A Sip In the Right Direction: Tasty Ways to Cook With Tea

For the novice or seasoned culinary connoisseur, tea just might be the final frontier in deliciousness and sophistication. Tea is making its merry way into kitchens across the world as more than just a delicious beverage as tea sales are projected to surpass coffee sales by the year 2017. Tea's many health benefits are surpassed only by its taste and versatility.

Spice It Up!

Tea leaves can easily be ground up in a pepper mill and combined with any number of other spices to create a unique and aromatic rub or shakeable seasoning. Combing Oolong or Golden Moon Pu-erh tea with white pepper, for example, can make an enviable pork rub. In fact, using tea as a rub can jazz up just about any meat dish you may be preparing.

Tea is often overlooked as a member of the salad family, but it's from leaves after all, and it's edible. Green tea as a green is often described as having an “earthy, spinach taste” that enhances everything from sandwiches to omelets.

Pu-erh Ribs

  • 1.3 lbs. (600g) pork ribs
  • 1 T. (10g) Pu-erh tea leaves
  • 1 T. (10g) yellow wine
  • 1/2 T. (4g) salt
  • 1/2 tsp. (2g) sugar
  • Pinch of chicken powder
  • Pinch of cooking starch
  1. Clean pork ribs and cut into sections.
  2. Throw rib sections into cold water and boil to get rid of all the blood of pork ribs.
  3. Put Pu-erh leaves into a small bowl and pour boiled water in.
  4. Add yellow wine, salt, sugar, chicken powder and Pu-erh tea soup into the blanched pork ribs, stir and wait for half-an-hour.
  5. Add cooking starch and stir until ribs are coated by starch; put the ribs into a food-steamer and steam for around 40 minutes.

Earl Grey Chicken Marinade

If you've got extra tea left over in the pot, why not turn them into a mouth watering marinade? Earl Grey makes a tasty addition to most chicken dishes, an added flavor that will keep your guests on their toes wondering where that delicious flavor infusion came from.

  • 1 roasting chicken
  • 1 earl grey tea pouch
  • Water
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  1. Make up a pot of earl grey tea. Let it cool a bit.
  2. Rinse chicken, pat dry.
  3. Put in a roasting pan or dutch oven.
  4. Stuff the onion and garlic inside the chicken cavity.
  5. Toss some salt over it.
  6. Add tea to the dutch oven.
  7. Cover and place in a 375 degree oven and ignore for about an hour.
  8. Uncover and baste. Cover again and ignore for about another hour.
  9. Uncover and baste again. Cover and ignore for about 30 minutes.

The Green Tea Omelette

  • 2 eggs (about 100g)
  • 1 T. (10g) dried tea leaves
  • 2 T. (20g) pork
  • 1/2 T. (5g) chives
  • 1 T. (10g) tea oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Glutamate, optional
  • Sesame oil, to taste
  1. Boil tea leaves and then drain. Chop the meat and cut chives into pieces.
  2. Beat the eggs in a bowl; add tea leaves, salt and the glutamate. Fry the meat in the pan.
  3. Add oil to skillet. When it starts splashing, pour contents of the bowl into the skillet.
  4. At the end of cooking, add chives and sprinkle with sesame oil.