Bless the burmese cooks for realizing that there was more to tea than leaves in a tea pot. This salad (thohk) of pickled tea leaves (lahpet) may sound like something way out of left field if you’ve never heard of it, but food blogs have been raving about lahpet’s delicious and addictive appeal from all corners of the globe.
Fried or raw garlic, crunchy peanuts, lentils, tomatoes, fiery chile peppers, cool cucumber, dried shrimp, lemon or lime wedges and sesame seeds are some of the exciting textures and flavors to accompany lahpet on top of a refreshing green salad. If you are so lucky as to have a burmese restaurant in town, digging into a plate of this is not a problem. Toss everything together and enjoy. For those of us lacking a diverse ethnic dining scene, the alternative is obtaining the pickled tea leaves from an overseas source at a ridiculous cost.
One clever cook got around this and came up with recipe for preparing lahpet in the comfort of your own kitchen using easily obtainable ingredients. Bless you Absolutely Monica!
While most associate lahpet with salad, the pickled tea leaves provide an equally divine taste experience smeared on lettuce leaves used in summer rolls and is excellent on fluffy hot rice with canned tuna or sardines. Mark my word, if you give Monica’s recipe a try and love it, plan on doubling or even tripling the amount on the next occasion. I bought the largest box of organic green tea that I could find (at NaturaSì in Lecco), and there’s a container of the stuff sitting in the fridge for quick meals when we’re short on time. The mixture is said to keep well for several weeks.