At Obubu, we’re very fond of our tea experiments. Therefore, at every tea tour we all enjoy a beautiful Kabuse Sencha salad. Basically, after brewing Kabuse Sencha three times to extract all the bitterness- Kabuse is a perfect choice for a tea salad, since it is a shaded tea, resulting in softer, sweeter leaves- we add some soy sauce, some genmai (roasted rice) and boom! Deliciousness.
After one of the tours, one of our guests of Burmese origin told us „You know, I used to eat a sort of tea salad as a child. We put in fish sauce, some lime, some peanuts…”
Yumyumyum what is this because I want it now! So after many google searches, there it was: Lahpet Thoke. We tested around with different intensities (freshly plucked tea leaves, sencha brewed once and sencha brewed twice), but we’ll just give you our best version.
1/3 cup loose leaf green tea (we suggest a softer leaf, like a variety of shaded sencha)
6 tablespoons of peanut/sesame oil
7 garlic gloves
1 fresh chilli, seeded and finely diced
2 tablespoons (but more can be better) roasted salted peanuts, coarsley chopped
1 tablespoon (or just add to taste) fish sauce/oyster sauce (if vegan, soy sauce will do)
matcha salt (revolutionarily enough, we made it by adding salt and cooking matcha together)
(optional: dried shrimp, thinly sliced cabbage, seeded and diced tomato, toasted sesame)
Brew the tea leaves two times (drink the tea) and remove all excess water. Warm up the peanut or sesame oil in a skillet, and pour over the tea leaves. Knead the oil in to the leaves and let it sit at room temperature for minimum 1 hour, but for best results, overnight. When the leaves are soft enough, remove the excess oil, add 3 cloves of garlic and the diced chilli. Then add matcha salt, the fish sauce and the juice of half a lime. Stir well and set aside, as the salad will aquire a paste-like texture. You can then fry the peanuts and the rest of the garlic and add them in.
We served ours in a simple, more Japanese manner. But if you want to follow the Burmese tradition, feel free to add all sorts of stuff and make an arrangement like this:
Play around with it, and whatever it is you choose to do, you have just discovered a new, healthy snack for those leftover tea leaves.