Japanese Tea Tower by Howard Middleton (screen capture from site)

Japanese Tea Tower by Howard Middleton (screen capture from site)

I see a lot of recipes for dishes that incorporate tea in one way or another, so many in fact that I tend to skim over the majority of them. But I had to sit up and take notice recently when a recipe for Tea Mac-n-Cheese appeared in these very pages. Which is a pretty offbeat use for tea, if you ask me.

Not long after I happened to run across an unusual recipe on what looks to be a Korean video channel called Edward’s Live Kitchen. It’s for a decidedly offbeat (though perhaps not in Korea, now that I think about it) concoction called Octopus Boiled in Green Tea Water and Fried Watermelon. Here’s more from the description, “An exquisite harmony of octopus seasoned with refreshing green tea and fried watermelon. Lime coconut foam sauce makes the fusion even better.” Yum.

By those standards lephet actually seems comparatively tame, although given that it’s a type of salad that actually contains tea leaves it probably qualifies as offbeat. More on this particular treat, which mostly hails from Myanamar (formerly Burma), in my previous article, A Petite Primer on Picking Pickled Teas. Then there are tea eggs, a rather unusual Chinese treat flavored with black tea and more. They’ve also been written about in these pages, including here.

For another take on eggs and tea, here’s an unusual recipe from the BBC for a treat called a Matcha Egg Salad and Pickled Spring Onion Sandwich. Matcha is a powdered Japanese green tea that’s been making its way into more recipes these days but is also quite fine for drinking. I’m not sure what quality lends the “hillbilly” to this recipe for Hillbilly Tea Braised Lamb with Succotash, but if you’d like to try it out, it’s here at the Cooking Channel.

Last up, if you’re looking for the perfect recipe for a pagoda-shaped tower of tea-flavored biscuits, you need look no more. Also from the BBC, here’s a recipe for a Japanese Tea Tower that uses four types of tea to make different flavors of biscuit and then sculpts them into a tower using icing.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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