tbsp minced garlic
small cabbage, finely shredded
Salt, to taste
200g chye sim, finely chopped
200g sayur manis leaves or kai lan*, finely chopped
6 stalks long beans, finely chopped
2 pieces tofu, patted dry and diced
4 tbsp salted preserved radish (chye po), soaked for5min, washed, drained and patted dry
4 bowls cooked white or brown rice
4 cups hot water
Salt, to taste
1 Roast the peanuts in a heated wok over low heat until the skins fall off, for about15min. Remove from wok, cool and discard the skins.
2 Heat up 1 tbsp of oil. Stir-fry the jiu ceng ta leaves over low heat for 3min. Remove and set aside.
3 To make the tea paste, blend the Chinese tea leaves, cooked jiu ceng ta leaves and half of the roasted peanuts together until it forms a paste. Set aside.
4 Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in the wok. Fry the ikan bilis until crisp. Remove and set aside.
5 Heat up 1 tbsp of oil in the wok. Stir-fry 1 tbsp of garlic until fragrant. Add the cabbage and stir-fry until cooked, for about 2min. Add salt to taste. Mix well, remove and set aside.
6 Do the same for the chye sim, sayur manis leaves, long beans, tofu and preserved turnip, stir-frying each separately. Omit the garlic when frying the preserved turnip. Dish out each cooked ingredient and set aside.
7 Divide the remaining roasted peanuts and all the stir-fried ingredients over 4 bowls of rice.
8 Before serving, pour 4 cups of hot water into the tea paste and mix well. Add salt and use more water if you like the tea lighter, or less water if you like it thicker. Divide equally into four bowls.
9 Serve the tea with the rice. Pour the tea over the rice or drink it as a soup alongside the rice.
*Jiu ceng ta is a dark green vegetable that gives the tea a basil flavour. Sayur manis leaves are shaped like curry leaves. They add a nutty flavour to the dish. Both vegetables can be found at Tekka and Geylang Serai markets in Singapore.
This article was originally published in Simply Her December 2012.