Saturday, October 24, 2015

Burmese Fermented Tea Leaf Salad

IMG_20151009_155254.jpgI love the title of this Huffington Post article: Burmese Salads Are Better Than Yours.  It is so true.  I've already mentioned just how much we are enjoying Burmese food here, and their salads are amazing.  We find that they are often unique and addicting.

One of the most interesting is also one of the most popular among the people here.  Fermented Tea Leaf Salad is a combination of various dried nuts and legumes with fermented or pickled tea leaves.  It's definitely an acquired taste, but it grows on you.  I typically buy the dried ingredients and tea leaves already fermented and seasoned at the Burmese day market, but it is possible to make it from scratch at home.  (It probably wouldn't be as oily this way as well).

Here is a recipe I found online:

Makes 2 Servings

¼ to ½ cup fermented tea leaves
1 tablespoon dry shrimp powder
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 large julienne plum tomatoes
1 cup very thinly sliced cabbage
1 teaspoon fried garlic (see note)
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons fried dried peas
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
2 to 3 teaspoons lime juice
⅛ to ¼ teaspoon minced bird's-eye chili or other hot chili, like a serrano
1 to 2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
Cilantro leaves, sliced fried garlic and whole green chilies, for garnish

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, and mix well. Divide between two plates, and serve, with garnishes.
To make fried garlic, slice as many cloves of garlic lengthwise as desired. Saute slowly in peanut oil to cover until garlic is lightly browned on both sides. Remove from oil, and place on paper towels to dry. Refrigerate in tightly covered container.

Or you can cheat and buy the kit on Amazon.  It's still not the same as buying the "kit" that I can get at the day market, but it looks simple and easy.

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