Bake, Brew, and Fry; Ways to cook with tea!
Hello all! Here in Wazuka things are getting a little crazy. One of our founders, Matsu-san several years ago organized a town wide event called Chagenkyo Matsuri (or TeaTopia) where people from all over the area get together to talk tea, sell tea, be around tea, but mostly importantly; drink tea. If you are in the area, please come down and visit us at our booth where we will not only be offering free delicious tea, but also providing free english classes to anyone wanting to learn some english to better connect with the rest of the world! So unfortunately, because of that, I’m sorry to say no recipe this week. But I’d really like to take a little time to encourage you all to let your inner cook shine and make something of your own! Tea is an amazing thing to drink and as you now know an amazing thing to cook with, but what are some ways you can cook with tea? All it takes is a little creativity, and a love for tea, and you’ll have ideas of you own in no time! So here are a few ways that you can cook with tea that’ll bring a kick to your next dish!
Bake it into something sweet!
Tea has a very refreshing taste to it depending on what kind of tea, which pairs beautifully with treats cookies, brownies, or even cake! Take some cooking grade matcha powder and mix it into your sugar cookie mix and give them that delicious and unique matcha taste. You can also use matcha as a powder topping for cake or ice cream (be careful with how fine it is, the finer the better) to add a nice kick to a plain vanilla dessert that need just a little more something something. Hochija and Genmai powder will add a wonderful toasted aroma to a shortbread, or as a coating for candied fruits and nuts.
Use it for stock!
Ah yes, a rich and savory broth. Whether it be bone broth, vegetable broth, or something in between; for a soup that sticks to your bones, a deep and flavorful broth in the backbone to good dish. Shaded teas could also act as a very, very good replacement for bone for vegetarians or anyone who wants to try something new. Kabuse Sencha and Gyokuro both have an insane umami flavor profile that could make a great base for a stock for a savory soup or stew. Afterwards you could even use the leaves from these shaded teas and replace some of the other leafy greens with the tea leaves!
Doughs loves tea!
Making some Linguini for a party at a friends? Pasta salad for a neighborhood function? Spice things up and impress by turning you pale colored dough a beautiful deep green dough that’s infused with a tea kick , using matcha or green tea powder. Delicious and common in many Japanese dishes, try it as a replacement for the noodles in you ramen. Perfect with a light, or a heavy sauce, tea noodles are a must try.
Tea to Meats
Roasted tea is loved in Japan for a multitude of reasons. Having a very unique heavy toasty aroma to it, the smell fills the room the moment the water touches the leaves. This heavy roast makes it perfect for flavoring meats. The first time I smelled a dark roast Hojicha, I automatically thought it would be perfect for a smoke rub for ribs (maybe a little sneak peak into something I’ll be playing with), but not only that, very potent base for a marinade. Hojicha powder mixed with red pepper flakes or cayenne, would make for an INSANE rub for grilled chicken, or a slow roasted game bird.
These are all just so fun and easy ways that you can cook with tea! As I’ve said before (and will probably say again) you can use tea for more than just for drinking, all the flavors, textures, and aromas carry over great when introduced to the culinary world. When you drink tea, you are only drinking the infusion of the water soluble parts, but when you eat tea, you are consuming the whole leaf and gaining all the benefits. So until next time, keep drinking spectacular teas and keeping cooking and eating delicious food!
Kai, Chef, Obubu Intern