Olivia -my Hakka friend- invited me for Lui Char today as it is customary for her to prepare this dish onthe 7th day of the Chinese New Year. Lui Char is one of my favourite Hakka dishes and indeed I can eat it every day.
Olivia's Lui Char is very rich and I reckon that it is 50 times better than what you get in a commercial lui char outlet. And she is very particular about this special dish. Almost all the herbs she uses are from her mother's garden at the back.
The soup is made up of blended peanuts and peppermint(poh hor) with lots of basil and the bitter Ku Ley Sim. Besides she also uses "nya" another Chinese herb.
The milky and greenish soup looks unappetising but it is better than Campbell's mushroom soup.
Olivia is the first lady on the left. In the middle is her sister who is newly married to Lee (a Foochow from Sarikei now working in Singapore). Very polite Lee is extremely well brought up and a treasure to any family. Lee is a vegetarian and loves Lui Char. Now I have company - a fellow Foochow who loves this Hakka dish.
This is the fried shrimp (the photo is a little over exposed). It gives the mixed rice a more savoury taste. Those who are not vegetarian will add this side dish.
Coriander or Chinese Parsley.
Stir fried four angle bean (or Kacang botol).
Sweet potato leaves.
Fried preserved radish or lobak.
Fried long beans.
Small cubes of fried bean curd.
Rice (over exposed by accident)
Plain roasted peanuts)
Group photo. Today is like a family day with only relatives and next door neighbour coming for the Lui Char. So it is very warm and friendly.
Everyone having a bowl of Lui Char..choose your own combination. The new son-in-law is acting like the director....Smile. Olivia's mother is busy with her relatives in the living room.
The body language - be appreciative of the food /lui char you are provided with. Pretty girls in their new dresses. Children learn about family values and kindred-ship when visiting relatives. Mothers are around teaching their children what to say and how to behave. This is passing on good education from one generation to another.
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