Sunday, September 28, 2008

What To Do with Tea You Don't Like?

I am a tea drinker, and love to try out new teas. Lapsong Souchong was one that I haven't had, so I decided to get a box of it in tea bags. I regretted it.

Lapsong Souchong is extremely strong and smoky, similar to a type of tea called Smoky Russian. I'd say that it smells like gun powder, but I've never smelled gun powder bef0re. It really isn't my cup of tea. I hate seeing things go to waste, so I figured out ways to use it. So if you have any tea leaves or tea bags that you don't like, don't throw them out. Rather, try the following:

  • Make a spiced tea - Inspired by Chai Tea Latte (I still have beef with the repetitive use of Chai and Tea together), I added some cardamon, cloves, ginger and cinnamon to my brewed Lapsong Souchong, along with some milk too of course. The spices tamed the strong smoky taste of the tea very nicely.
  • Make a tea rub - I thought back to one of Ming Tsai's cooking show episodes, where he made a tea rub that could be used on fish, pork and chicken. I attempted a version of my own and used it on turned out great! Recipe below:

Lapsong Souchong Tea Rub

1 tablespoon Lapsong Souchong tea leaves
1 tablespoon five spice powder (this is a Chinese spice made of anise, fennel, cinnamon, ginger and cloves)

1 teaspoon chili powder

zest from half a lemon

Use on salmon, chicken or pork. Don't forget to season your meat with salt & pepper!

Above, Salmon with Lapsong Souchong Rub

I have to say that the rub was perfect on the salmon. I used it on chicken the next night, and it was good, but not as good as it was with the salmon. Fish is so much tastier than chicken, and the combination of the smokiness of the tea and lemon zest just enhanced the fish so much more. I grilled the fish and served it with a salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette.

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